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by Ivan Cenzi

“I went to see a guy who opens your chakras.”
“Are you crazy? Don’t you know that chakras should NEVER be opened? Never! Only balanced! What if I thrust open your anal chakra on your heart chakra, do you have any idea of what could happen?!”
“Well, yes, I meant a guy who balances them. That’s what I meant.”
As an “explorer of the uncanny, the bizarre, the macabre, the strange and the wonderful” (as I describe myself in my blog – sooner or later I should get around to printing these words on my business card, too), I’ve had my deal of weird experiences and met a lot of eccentric people.
Yet when, as a kid, I heard the abovementioned conversation – completely real and meticulously written down in the diary I used to keep in those days – I didn’t find it weird or eccentric. It was the most natural thing in the world, at least in my town, in my region.
Italy’s Northeast, accustomed to work and produce, the Northeast that during those years was still booming with companies, paradoxically didn’t know what to do with its wealth. Looking at the rows of plants under the white sky – even in the middle of the economic boom, I mean – I used to think of Coleridge: water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink. My town was full of people in their fifties who had attained the goal of success, but had completely forgotten about magic.
So, in order to charm reality once again, they started to seek alternative theories, invisible energies. They gloried in having opened up their third eye, they charged stones under the moon rays, practiced the ancient (though not exactly useful) art of walking on embers.
Every week there were new lectures, new trends, new – more or less alternative – groups; and courses, meetings, seminars where you could learn how to photograph an aura, or discover the surprising connections between Egyptian cosmology and the apocryphal Gospels (which still preserved a certain air maudit). Anything but the ordinary.
In conclusion. I carefully observed them, the esotericism-addicted that wouldn’t miss a single one of these courses, I even studied them, I would say that they were my very first objects of investigation. I attended sessions in which incredible mystical energies were released, and talked with seraphic gurus who seemed to have an answer for everything – as a matter of fact, all they used to do was give answers, from morning to night. You couldn’t catch them out, they never ran out of words. Words are the easiest thing, after all.
“Atlanteans were blue-skinned, five metres tall creatures and, thanks to cutting edge technology, they used to implant small plants on their shoulders.”
“Er... pardon me, but how do you know that?”
“There are archaeological remains, skeletons.”
“Of the citizens of Atlantis?”
“Of course, they were discovered by our prophet.”
“Beyond the seventh cosmic door. Enough, now. If you ask such questions, it means you are narrow-minded.”
Another real conversation, diligently noted in my diaries.
I say that I studied these people, but this doesn’t mean that I felt superior to them. I did it because I somehow understood them, I recognised their pathetic and touching beauty. I was struggling in search for a different horizon as well.
They were wealthy, they had built themselves a house, a family, a good reputation, as they had been taught to do. And they had ended up feeling a tremendous emptiness inside, a rage, an urge to recover an unadulterated eye, the illusions, the well-deserved and necessary rêveries they had ultimately been deprived of by a life of hard work. All they needed was to believe that life was more than it seemed. They felt a longing for the transcendent, and is there anything nobler than that?
That yearning, which I found splendid in itself, seemed to me to be simply misdirected, easy prey to those who wanted to take advantage of it. They were compromised by the inability to imagine the celebrated new horizon, to recognise wonder when it was right in front of them. There was no difference between the freelancer attending an expensive reiki course and the housewife calling a TV magician: both of them could only rely on ready-made fictions devised by someone else.
And what about me?
I didn’t know if there really were mysterious and secret forces at work all the time, if indescribable presences lingered on every one of us ceaselessly spying on us, unconcerned about our privacy. The visible – with its paradoxes, its vertiginous texture and the kaleidoscopic infinites it contains – was enough to win me, flood me, overwhelm me, and I didn’t need to be told that “there is actually something more”.
Or, even better, I didn’t need to be told anything about the world. Everybody shut up: I just wanted to look at it with my own eyes.
Such was I: just another haughty kid who thought he could do without any guide. And I still feel like that, even now that I have earned more than one white hair and can no longer be excused by youth. But I am not the only one who feels like that. The only true, learned Spiritual Guide of our time says:
“The so-called chakras aren’t actually seven, but there is only one of them. The only chakra is the Chakra of Wonder.
When, as a consequence of chance, negligence or ripe old age, the Chakra is closed, the world becomes colourless. And you immediately run towards those who talk – they merely talk – about lost colours.
But if you manage to keep the Chakra of Wonder open, the world will give you endless amazement, with no need for words. And you will discover that you no longer need masters or gurus, rites of passage or laying on of hands. Because the real mystery is the one you are already living, the real astral journey is the one you are already making, on this mudball thrown into blackness.”
Who is the Master who pronounced these wise words?
He doesn’t exist. I have just invented him.
Words are the easiest thing, after all.