Sanctuary: The Path to Consciousness

A Novel By
Stephen Lewis & Evan Slawson

© 1998 Stephen Lewis & Evan Slawson
All rights reserved.
This material may not be reprinted for a fee
without the written consent of the copyright owners.


Table of Contents
  • Endorsements
  • Quotes
  • Prologue
  • Jane
  • Jane and Terry
  • My House
  • The Road
  • Geomancy
  • Jane: An Energetic Evaluation
  • Max and Me
  • The Choir
  • Jane's First Re-evaluation
  • Doug's Ideas
  • The Thumb Chronicles Part I
  • Resolving the Unknowable
  • Jane's Second Re-evaluation
  • The Thumb Chronicles Part II
  • Max Speaks
  • The End of the Thumb Chronicles
  • My Turn
  • Jane: A Postscript
  • Epilogue: The Evolution of AIM
  • An Invitation



Linda Gray
Lalo Schifrin
Dr. Richard Gerber
Lani Hall (Mrs. Herb Alpert)
Courteney Cox
Burt Bacharach
Herb Alpert


I am honored to have been chosen to comment on your beautiful book and I take that responsibility very seriously. As a Sanctuary member and as your friend, I cannot thank you enough from my heart for what you have done for me and those that I love. Having been a member of Sanctuary for many years, the techniques illustrated in this book seem quite normal to me and to the many people I have sent to the real-life Max. The openness and the excitement of living the wondrous life made possible by Sanctuary is the most glorious gift that anyone could ever receive.

I bless you, Max, knowing that Sanctuary will become a reality available to all, because that is where I live in my heart, right now, thanks to you.

With Love and Thanks

Linda Gray
Goodwill Ambassador on Women’s Issues
to the United Nations

The discoveries of “Max” have been and are fascinating and compelling to me. However, there is an enormous difference to be found between the principles of Sanctuary and other theories; in Sanctuary an immediate “proof” can be seen. There are many examples of the benefits of the techniques illustrated in this book which could be cited by members of our family and our friends. Quite simply, we have never before enjoyed such healthy, energetic, creative years, nor had such a sense of well-being and peace of mind as we have since being beneficiaries of energetic balancing.

If you are interested in a healthier, more focused and creative life, you will find this book to be one of the most important and enlightening experiences of your life. If you join Sanctuary, I know it will be one of the most beneficial experiences of your life.

Lalo Schifrin
musician, composer, conductor

“Sanctuary” is a wonderful book describing a new way of viewing human well-being and consciousness from the latest perspective of subtle energy. By tapping into this knowledge, incredible amounts of detailed information about the status of our well-being, our hereditary energy, our strengths and weaknesses, as well as our potential for healing, can all be quickly ascertained.

The examples presented in this book are based upon real people whose lives have been transformed by a radical new spiritual technology of energetic evaluation and balancing that promises to forever change the way we think about well-being and human potential. Seemingly incredible, the stories behind the fiction are real. Sanctuary: The Path to Consciousness, though fictional in nature, is about a real place where we can discover the true nature of dysfunction in our lives and the ways that we may better achieve well-being and inner balance. It is also a story of hope for those individuals with problems and inner imbalances that have persisted despite their best efforts. This book points the way towards an energetic understanding of human existence, leading to new paths of insight and transformation that can greatly benefit all of humanity. I highly recommend that everyone read this book and join Sanctuary.

Dr. Richard Gerber, MD
author of Vibrational Medicine: New choices for Healing Ourselves (Bear & Co., Santa Fe, NM, 1988)

It was 1993, and I was in big trouble. After 3 months, 3 hospital stays, exploratory surgery, 24-hour nurses and a staff of 9 various specialists I was finally diagnosed. There was a cyst on one of my thoracic vertebra that was putting pressure on the nerve that wrapped around my waist. It was keeping me in excruciating and immobilizing pain with the slightest physical movement. I had no life during the entire pain-filled period and I felt doomed. The neurosurgeon that was to do a rare and delicate spinal surgery to remove the cyst was gone for 3 weeks and upon his return I was committed to go under the knife.

It was while waiting for the neurosurgeon to return that a casual friend phoned. She was in the process of writing a book about healers from all over the world and my husband asked her if there was anyone that had something unusually special that might help me. "Oh, yes!" she said, "His name is Max and he's in L.A.”

My day nurse rolled me into Max's office in my wheel chair with my husband at my side. Getting out of bed had become such an ordeal for me that I was not the most agreeable person when I met Max and Jennifer. Jennifer was filled with compassion, patience and kindness. Max had an abundance of confidence with an endearing mixture of street toughness and a caring heart.

Max found the negative frequencies that were interfering with my well being and gave me energetic solutions to remove those negative frequencies, then sent me rolling home, saying that they would take about a week to work. For four days, I took the energetic solutions with no change at all. On the fifth morning I opened my eyes after a restless and painful night and discovered that I was completely pain free. Not a twinge. My world had shifted in one sunlit morning. I called Max and he said it was a coincidence.

That was how energetic balancing became part of my life experience. Since that day, any time I am out of balance I either personally see Max or he “zaps” me through my photograph. Energetic balancing has always felt logical and natural to me and has greatly impacted my life and the lives of everyone I have given Max’s number. To those who have an open mind, the information in this book will expand the possibilities, opportunities and consciousness of self exploration and discovery.

Lani Hall (Mrs. Herb Alpert)

I have been fortunate enough to have worked with the real Max for over 3 years. I don’t know what I would do without him. I am a true believer in his energetic work. Sanctuary has nothing to do with personal faith — just well being. I don’t believe anyone can afford not to be a part of it.

Courteney Cox

Sanctuary reads like a who-done-it. It is exciting and a page turner. Many energetic ideas are studied in some detail to give answers that can indeed work for a vast majority of beings on the planet. Like most ideas and events on the planet, they work “better” if you use them.

Humanity is coming into a newer dimension and expressing itself in a more spiritual/subtle form. Sanctuary is on the cutting edge of many aspects of this emergence. Don’t miss out on your own life!

