Unearthing China: From a Dream to a New Reality
Have you ever had a dream so significant that you decided to change everything about your life immediately upon waking? Such a thing happened to a young and ambitious scholar named Lu Sheng in the early Tang Dynasty.
Lu Sheng had repeatedly failed the civil service exam and found his way to a tavern one night. There he found an elderly gentleman, who after hearing his story recommended he abandon his worldly pursuits and go study the Tao. Lu Sheng wouldn't listen.
While they were waiting for dinner, the elderly gentleman handed Lu Sheng a pillow. Lu Sheng quickly fell asleep, and started dreaming. He saw himself passing the civil service exam and becoming a rich, powerful official, only to be ultimately accused of corruption and sentenced to death! At the last moment before the execution, the emperor spared him.
When Lu Sheng woke, his meal hadn't yet arrived. The elderly gentleman said to him with a smile, “A person's life is just like a dream, is it not?” Lu Sheng realized this was no ordinary encounter. Sitting across the table from him was none other than Lu Dongbin, one of the Eight Immortals. From that moment, Lu Sheng cast off his worldly pursuits and followed Lu Dongbin to attain the Tao.
Have you seen this tale reenacted in Shen Yun's performance, Vanished Dream?
— Unearthing China is a series on digging into China's glorious history and culture.