Chasing the Phantom: In Pursuit of Myth and Meaning in the Realm of the Snow Leopard by Eduard FischerChasing the Phantom: In Pursuit of Myth and Meaning in the Realm of the Snow Leopard by Eduard Fischer

Chasing the Phantom: In Pursuit of Myth and Meaning in the Realm of the Snow Leopard

byEduard Fischer

Paperback | May 21, 2014

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Eduard Fischer takes us on an exploration of myth, art, science, and the sacred space of high mountains. This is an account of adventure and deep reflection accompanied by a selection of the author's stunning colour photographs.

After first visiting the Trans-Himalayan region of Ladakh in 1985, he returned again and again, seeking to catch a glimpse of the phantom of the Himalayas - the elusive snow leopard. During these visits he became enthralled with the unique culture of this ancient mountain kingdom, one of the oldest enclaves of Buddhism.

The phantom cat itself becomes, at turns, Eduard's quarry, nemesis, obsession, and finally, in a surprising twist of destiny, his teacher.

Eduard Fischer, born in Vienna, Austria, is a writer, photographer, mountaineer, and lifelong traveler. By the time he was sixteen he had logged thousands of miles hitchhiking across Canada where he grew up. His past occupations include coastal seaman, beachcomber, horse guide, climbing instructor, rigger, movie stunt double, product d...
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Title:Chasing the Phantom: In Pursuit of Myth and Meaning in the Realm of the Snow LeopardFormat:PaperbackDimensions:264 pages, 8.97 × 6.03 × 0.6 inPublished:May 21, 2014Publisher:Jessica Kingsley PublishersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1848191723