JR (John-Roger Hinkins) founder of the Church of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness, best-selling author of The Spiritual Warrior

I’ve seen Max do some amazing things, with me and with others.

It would be unfortunate for anyone not to avail themselves of energetic balancing.

Burt Bacharach
composer, performer.

A few years ago my wife, Lani, was 3 weeks away from a scheduled major operation to remove a cyst that was leaning on a nerve coming from her thoracic vertebrae (area T-9). The slightest movement would put her in horrific pain. On a flyer and on the recommendation of a friend, we went to see Max with little expectations.

I rolled her into Max’s office in a wheel chair and presented Max with her “THUMB.” I had never seen anything like that before so I was skeptical at first, but five days after energetic balancing my wife was miraculously pain free and began to resume her normal life. We canceled the operation and on occasion I have seen Max with sometimes astonishing results. The future is here. Check it out.

Herb Alpert
musician, artist



Any technology which is sufficiently advanced is indistinguishable from magic.
Robert Heinlein

To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms -- this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of true religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I belong to the ranks of devoutly religious men.
Albert Einstein

Take a look round, then, and see that none of the uninitiated are listening. Now by the uninitiated I mean the people who believe in nothing but what they can grasp in their hands, and who will not allow that action or generation or anything invisible can have real existence.

Those who are not shocked when they first come across quantum theory cannot possibly have understood it.
Niels Bohr

If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.
William Blake

Man's main task in life is to give birth to himself.
Erich Fromm

The present now will later be past.
The order is rapidly fading.
Bob Dylan

Those who are meant to hear will understand.
Those who are not meant to understand will not hear.





WHAT IF one day you woke up and realized the world was different than you thought -- vastly different? What if you found yourself in the middle of a scientific and spiritual revolution that challenged the very foundations of everything you know about the world around you? What if your sense of certainty about your separateness in the universe could be shattered by the direct experience of oneness with all things? What if that scientific revolution was really a revolution in human consciousness?

How would you feel if the things in your life that block you, slow you down, stop you from being what you've always wanted to be could be vanished? What if your awareness of your connectedness to all things became an earthshakingly positive experience of the flow of energy in the universe through your mind, body and spirit? If the path to consciousness could be traveled in an instant, would you be ready? Could you step through the looking-glass to see the world as it really is if it meant throwing away your old ideas?

This book is about how I experienced beyond a shadow of a doubt that the world is the way the mystics have said it is. It tells the story of a journey I took. It was a literal and a metaphorical journey in which, step by inexorable step, I came to a place where the truth about the way things really are could no longer be denied. In this place, the energy of the universe surged through me and moved me like a breaker at the beach moves a surfer on a board. You can fight it if you want, and sometimes you manage to get through the breakers to the waves beyond, but there's always another big one coming, and sooner or later it'll get you.

This is the one that got me.






IN JANUARY of 1996, the size of Jane's universe was precisely defined. It was exactly 4.5 centimeters and located in her uterus. Her greatest fear was that her universe would expand as was already suspected. Apparently, it was expanding into her breasts, her lungs, her brain and her bone marrow. She took no comfort in the fact that the more it expanded the less she would weigh, like some kind of blimp. By now, this 4.5-centimeter asymmetrical tumor was her entire universe: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. She had no capacity for pleasure. All she had left was this single dark center of consciousness.

In the cold light emanating from the center of that universe, love was out of the question. Even sex... If her universe demanded motion, she went from doctors to gurus to faith healers to charlatans. Now she was on her way back to her doctor. Six weeks of chemotherapy had left her pale, drained and hairless. She felt shaky, weak and alone as she pulled her car into the parking lot at the Pasadena Cancer Clinic.

The glass doors slid apart, admitting Jane from the warm afternoon into the fluorescent overdesigned sterility that felt something like that cold light inside her. Odd how pale the receptionist seemed, looking up and reflecting a wan smile as she recognized Jane from many previous visits. Automatically, numbly, Jane took her usual position in a corner chair, near the magazines, with their hopeful pictures of perfect houses, futures that might be hers, if only they could fit into that tiny universe inside her.

"Doctor will see you now." Another familiar face, a nurse, Jane couldn't think of her name as she dutifully followed into the catacomb of examining rooms. But they turned as soon as they entered, and instead of an examining room, Jane found herself in the doctor's office, staring at a brown desk with a few clinical forms scattered on the glass surface. The wall behind the desk was plastered with degrees, licenses and certifications from the most respected institutions and authorities, as if to reassure that she was in the best of hands, that the care she was receiving was the finest possible within the scope of human knowledge, even of human possibility. The nurse closed the door behind her and Jane waited out the "now" she was promised. That now was an eternity while she carried that universe inside her, but how could these people, these health professionals know. Their job, Jane knew, was to grease the gears in a machine that was bigger than any of them. Her unvoiced fear was that it was a machine that was out of control, that would run over them -- run over her -- at any moment.

The door opened again and Dr. Walker walked in behind her, crossed to his chair and sat down composing his face. Bad news. Jane knew it immediately. She'd seen it enough times. His mouth started moving but no sound came out. There was a ringing in Jane's ears, like the roar of a train or a waterfall, maybe the amplified rush of blood through the capillaries in her eardrums. Maybe it was her own voice screaming.

"...we'll just try it again," he smiled. Did he really smile? Jane's head cleared a little as he waited for her response. She said nothing and the pause made Dr. Walker uncomfortable. "Third time's the trick." No it isn't, his eyes seemed to say. Or maybe Jane's heart was saying it: No more tricks. There were so many questions she wanted to ask, like wasn't the first time supposed to work? Wasn't the second time going to kill that festering growth inside her? Wasn't she too young for this? Wasn't she supposed to have hair? Wasn't she supposed to be having children or playing tennis instead of spending months in these damned clinics, waiting for her chance to drink poison?

" you know, for this type of cancer, chemotherapy is the most effective treatment, though some limited success has been reported with radiation treatment and some surgeries have also provided beneficial results." Another pause. Limited success? That would be a relief compared to the ever-expanding universe in her uterus.

"I can't." Her voice seemed to be coming from far away. "I can't do it anymore." Her eyes were downcast and she felt small and helpless.

