Once upon a time I dreamt I was a butterfly,
A happily fluttering butterfly,
who knew nothing about my existence.
Suddenly I awoke and was myself again.
Now I am not sure: was it me
Who dreamt I was a butterfly?
Or am I in reality a butterfly,
Who is dreaming that it is me?
Surely there must be a difference between
me and a butterfly!
Zhuang Zhou, Chinese philosopher
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 realms, where he discovers the power of life. As he encounters with the primeval landscapes of Alaska, he remembers his earlier ambitions of becoming a natural scientist. He perceives how plants have conquered the terminal moraines, transposing them into gardens. He enters into the microcosm of a drop of water, where the tiniest living creatures, like those that contributed to forming the earth itself, fill him with joy. On and on, he strides along the path of evolution, where he encounters incredibly beautiful flowers, the comical squirrel, but also the