ISBN - 13:9781848191723

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Everyone should read this book I hated to come to the end of Chasing the Phantom. Fischer's humility and sense of humour add depth to a book that is so many things; an epic journey, a philosophical treatise, a love story, a memoir. It made me look at the world through a new lens -- although one of the elements I enjoyed most was seeing ideas that I hold dear reflected and validated through the experience of another. It is the rarest of books that I intend to re-read, in a world where there are so many titles I haven't yet read, but this is one. Thank you, Eduard Fischer, for sharing your story.
Date published: 2014-08-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The amazing chase Chasing the Phantom takes us on a suspenseful and super fun ride of searching for some of the most beautiful and rare wild creatures on this earth-- snow leopards…and our inner selves. Whether it’s following cat tracks on that snowy Himalayan mountain pass or the dusty and steeply dropping path in Ladakh; or whether listening to Fischer’s witty, engaging and extremely knowledgeable literary meanderings on a range of topics that resembles the Himalayas in size: We are always right there—climbing, walking and searching next to the author, explorer, mountaineer and philosopher. Fischer’s book is a read--no, ride--that combines the exhilarating experience of speed and excitement of a roller coaster with the perspective attained when looking down on the earth from a ferries wheel. The landscape below is the same, yet it looks so much more quaint--there is so much more we can see—than before we stepped aboard. This, too, is the experience of the climber who has just scaled a high, difficult peak, and Fischer takes us there. In an ever-expanding web of consciousness that is as thrilling as it is educating, touching and amusing, the author takes us on a one-of-a-kind yet universal journey of finding meaning in life—through triumphs and tragedies, snow storms and sunshine, peaks and valleys, into the realm of the snow leopard. But will we find it, or is it just a phantom? The ideas and stories assembled in this book resemble the colourful patterns of a kaleidoscope, made up of the same stones, which constantly change and re-assemble when turning the instrument. Aptly, turning wheels are a recurrent, implicit and explicit archetypal motif coursing through this book. These wheels not only envelop three generations of the author’s family, but all generations of life on this planet, as they are and have been hunting for “the phantom”. And as if this weren’t enough, they subsume, twist and twirl around pretty much the complete bandwidth of ideas from all philosophies, mythologies, cultures, religions, art, literature and science that human minds and hands have ever produced. (Recognizing that this all may be an illusion…) Like a prayer wheel, no, like many inter-secting prayer wheels, the chapters of this book spin on, taking you on a mesmerizing journey that may seem at times disjointed. But this would be a premature conclusion, for they never fail to return you to where you were picked up—albeit leaving you transformed: feeling more knowledgeable, “expanded” and whole, perhaps even more compassionate and connected to the rest of this planet and all its sentient beings than you were before opening its cover. But beware—once started, it will be hard to stop this read—no, ride—before the chase is over.
Date published: 2014-07-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from an amazing ride Fischer takes us on a suspenseful and super fun ride of searching for some of the most beautiful and rare wild creatures on this earth-- snow leopards…and our inner selves. Whether it’s on that snowy Himalayan mountain pass or the dusty and steeply dropping path in Ladahk; or whether we are listening to the author’s uniquely fascinating way of explaining the origins and survival of humankind--we are always right there—climbing, walking and searching for the wonders of the world right next to the author/ explorer/ mountaineer/ philosopher. Fischer’s book is a read--no, ride--that combines the exhilarating experience of speed and excitement of a roller coaster with the perspective attained when looking down on the earth from a ferries wheel. We know that nothing has changed in the landscape below, but it looks so much more quaint, so much more interesting—there is so much more there—than we could see before we stepped aboard. And we see how the houses are connected by roads, and the roads connect one town to the next, and really, everything is interconnected, is one—and we are an essential part of it. In an ever-expanding web of consciousness that is as thrilling as it is amusing, educating and touching, Fischer takes us on a one-of-a-kind yet universal journey of finding meaning in life—through triumphs and tragedies, snow storms and sunshine, along dusty paths and rich pastures, into the realm of the snow leopard. Witty, engaging and extremely knowledgeable on a range of topics that resembles the Himalayas in size, the author The ideas assembled in this book resemble the colourful patters of a kaleidoscope, which constantly change and reassemble when turning the instrument. Aptly, turning wheels are a recurrent, implicit and explicit archetypal motif coursing through this book. These wheels not only envelop three generations of the author’s family, or “just” the evolution of humankind, but they trace the evolution of this planet, this solar system. And as if this weren’t enough, they subsume, twist and twirl around pretty much the complete bandwidth of all philosophies, mythologies, cultures, religions, art and literature and science that human minds and hands have ever produced. (Recognizing that this all may be an illusion…) Like a prayer wheel, no, like many inter-secting prayer wheels, the chapters of this book spin on, taking you on a mesmerizing journey that may seem at times disjointed. But this would be a premature conclusion, for they never fail to return you to where you were picked you up—albeit leaving you more knowledgeable, feeling more “expanded”, perhaps even more compassionate and more connected to the rest of this planet and all its sentient beings than you were before opening its cover. But beware—once started, it will be hard to stop this read—no, ride—before it’s over.
Date published: 2014-07-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Chasing the Phantom by Eduard Fischer Chasing the phantom for me is an example of art that is transformational. The reader’s world will be expanded upon finishing this work. Fischer delves into the conscious and deeper yet into the subconscious mind. His medium for this journey is the setting of the high mountains of Ladakh, where he set forth on his quest. Unlike Peter Matheson, whose own quest was recorded in his best selling book “The Snow Leopard” Fisher did not hire an army of porters and traveled lightly spending much time alone. Along the way he met many souls who touched his life. Great art demands that the artist sincerely remove their mask. Writing to me becomes great art when the author has the courage to reveal her or his inner guarded thoughts and yet expresses the universal — to help us realize that we do not live on an island. Although we may differ in gender, culture, skin color, our humanity – our inner worlds are connected. This work is not a mere travel diary nor is it a climbing book boasting super-human achievements. The complex layering of stories and how they relate to myths, science, religious, spiritual, and philosophical musings come from a person who has dared to leave his armchair and has a passion for thinking. Fischer has invited us into his personal adventure of finding self meaning and place in the universe. Chasing the Phantom encourages us to engage in our own quest and questioning — our own hero’s journey.
Date published: 2014-06-24

Table of Contents

Introduction. Part 1. Dancing with Kali. The Reprieve. The Roof of the World. Why India?. The Watch. Beowulf and the Scooter. On the Ridge. Some Things I know about Cats. The Legacy of the Leopard. The Snow Leopard and the Bharal. The Fury. The Dream. Ahab and Coyote. Shiva's Cave. Sacred Space. The Companion. The Punk Monk. Toward the Ganda La. The Return to Adventure. Dreamtime. The Marka River Crossing. Salzburg. Hankar. Down the Valley. Adrian, Noëlie, and Nathalie. The Scholar. The Hunt. The Parikshit Palace. Rishikesh. Part 2. The Return. The Gongmaru La. Sunrise. Part 3. Chasing the Light. Facing the Dragon. Shiva's Drum. Conversations with Stanzin. The Summit. Awakening. Index.