Dr. Walker looked somber. "This is hard, I know, but it's our only hope." He opened her file. "X-rays don't lie." He slid a series of black-and-white transparencies across the desk. "See for yourself."

She'd seen it before. Her universe, frozen in time, depicted as a glowing ball hovering in her lower abdomen. With all the chemo, all the nausea, all the weakness, all the hair-loss, only the tumor had seemed to prosper, getting ever larger with every dose. Why hadn't he told her that the success rate of such treatment was minuscule? Of course he had trotted out the usual disclaimers, but as if they were an afterthought instead of harsh facts of life.

Seeing her hesitation, Dr. Walker's face darkened. "Look, Jane, let's stop this nonsense. This is your life we're talking about. When you fall off the horse, you get right back on and keep on riding. You're not a child anymore. Some choices in life are difficult but you have to make them anyway."

Raising her eyes, Jane was shocked to see the doctor glowering at her, barely restraining his impatience. For a brief moment, he seemed like he filled half the room like a dark cloud. He won't be satisfied until I'm dead, was the thought that rolled through her mind in that instant.

"Do the words very sick mean anything to you?" he asked. "You're dying."

Jane felt like she was floating in the air above her chair, then, as an afterthought, realized she had stood up. Now she floated to the door.

"Jane? Are you okay? Where are you going?" The doctor's voice came through the roar again.

She saw his name on that fancy gilded degree on the wall behind him. "I'm going home, George," she said, using his first name for a change. After all, what was the point of calling him "doctor?" What good did it do?

He was speechless for a moment, then called "Talk to Ruth up front to schedule an appointment to start the next series." Then his voice was gone like he'd already forgotten her.

Jane knew she wouldn't do it. Enough was enough. This wasn't going to work. She was dying. But she couldn't tell what was killing her. Every time she drank the poison she could feel herself dying inside. Even the lab reports confirmed the gradual shut down of her liver. George had said it was normal. Normal to be dying of liver failure by prescription as if the cancer wasn't bad enough. Tears poured down her face as she sped past Ruth, the receptionist, and stalled for a second at the electric doors which seemed to take forever to free her from this glass and steel prison.

The black facade of the medical building loomed behind her like a tombstone over the grave of the parking lot as she fumbled with her keys, climbed into the Mercedes she'd bought a few months earlier. She'd bitterly and ironically thought of it as a going-away present to herself.

She drove hard, the road disappearing under the car, the tears disappearing under the long neck of her sweater. The car seemed to have its own mind and took her on an aimless chase across Los Angeles, until she found herself winding through the high altitude curves of Mulholland Drive, looking out at the city below. Her mind raced faster than the car, thinking back on everything she had been through, the big vistas along the road encouraging big inner vistas, instant replays of the fragments of time and space that led her to this point.

Suddenly she knew where she was going. She took control again, steering the car down into the city, down streets she had known for most of her life, turning again, finally pulling up in front of the massive double doors of a church. She knew this place, hadn't been here in years. But she felt called to be here now. The doors swung on their well-oiled hinges as she slipped into the cool sanctuary of darkness inside. The tall stained-glass windows filled the room with a muted glow. Past the pews, at the far end of the long nave, a shaft of light washed the altar and the crucifix which towered above it. Jane moved into the light and knelt before Christ in his agony and maybe for the first time had some idea what he felt like. And she found her heart talking to God, asking him for comfort, an answer, hope. For that moment, it was as if that universe inside her had vanished, forgotten in the light that flowed around her. She closed her eyes.

"God brings us hope and comfort, though sometimes the answers to our questions are hard to understand." The voice was right beside her. She turned, shocked to recognize the man to whom it belonged. Father Petrov, an old Russian who had long presided over this parish, looked much older than she remembered. He moved in closer, squinting to see her better.

"I know you," he said.

She bowed her head.

He reached out to her. "You have returned in your hour of need."

Jane didn't know what to say. His comments were on target, like direct answers to her prayers of desperation. More memories flooded back to her, attending this church throughout high school, coming back again to get married right after college. She and her husband had attended every week for years, fueled more by his fervor than hers. But when things fell apart between them, he had stayed and she had left to be free of the sense of him and his things which had threatened to suffocate her. Divorce, though it had been stressful, came like a breath of fresh air and she hadn't missed the conformity imposed by this conservative congregation. Now, though, it seemed this church and the kindly old priest were the only place she could find hope.

When Father Petrov asked what brought her here, the tears flowed again and she poured out her story in great sobs. All the while, he stood there, alongside the crucifix, one hand resting lightly on her shoulder, framed by one of the windows, his face without expression as he listened intently. She told him about that universe she carried inside her, the universe that was killing her, the universe that was conspiring with her doctor to kill her. She told him how she had been through chemo twice and how the doctor wanted her to do it again and how she just couldn't and how her car had dragged her here to talk to God. And when she was done talking, there was silence and Father Petrov took both her hands and held them between his own.

He nodded his head and said, "Let us pray."

Together, they sat as he murmured in Latin, in the old way. Without knowing the meaning of the words, Jane felt a sense of comfort, like an awareness of a light within, a blessing received. She looked at him with gratitude, appreciating, if nothing else, the fact that he obviously cared. She felt a meaningful connection with him and, hopefully, through him to God. Father Petrov's prayer ground to a halt. He looked up at her and smiled, sensing that he had succeeded in comforting her. Then Jane blinked or the light shifted and she was forced to look at something she did not want to see. Hopelessness. Something slipped inside her. The magic was gone. But she kept looking anyway. Father Petrov sensed the change immediately, became uncomfortable under her gaze. He cleared his throat.

"You know," he said, "I remember praying here with your mother long ago, just like this, for the exact same reason."

"Do you remember what happened to my mother?" Jane asked, regretting the hint of bitterness in her voice.

"I like to believe her faith gave her some comfort." He paused.

Jane looked at him. "Do you know a prayer that works better than the one you've been using?"

"No, I don't," he said, "but you might."

"I don't know anything," Jane said.

"Then you'll have to let God show you the way," Father Petrov finished.

