As the saying goes, “No coincidence is impossible”, some things do happen in time, and some things are so coincidental that they are so seamless that they are difficult to interpret with common sense. In the Tang Dynasty, there were two people who lived in different times and were born in different places, but they had a similar experience, both of them dreamed about twenty years later when they were sleeping. As a result, there were a few more strange stories in the officialdom and a few more legends in the folklore.
The origin of the Dream Collection Pavilion
Doulu Department, formerly known as Fu Zhen. In the sixth year of the Tang Dynasty, he failed in the examination and went to Xin’an (present-day Quzhou, Zhejiang Province) to visit and relax, and took his poems and articles to visit Zheng Wuzhan, the county sheriff.
Zheng Wuzhan treated the scholar with courtesy and stayed with him for a few more days. After they got acquainted, the sheriff said to him, “Your name Doulu is a compound name, not suitable for a two-character name.” He wanted to give him a new name and asked him what he wanted to do.
Doulu got up and thanked him, asking Zheng Wuzhan to help him change his name to a new one. Zheng Wuzhan wrote a few characters, namely “着, 助, 署”, and asked the scholar to choose his own name in order to avoid overlapping with his relatives.
That night, in his sleep, Dou Lu Deng dreamed that an old man said to him, “I heard that the sheriff changed your name for you, and you will have to take the exam four times to win the list. Four is the best.”
The old man also said that in another twenty years, Doulu Department would become the county sheriff here. He also pointed to an open space in the county seat and said, “When the time comes, you can build a pavilion here.”
When Doulu Department woke up, he thought to himself, “The old man said “the four are the best”, and “the four” is not the word “Department”! According to the revelation in the dream, the scholar changed his name to the word “D”.
Later on, things really developed as shown in the dream, and Doulu Department changed his name and took the test four times before finally getting on the list. In the ninth year of the Tang Dynasty, Dou Lu was reassigned from the position of secretary to the position of Quzhou’s governor.
After he took office, he inspected the interior and exterior of the county capital and found the vacant land mentioned by the old man in the dream, so he ordered a pavilion to be built on the land, naming it “Zhengmengting”. If the ancient people were sincere and good-hearted, they could easily communicate with the spirits.
Microfilm in advance
Another story also happened in the Tang Dynasty. In the fifth year of Yuanhe, Wangeven was awarded a scholarship. One day in a dream, he saw himself as the governor of Henan.
In the dream, two guests arrived, one dressed in purple and sitting in the east and one dressed in red and sitting in the west. The one in red asked the one in purple, saying, “What should be the punishment of Lun Bang?” The one in purple said, “He has been beaten twenty large boards and driven out of the land of Luoyang.” When he woke up, Wangeven wrote down what he had seen in his dream in the record book where he kept official business.
Twenty years later, Wangeven did become the governor of Henan. After his appointment, several friends met to catch up with each other. The magistrate of Luoyang and the divisional governor were both his former friends, so they spoke casually to each other during the banquet.
The magistrate asked the magistrate, “What should be the punishment for Lun Bang?” The magistrate of Luoyang said, “He has been beaten twenty times and expelled from the territory of Luoyang.” The “Lunbang” they were referring to was a slave of the magistrate’s family who was arrested and sent to the magistrate’s office to be punished for stealing the official’s belongings. The county magistrate of Luoyang made the above sentence.
When Wangeven heard it, he was immediately stunned and immediately went into the back room and did not come out for half a day. The two guests were surprised and said, “Did we displease Wang the magistrate by speaking too freely just now?”
A moment later, Wangeven took out his official record book from twenty years ago and showed them the records from that year. The conversation between the two men was exactly the same as Wangeven’s dream back then.
The Doulu Department and Wangeven’s dream was like a microfilm that appeared in their minds twenty years in advance. For a long time, people have been exploring whether there is a fixed number in the underworld or not. These two dreams may also give some insight!
(According to Taiping Guangji, Vol. 151 and Vol. 154)