Chance and I started hanging out every few days. At first I think we must have been just talking about normal stuff — our families, our childhoods, people we knew, books we had read.
Then we started talking about other things.
I don’t remember how it started. I think maybe I brought up something Ali had said — about the energies we cannot see, that drive what happens in the world and swirl around people.
And Chance responded completely seriously. It was clear where he stood: There was magic in the world. All of that was real.
And not only that, but he had seen things. He had done things. He had been a part of things that were beyond the realm of understanding. And now he was a student of these mysterious forces, teaching himself how they worked, gaining a measure of control.
This was his life goal, he told me — to move back to his beloved Hawaii, and explore his own mind and his own energetic potential as a human being, and to become a master of these invisible forces.
Because all you had to do was read the news, or look around you, he said. People sleepwalked through their own lives, never even knowing their own potential, or what a vast, beautiful, terrifying place the world was — and as a result, the world was on a fast track to destroying itself.
And so it was his mission to evolve, to become a realized being, to overcome the mortal condition, and escape the destruction of the world. He had a group of friends he’d known since they were all young, and they were all in on it, too. They called their project The Ark.
I think that’s when it started to feel like a movie. The stuff Ali and I had talked about, the mind-bending ideas about the interconnectedness of the universe and the synchronicity at work in relationships, that all started to feel like a child’s game. This was real, this was dire, this was imminent. It wasn’t just about “vibeing” with someone — it was about saving the world.
At first I held back, maintained my air of skepticism, remained critical and detached as I leafed through Chance’s huge leather-bound, gold-embossed copy of Osho’s Book of Secrets and his other books on magic and psychology and the power of the mind, as I watched him mull over the candles and incense at Magic Moon, as I listened to him talk matter-of-factly about a human being’s untapped power.
But I could not deny that at a fundamental level, it all made sense. It all felt true. It was as if I had known it forever, but dismissed it as a dream.
I wrestled with this fight, with what I thought of as my common sense and my rational mind on one hand, and my gut instinct on the other.
“There’s a stigma on all this stuff,” I burst out one day.
“There most definitely is,” Chance said. “And that’s the way they want it.”
Magic and New Age-y stuff, energy and conspiracy theories, it wasn’t an accident that I thought of these things as ridiculous and out of the realm of possibility, Chance said — they had actually been branded this way, on purpose, so that people would not learn the truth, so that their potential would be stifled, buried, deadened under whirling circles of neurotic thought.
“Would you say it’s true, then,” I said on another afternoon, “that all human beings are… mentally ill?”
“Yes,” said Chance.
And the only chance to heal, as it soon became clear, was to do what at first glance seemed to be the opposite — to do something crazy.
And, through plunging down this crazy road, to finally start on the road to sanity.
cosmic energies. karma, action reaction. our subconscious, acting… is it possible that this restlessness actually began so that something like this would have the opportunity to happen?
this restlessness did drive me to meet new people, try new things… open my mind, look for the most drastically different and promising, edgy thing I could do.
are we really on the brink of the next stage of evolution?
can it be true that humanity is in danger? that there is cause for serious alarm that everyone is overlooking? that there is really the potential for this kind of transformation, both on the individual and the humanity level?
everything just seems so dimmed down, muted, far away, in the light of these immediate, pressing concerns. this for once is what I feel in my bones to be a worthy mission. dangerous — more danger than I once thought I would accept. but so incredibly worthy.
is it crazy that I believe in the excitement, the value of this cause, the sheer worth of the potential results, more than anything anyone I know is currently pursuing? that I feel the heady and terrifying potential to exceed everyone I’ve ever known in all ways possible?
is this an indication of authenticity, truth — or lunacy?
I have to think. who can I talk to about this? what can I do? I have to calm down, clear my head. will this last?
and yet I can’t ask questions like this. I can’t doubt.
this is really scary. I can see why “magicians” need grounded lives.
can I keep from floating completely off the ground?
what if I go crazy?
I can’t think about things like this. I won’t. I need to believe… just start slow and believe. and don’t give all of myself away. how much of myself can I keep?
can I afford to trust him?
can I afford NOT to trust him?
for all my life it seems, I was looking for an endeavor that would lift me, set me apart, give me a purpose, something I fiercely believed in and utterly hoped in, something that drove me. a higher calling, a mission, a secret identity.
how is it that I get all of these things so suddenly dropped in my lap?