She smiled and touched the priest's hand. Leaving him at the altar, she walked back the way she had come in.

The door swung open and let her out. Without looking back, she climbed into the Mercedes and drove away.




Jane and Terry

JANE CAME HOME to find her house as empty as she left it centuries ago, before the office visit. She sat for a while in her kitchen, listening to the refrigerator run, wondering how much time she had left to be so pleasantly annoyed by the little things in life. And she was crying again when the phone rang. Still crying when the answering machine picked up. Another of several calls from friends asking how she was. She was already dead, so why answer the phone, why return calls from people who were still alive. You can't talk to the dead and they can't talk to you. Or so Jane thought in the depths of her despair at this fork in the road, with her doctor's death sentence waiting around one bend and God's waiting around the other. She hit the erase button, caught her face in the mirror. She pulled off her wig and stared at her bald head in the mirror and suddenly couldn't tell if she was laughing or crying, she was just delirious. Then a confusing sound mixed in with the noise in her head and she finally realized it was the doorbell and what the hell why answer that either.

The doorbell kept at it insistently and someone was calling her name.

"Dammit, Jane, your car's here, I know you're in there. You haven't answered the phone in a week. If you don't open the door, I'll call the fire department to break it down."

The voice of Terry Fisher. Terry had been calling her night and day for months, coming to visit, bringing her food, treating her like an invalid, for God sakes. She was Jane's angel of mercy. Out of all the people who showed they cared, Terry was the one who was always there for her. Her only flaw was maybe a little too much attention, but Jane didn't want to do the proverbial oral examination on her gift horse. She was grateful, but with a slight pique over this untimely interruption of her well-deserved self-pity party. The thought of it ended up in a smile on Jane's face as she hastily pulled her wig back on and opened the door.

Terry, her face fraught with worry, saw the smile. "Hey, what's so funny? I'm worried sick about you, you haven't returned my calls, I'm standing out here for fifteen minutes and you're laughing when you open the door." She hesitated. "Good news?"

Jane's smile faded. So did Terry's.

They stood there without saying another word. They didn't need to speak. Terry knew the drill. She put her arms around Jane and let her put her head on her shoulders. Jane's tears flowed for the millionth time, tattooing mascara onto Terry's blouse.

Then Jane steeled herself and choked back the tears. "I'm done, Terry. I'm done crying. I'm done with doctors. I'm just... Well," Jane dropped her voice. "I'm just done."

Terry squeezed her hard, then held her at arm's length. "You haven't even started yet." They locked eyes and Jane started to quiver. Terry shook her head. "I meant you haven't started to fight for your life. There are still answers, easy answers for this."

Jane went quiet, pulled away. "I'm sorry. Your blouse is ruined."

Something in her tone and the unimportance of the blouse in the scheme of things started Terry laughing. Soon Jane was laughing too.





My House

WHEN I OPENED the door, I was expecting them. Terry's phone call said it was urgent and she was coming over with a friend. So I interrupted my well-deserved rendezvous with a reposado tequila and spent the next twenty minutes doing the dishes and throwing my scattered dirty laundry into a pile next to the washing machine. I may be a slob, but I prefer to keep it to myself. I knew Jane peripherally, found her a little annoying. Terry I knew quite well, found her extremely annoying. We had worked together many times. About the same number of times I tried responding to her flirtations which was in turn the same number of times she rejected me. We were friends. Much to my disappointment.

Terry breezed through the door and gave me a peck on the cheek.

"Hi. You remember Jane, don't you?"

I was stunned. Her sickly-looking companion was nothing like the attractive, curvaceous life-of-the-party I remembered. Her cheeks were hollow and her eyes had no luster, her lips seemed thin and pale. Her clothes hung like they were on a wire hanger.

"You tried to seduce me once," Jane said.

I attempted a smile.

"I told you I was in a relationship then," she said. "But I'm available now."

I stuttered trying to think of something even remotely appropriate. Utterly failing to come up with anything, I motioned for them to come in, gently grabbing Jane's arm to help her inside.

After settling Jane on the couch, I turned to find Terry in my face.

"I've been asking you for help with a friend and you keep turning me down," Terry fumed. "Now," she pointed to Jane, "turn her down."

"It's great to see you," I said, dodging the maneuver. "Want some tea?"

Terry followed me into the kitchen where I made a show about finding the tea bags and the kettle and making small talk to continue my evasion.

By the time the water boiled, Jane was fast asleep. I pulled a blanket off my bed and covered her while Terry did her thing with the tea bags. As I covered Jane up, she curled into a fetal position and sighed softly. Her face was drawn. I felt a pang of sorrow as I stood over her. I turned as Terry pushed a steaming mug in front of me. I took it gratefully. Terry's eyes told me she understood what I was feeling. She tilted her head towards the kitchen and we tiptoed out of the room.

Sitting in the stylish glare of a halogen lamp dangling over the table, Terry filled me in on Jane's day up until they arrived at my door. I listened quietly.

"You're her only hope," Terry finished.

"Me? I'm a commercial director. Currently unemployed."

"Between jobs," Terry insisted.

I tried to smile. "Terry, she has terminal cancer. What am I supposed to do for her? Yell 'Cut?'"

An unmistakably homicidal look slid across her face.

"Just kidding," I put my hands up in mock surrender.

"I want you to bring her to Max," Terry said.

"I can't," I said.

"You can and you will," Terry said. "Or you'll go in there and tell her you won't."

"Max isn't around," I said.

Terry held my gaze. "You know where he is." It was a simple statement, one that was more or less true.

Max Stevens. A close friend who disappeared, which is partly why Terry came to me to find him. The other part is the reason she was trying to find him at all: the fact that Max knew things about healing, though he never called it that. He talked about energy and life force and spirit. But ultimately, when he was done with you, you felt better than you ever had before. Though he steadfastly refused to claim that he could cure anything, I had seen his clients come in the door with every imaginable ailment and within weeks, usually days, sometimes hours, report that all of their symptoms were gone. Symptoms that they'd had for years, sometimes their whole lives. My own father had come in with diagnosed prostate cancer. The day his test results came back, his doctors insisted he needed immediate surgery. I insisted that he go see Max instead. After some vehement arm-twisting, he capitulated. For six whole weeks, he took the drops Max gave him, putting them under his tongue as instructed. The entire time, he complained that he didn't believe in this and it wasn't going to work. At Max's request he submitted to being checked again after three weeks. Max adjusted the drops he was taking. At the end of six weeks, he returned for a third visit and Max told him that he couldn't find any trace of the things he came in with. A few days after that he went to the doctor again, asking for the prostate test to be repeated. The new test showed that he was cancer free. His doctors claimed they must have made a mistake the first time.

