There is an Occult Underground.

Beneath the living mirror of heaven, beneath the world of our desires, there are streets with secret names. They connect the back alleys of civilization with the urine-stained vacant lots of the cosmos. They take you to the occult underground.

You can’t call information for the underground’s phone number. It doesn’t advertise in Rolling Stone. There are no maps that show its borders. Yet you know it exists—or rather, you know it has to exist. You know it in your bones.

You know because you’ve heard the rumors. A song that drives people to suicide. A man whose face melts with each dawn. A videotape that shows the birth of a goddess.

There are lots of rumors. These are different. The people you hear them from are different, like the weird drunk in the bar who lit his cigarettes without matches, or the street performer whose juggling pins pirouetted in unison between his hands. When you asked them how they did it, they smiled and said, “Eh, it’s just a magic trick.” Then the drunk sloppily pulled a quarter from your ear and the juggler dropped a pin and the moment was gone. But that feeling of truth remained.

Finally you knew what it was: the look in their eyes. Once you noticed it, you couldn’t help but see it. Maybe every week or two you’d pass somebody on the street and for a second your eyes would meet and there it would be. You can’t describe that look. Sometimes it seems like the hunger of a junkie, and other times, it’s the smug satisfaction of a fat tycoon. In the mornings when you’re half awake, on the weekends in the nightclub bathrooms, you catch yourself staring into the mirror, looking for the look. It’s not there yet. But you feel it coming on, the way the tickle in your nose says you’re catching cold.

You want it now. You want to know what they know. You want to walk those secret streets and see where they go.

Some seek the occult underground for power: The power to change their bodies, change their lives, change the world. Others seek the occult underground for knowledge: The knowledge of their hearts, of their dreams, of the cosmos itself.

Everyone finds what they desire. But few know what their desire truly is until it is upon them.

You know these things:

Something big is going down. You don’t know what . But you can feel it all around you. It’s in the air, in the headings of newspapers, in the blurry images on television. It is a secret you have yet to grasp, though you could swear there was a dream you had in which you heard it whispered.

You need to know more. The world you know is not enough for you. You want to go deeper. At times you want to let go of reality and let yourself slip in to some kind of pure understanding. Anything would be better than daily life. You know there is a place, a place of ideas, and that it contains all of your desires.

But there is danger there. People vanish, die horribly, become madmen, for the sake of whatever the secret is that lies at the heart of the unseen world.

That world is the occult underground. Find it, before it finds you.

Unknown Armies, 2nd ed. Page 20.

Unknown Armies

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