Once upon a time I, Zhuang Zhou,
dreamt I was a butterfly,
A happily fluttering butterfly,
who knew nothing
about the existence of Zhuang Zhou.
Suddenly I awoke and was Zhuang Zhou again.
Now I am not sure: am I Zhuang Zhou,
Who dreamt he was a butterfly.
Or am I in reality a butterfly,
Who is dreaming that he is Zhuang Zhou?
Surely there must be a difference
between Zhuang Zhou and a butterfly!
Zhuang Zhou (also known as Dschuang Tse)
When the successful stockbroker Alfred Böhler sets out for work he has no idea what a dramatic turn his life will be taking. He is involved in a serious accident. An eagle flutters up and settles on a branch in a nearby tree. Its eyes big, of unfathomable depth. It looks down onto the site of the accident. Fred sees himself, streaming with blood, strangely contorted.
Rescue teams arrive, give him first aid. They take him to the intensive care station, where the doctors and nurses fight to save his life. Anita, his wife, approaches his bed.
During this time he - or is it the eagle - takes an interior journey through the world. He experiences it in an intensity he has never known before. Everything is imbued with life, even the seemingly dead world of the stones. With the eagle, he flies over the endless chains of mountains and ice fields in Wrangell-St. EliasNational Park in Alaska. Soaring over peaks and glaciers, he arrives in warmer