"He's not doing it anymore," I told her. "He's developing something new and doesn't want to be interrupted. And I promised to respect his wishes."

Terry threw a quick glance through the door at Jane on the couch.

"She's going to die." Terry set her jaw and looked at me like it was my fault.

The fact was that Jane had been directed to Max years ago, after her cancer was first diagnosed. She had called him up and told him that she wanted him to cure her.

"I don't cure cancer," Max had said, as he always did.

Jane had insisted that people told her he cured diseases. Any disease, including cancer, AIDS and the common cold.

"I don't cure anything," he repeated. "I detect disturbances in the subtle energy fields which control all your life processes, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Then I bring those disturbances back into balance."

"That's it?" she had asked.

"That's it," Max replied.

"What about curing diseases?"

"Cures imply medical diagnostic techniques and corollaries to those techniques. That's not what I do."

So Jane thanked him for his time, saying that this didn't sound like anything she needed right now, then hung up the phone, despite the protests of her friends like Terry who had been using these energetic balancing regimens for years and had experienced a great sense of well-being and freedom from illness as a result. The story mirrored so many others. There were people who preferred tragedy and complexity to winning the easy way, it seemed. Jane was one of them. I almost wanted to laugh when I first heard her reaction, but inside I knew it was a death sentence for her. Terry had twisted my arm to talk to her and I tried. But everything I said was greeted with an uninformed, willfully ignorant skepticism. I tried introducing her to the underlying concepts as I understood them. Much of the material I showed her was accompanied by an extensive, well-tested literature, but she rejected it based on the fact that her MD knew nothing about it. Finally I gave up, despite Terry's protests.

"You can't give up," she pushed.

"Terry, who is this woman to judge Max's work?" I asked her. "She skipped high school physics but thinks she's qualified to dismiss the entire field of quantum mechanics. And she thinks we're fools who've been suckered into believing in a fraud."

Now Jane was back. After chasing down the best doctors and the most lethal "cures," she wanted to try again what she had rejected. Unfortunately, it might not be that easy. Max had shut down his office and, like the guy in the old television show Green Acres, bought some land in the middle of nowhere. He was now doing who knows what, who knows where. In addition, he would probably remember her and might refuse to have anything to do with her since she had already come to him, then changed her mind. He had long maintained a policy which fully supported those who didn't feel his techniques were for them. Generally speaking, this included encouraging them not to come back, if not insisting that they stay as far away as possible. "Why waste time convincing people," he said, "when there are so many people who already want to do this work?"

"We'll take that chance," Terry said. She handed me the phone. "Call him."

"I don't know if he has a phone and if he does I don't have the number."

"Then where is he? We'll go there." She looked into my eyes, searching. "And don't tell me you don't know, either. You always know where he is."

That's what irritated me about her the most. She usually knew what I was thinking, sometimes before I did. Max had always said she had a strong intuition, which I felt pretty sure was a synonym for being a pain in the ass.

"I don't know," I said. And I didn't. "Not exactly."

"Then go in there," she indicated the living room, "and tell Jane something... and I want to hear what you say."




The Road

AN HOUR LATER we were heading east out of Los Angeles in my Jeep. Terry had wanted us to drive her Volvo, but based on the vague directions Max had left me, I thought we needed something that would go anywhere. Jane was sleeping fitfully in the back seat and Terry was staring out into the night. That left me alone with the road, the car and the thoughts in my head.

I hadn't seen Max in months. He left for the wilderness like some modern John the Baptist. Unlike John the Baptist, he had not yet returned and he also left a standing invitation to join him at any time. A full schedule of being a shill for dancing toilet paper and singing mayonnaise had prevented my embarking on that particular adventure, though I had managed to cultivate a sunburn in Mexico on one otherwise forgettable weekend away from the grind. Now, things in the gee-whiz biz were suffering, or maybe I was suffering, so I had backed off from the greater cause of building media careers for assorted consumer goods in order to scale the mountain of self-doubt and ennui. Jane's crisis was a first-class excuse for me to attempt my acrobatics of consciousness in some quiet corner of the great outdoors. Max's preliminary descriptions of the rustic accommodations on his newly purchased hideaway left me vaguely hoping he had at least fixed the roof.

As the low rumble of the Jeep's V-8 floated us far into the great western desert, I thought about how far things had come to be headed this way at all. My friend Max had been a successful doctor with a large and still-growing practice when his interests in various healing practices led him into other areas. Over time, he covered many disciplines in great depth. These disciplines included acupuncture, biofeedback, oriental medicine, ayurveda and homeopathy. Gradually, these interests eclipsed his more conventional training.

Little by little he incorporated previously-existing methodologies and systems and then developed his own methods of analysis. He began measuring what he called "subtle energies." These energies, though incredibly tiny and difficult to measure, combine in the infinite multiplicity of the universe to become the greatest and most powerful energies, ranging from the nuclear holocaust that we call the sun, to the breath of life in our bodies. Each thing that existed could be identified by its unique energetic "fingerprint," if only one knew how to read it. Max had figured this out to an unprecedented level of detail. Using his knowledge of physics and electronics he began delving into the application of computers to this new area.

His system made it possible to do phenomenally complex energetic analysis very rapidly. Most remarkable, expanding on techniques which had been used by homeopaths for over a hundred years, he developed the ability to use frequencies to identify and neutralize the unique energetic signatures associated with many maladies. Well, that's not strictly true... The strict truth is that he'd developed the ability to use subtle energy frequencies to identify and neutralize the energetic signatures associated with virtually all maladies. Though, as he constantly emphasized, it was not considered scientifically correct to presume that the frequency and the physical disease were the same thing.

I had met Max through a mutual friend. Through Terry actually. At that time, I was a run-down mess. I was physically and emotionally burned out from long shooting schedules, doing work that often wasn't aligned with what I really wanted to do. Yoga, which I had practiced for years, fell out of my life because I was simply too tired. Then my digestion went awry. Food didn't agree with me. My skin suddenly changed from smooth and elastic to scaly, dry and itchy. I had never had allergies to anything, but it seemed like I was becoming allergic to everything. I constantly had a sore throat. My back hurt. I felt lousy all the time. I didn't know where to turn, either.

I had given up on MD's nearly twenty years earlier. Sometime in my early sex life, I had contracted a venereal disease which manifested a small amount of pus for a few days, along with painful urination. No, it wasn't gonorrhea. Too obvious. So for a year, I underwent culture tests and blood tests and took antibiotics and shots of gamma globulin. The results were always the same: no change. The diagnosis was always the same, too: "non-specific urethritis." This meant they agreed I actually had a disease, but they had no idea what it was. Though the painful urination went away, the disease didn't.

A period of employment as night librarian at a medical school gave me an opportunity to pore through textbooks and course materials as well as watch instructional videos on techniques and procedures. Slowly it dawned on me just how much doctors had to know in order to know nothing at all. Their detailed explanations of metabolism and body function and neural function, etc., were at best merely descriptions of biological processes. These descriptions substituted detail for understanding. Comparing the dogmatic authority doctors wield in our lives with the information I had at my fingertips, I finally realized the pointlessness and uselessness -- and sometimes dangerousness -- of the advice and potions they dispensed. Even their primary weapon, antibiotics, had lost its power, a fact that epidemiologists freely acknowledged. I found myself further discouraged by their willingness to march blindly and obediently in lockstep with the party line: Though most people weren't aware of it, MDs weren't allowed to make their own judgement about handling their cases. Instead, they were forced by state, federal and insurance company regulations to hew a narrow course of prescribed solutions to almost every condition. In addition, they were unwittingly perpetrating a sinister conspiracy, that their dogma was the only truth. Their work as healers was over and their work as minions of a technocracy had begun. Despite their assurances, platitudes and prescriptions, my symptoms persisted. Inevitably, in the absence of being run over by a truck, I gave up on MDs for good.

So I suffered with my ailments and sadly chalked it up to the aging process. But I knew it was something else, something more concrete. I just didn't know who might be able to identify it or deal with it. That was where Terry came in. I had met Terry when she played a very nice-looking can of tuna in a national spot that I was directing. We became friends. One day, over drinks, she told me about Max, a doctor she was going to who could deal with allergies effectively.

"So he's some kind of allergist?" I said. "I've been to them."

"Not exactly," she replied. "He actually deals with anything. That's his specialty. For example, I used to have herpes and now I don't."

"He cured you of herpes?" I asked, cynically.

"He says he didn't," Terry told me. "But all I know is I don't have outbreaks anymore and I don't take drugs for it."

"How does he explain that?"

"He says the frequency of herpes is gone and if I want the disease diagnosed or treated, I should go to a doctor." She shrugged, coyly, and took a sip from her mai-tai. "But why bother since I never have outbreaks. I'm sure you're glad to hear that."

I was. "Did he take you off your drugs?"

"No," she said, "he'll never do that. He says it's between me and my doctor. But I just didn't think I needed them anymore and I guess I was right."

I'd heard enough. "I want to see this guy."

"And I want you to see him," she said, "if you're going to be seeing me."

She gave me the phone number and said she would provide the necessary referral, because he accepted new business only via direct personal referral by existing clients.

I called immediately and was told that there were no appointments available until October. It was February. I booked it anyway. It might be great, I reasoned, if I lasted until October. In the meantime, I got worse. Every month or so I called to see if somebody had canceled, hoping an earlier appointment might open up. On a particularly bad day when my face was swollen and my throat was sore and I felt like I'd been sleeping in a poison ivy patch, I called again. Still nothing. But luck was on my side. Half an hour later, Max's office called back to tell me that someone had canceled an appointment for the next day.

I showed up at the office in a small building in Santa Monica. For a change I was on time. I had been warned that being late was unacceptable and missing my appointment meant I would never be seen again. The attitude in his office was that those transgressions endangered others who might have used the time to improve their own well-being.

"People sometimes die before they get their chance to go to him," Terry had confided.

When I was led into his office, it was nothing like I expected, though I had no idea what to expect. It was pleasant and simple and I was offered a chair on the opposite side of Max's desk. Max was nothing like I expected either, though my expectations of him exactly matched my expectations of his office. He was powerfully built, in his fifties, with short dark hair and a steady gaze.

"Let's see your thumb," he said.

Confused, I hesitated.

"That's the finger closest to your shoulder," he said pleasantly.

"I know which one it is," I said irritably, sticking it out.

"Just trying to be helpful." He looked at my thumb. "Great. Now open your other hand."

I did and he dropped a shiny metal cylinder into it. The metal cylinder had a wire attached to it. He hit a few buttons on a keyboard and the computer monitor on his desk filled with a grid full of cryptic abbreviations. He grabbed my thumb, picked up a pointing device with a brass tip attached to another wire and pressed the thing against a spot on the side of the thumb. The computer made an electronic whooping noise. I stared at the monitor, trying to comprehend what he was doing.

"What does that mean?" I asked.

"It means you're still alive." he replied.

For the next forty-five minutes, Max tapped keys on the keyboard, pressed the pointing device against my thumb and listened to the whooping noise. It was accompanied by a visual reference, a kind of meter on the side of the screen. Screenful after screenful of the abbreviations flitted by and he made comments occasionally as he worked.

"What is your dominant weakness?" he asked.

"I don't know," I replied.

"I wasn't asking you." Max grinned. "I was telling you what question I was asking the machine."

A few screens later he said, "You have back pain, right?"

Definitely not, I told him.

"Sure you do. Up between your shoulder blades."

I insisted that my back was fine. I was thinking about my lower back, which I gratefully had always been on good terms with.

"No, no. Up higher, between the shoulder blades," he repeated.

Suddenly it clicked. "You mean thoracic pain," I agreed.

"How am I supposed to know if you know a thoracic vertebrae from the exit to your gastrointestinal system," he laughed.

I explained that I thought he was talking about lumbar pain. Then I told him that for years I'd had regular chiropractic adjustments for a thoracic vertebra that refused to stay adjusted.

"It's hard to adjust and the pain comes back in about an hour," he offered.

I was amazed. How did he know?

"You have a frequency imbalance which usually manifests itself like that," he said. "It'll be gone in a few days."

Well, okay. What could I say? I thought I was going to some kind of allergy specialist. I had no idea what I was in for. I tried to follow the screens as he flipped through each one, applying the pointer to my thumb. It was nearly impossible. Too much information on each screen made for quick overload. Meanwhile, Max kept telling me about myself.

"You have the frequency of cancer on..." Max paused as he flipped to another screen. "Your mother's side." He put the pointer down. "Is there cancer in your mother's family?"

My mother had been battling cancer for ten years, I acknowledged.

"You understand that the things I am finding don't constitute a clinical diagnosis of disease." Max studied my reaction as I waited for him to continue. "What I do is find energetic imbalances, subtle energy frequencies which have traditionally been associated with disease, but are not in themselves evidence of disease." He waited again.

I didn't understand, if understanding meant some profoundly deep grasping of the ideas he was presenting, but I had done yoga for many years and had experienced both subtle and not-so-subtle manifestations of the movement of inner energies which are largely unexplained outside of the yogic disciplines. I nodded and he expounded further.

"Your body is telling me that you have the energetic potential for cancer. This energetic potential is hereditary and you got it from your mother's side of your family. It can and will be removed. As a result, it will be difficult for your body to support the energy specific to manifesting an active physical cancer. In classical homeopathy, this energetic potential for disease has been recognized for more than a century. Homeopaths call hereditary energetic potentials miasms. The frequency which indicated your back pain is different. It isn't a miasm. It's an energetic imbalance which, energetically speaking, has become active. By application of the correct balancing frequency to counter the active imbalance, the imbalance disappears." Max paused. "Technically, of course, since I don't diagnose or treat disease, if your back pain goes away, you should consider it a coincidence."

I looked at him, questioning.

Max shrugged. "Just trying to be helpful. Seems most people view life as an unwieldy clump of coincidences. And the others are probably just paranoid."

Back to the machine. More of my long-time complaints were identified by Max. He looked up. "You have the frequency of an infection in the frequency of your urethra."

For a moment, I was dumbfounded, then I remembered the non-specific urethritis. In the midst of all my more current woes, I had forgotten about the venereal disease I had contracted so long ago. I had always known it was there, but after giving up on doctors I had given up on the non-specific urethritis.

"You're finding that in the frequency of my thumb?" I waved my hand.

"No," he said. "That's actually your thumb."

Max pressed a few more buttons, ran through a few more screens. "You've had this a long time. Maybe twenty years."

I told him about the history of my unidentified infection.

"The vibrational imbalance that I've detected will go away within a few days," he said.

"How about the symptoms?" I asked.

"I believe you can look forward to experiencing a coincidence."

After Max was done with me, his tall, blonde girlfriend Jennifer took me into her office, where she produced a series of bottles of clear liquid which had droppers in their lids. She punched up each of the energetic things Max had identified on a similar computer at her desk. One at a time, she placed each bottle on a metal plate which was wired through some electronic boxes to her computer.

"These are your remedies," she said. "The computer is imprinting subtle energy frequencies into the bottles. The energetic imprint lasts about a month. Don't expose the remedies to magnetic fields, like airport metal detectors, because they can erase the imprinted frequencies."

She explained how to take the remedies by first "activating" the energy in them by tapping them against my hand, then putting ten drops under my tongue. I had to do this every half hour for the first day, every two or three hours on the second day, then three times a day for the next four days. Some of the bottles were smaller and were to be taken on a different schedule.

"These are for your hereditary frequencies. Take three drops before bed, but only use one bottle per night."

I was curious why. She told me that some people found it uncomfortable when the miasms were being released. "Many people report that they have very vivid dreams and often they have aches and pains generated by the release of their miasms."

Not knowing what to expect, other than Terry's tireless advocacy of whatever it was Max did, I started what was to become a ritual for the next few weeks. I had to avoid mint before and after taking the drops. I had to avoid food for half an hour before and after and avoid water for fifteen minutes before and after.

As the weeks passed, I found that all the problems I had been experiencing fell away. For the first time in years, I had lots of energy. Emotionally I felt great. The long-time symptoms related to the non-specific urethritis were gone. My reaction to all this was amazement.

A month later, I went back for a follow-up visit. He found a few more things. Everything he found was accompanied by a description of what I should be feeling according to the presence of that particular energetic frequency. He was always right on. Max told me that energetic work was like peeling away the layers of an onion. As each outer layer was removed, it revealed another layer underneath it.

I wanted to know more about what he was doing. Jennifer recommended a book on "vibrational medicine," which I purchased on my way home. As I sat back to take my drops, I started reading. The book described a large body of well-documented historic and recent techniques for energetic diagnosis and for remedying accompanying imbalances, and gave illustrations that were easy to understand and on some level made sense. The techniques described weren't the same thing as what Max was doing to me. But they showed me that there were others who believed in and worked with subtle energy phenomena. Max seemed to have achieved an undreamed-of level of precision with his approach to this work. My reaction to the information in the book was mixed: I knew that if I hadn't already experienced for myself that Max's techniques worked I would think that the book was the biggest load of crap I had ever read. But now, in the face of the reality I had already experienced, it provided information that helped me understand that the incredible work Max was doing was at least possible.

In the years before I got into the commercials business, I had worked with computers and had developed an unusual set of skills. As I watched Max work, I was alternately amazed at his accomplishments and appalled at his relatively primitive tools -- by my standards, that is. I urged him to allow me to make some changes. At first, Max ignored everything I said. Finally one day, I irritated him enough for him to ask just how I would do it. I suggested a number of procedural changes, to start with. I came back the next day with some floppy disks and installed some software on his computer. He tried it, looked at me and said "You're actually right." It was faster, better, more efficient. That began a new dimension in our relationship. And eventually Max routinely asked my advice about implementing changes. Ultimately, Max became dependent on me to keep up with a technology that changed schizophrenically. And even though I was out of the computer business, I continued to provide my expertise for his particular and very unusual applications. In the process we became close friends.

In the years since I had first met Max, it was as if a plague had begun to take over the world. AIDS had become one of the biggest killers in the country, crossing lines of gender, sexuality and location. Recent murmurings from various official sources began to hint that it was no longer just limited to transmission by bodily fluids like blood and semen. The sinister word was that saliva was a threat as well and that HIV, the rapidly mutating retrovirus reputed to cause AIDS, might have even mutated to become an airborne strain, as was possible with any retrovirus. Tuberculosis was ubiquitous to the point where television news reports warned about contracting the disease on long plane flights. Some news reports called Southern California the tuberculosis capital of the United States, saying the incidence of infection was as high as eighty-five percent of the population due in part to lax inspection practices in Southern California's beef slaughterhouses. According to these reports, carcasses with visible sores could not be disqualified as sellable until a lab report proved the presence of TB. The necessary tests took weeks; in the meantime the carcasses were butchered and sold. Other diseases, like the Hanta virus and Lyme disease and the dreaded African hemorrhagic fevers including Marburg, tacaribe and Ebola were found throughout the United States, although reported only in relatively isolated cases. Headlines blared news about people getting hepatitis from infected strawberries, hemorrhagic E. coli from hamburger, mercury toxicity from fish, and aluminum from grated cheese. All over the world, people would read the paper and, in desperation, delete one food after another from their diets. An entire high-priced food industry had arisen by advertising "disease-free, contaminant-free" food. Food processing companies were alternately scrambling to add preservatives to extend the shelf-life of their products, then scrambling to remove them when they proved to be carcinogenic. In California, forests were routinely closed to campers due to epidemics of bubonic plague, a.k.a. yersinia pestis, the scourge of medieval Europe, in the rodent populations.

I remember Max laughing about that.

"If they're going to close the campgrounds, they have to close the Hollywood Hills and the Santa Monica Mountains and the whole of Los Angeles -- especially Beverly Hills and Malibu -- while they're at it," he said. "They think the fleas and squirrels don't migrate? That they stay in the parks and forests, respecting the boundaries? Maybe they think the rats can read. If so, they should make little signs, in Rode-ish, saying 'Achtung rodents und vermin! Private property! Verboten!'"

The medical system was overwhelmed and, worse, was usually unable to identify or treat the diseases which were traveling throughout the country. Though the doctors in the trenches of the war on disease routinely prescribed antibiotics, they failed to obtain the tests required to accurately identify the infecting organisms. Because antibiotics are relatively specific to each organism, they were rarely matched correctly. Even worse, the improper use of these drugs, both in humans and in the animals grown for meat, had resulted in the once-susceptible organisms becoming vaccinated against the effects of antibiotics. Now, almost laughably, some microorganisms had become dependent on antibiotics and would thrive until the patient stopped taking the antibiotics, at which point the organisms would die without them. Medical researchers in the field of epidemiology had concluded that all antibiotics were now totally ineffective, despite their continued use by medicine men. Nobody I knew felt well anymore. Nobody, that is, except Max's clients. His energetic practice had grown to several thousand people who depended on his energetic balancing techniques to sustain them.

Though Max continued to stress that energetic imbalance was not necessarily correlated to disease, it appeared not to be unrelated. I knew that whenever I felt unwell, a visit to Max and the dutiful taking of drops always resulted in feeling better. The frequencies he detected usually were associated with some disease, though they were not, as Max pointed out, the disease themselves. But if these frequencies were any indication, the prevalence of serious disease was even greater than that recognized by medical authorities. After all, without explicit and specific testing, doctors could only guess at the organisms underlying such vague descriptions as "cold" and "flu."


We were hours out of the city. A stream of signs blurred by, trumpeting the colorful names of the one-horse desert towns which dotted the series of desert basins we were passing through. Their names usually told the story of their origin. Garlock and Ludlow and Amboy were old whistle stops where steam trains had stopped for water long ago, now reduced to ruins sometimes decorated with rusting automobiles and a few mobile homes. Others with names like Lodestone, Leadville, Goldfield, Iron Mountain and Silver City once supported the mining of the rich mineral deposits which made the sparsely vegetated land both so stark and so majestic. South Fork, Deep Valley and Devil's Hole were named for their geography. Names like Caliente and Baker were wry comments on the local weather. As the sun began to wash the sky in the east, we turned off the main highway following the vague directions Max had given me. This turn was the last of the actual instructions. From this point, the directions were some form of riddle. "Get the monkey off your back" was the next clue.

The stiff springs in the Jeep betrayed every bump on the shoulderless two-lane road and Terry soon stirred in the passenger seat beside me. I glanced at her as she stretched herself, then turned to look at Jane, sleeping deeply in the back seat. She turned back to me, her face creased with worry.

"Should I drive faster?" I quipped, trying to cheer her up.

"Just keep your eyes and the car on the road," she said without a trace of humor.

She stared out into the desert, watching it light up in the pinks and golds of dawn. We were in an area of gently rolling land, laced with arroyos and spotted with outcroppings of granite the size of small houses, rounded smooth by millennia of exposure to the harsh desert winds and the floods which sometimes bore down out of the mountains looming up ahead. The road was arrow-straight for more than twenty miles, but now it was starting to twist and curve gently as it headed into the hills. Ahead of us, it snaked into the distance and disappeared.

"This is the middle of nowhere," Terry commented.

"You say that like it's a bad thing," I replied.

"How much farther?"

I glanced at her. "I have a confession to make. I don't have any idea where we're going from here." I tossed her Max's letter. "Check this out."

She scanned the letter. "This is weird. Is he out of his mind?"

"Maybe this is the only way he knows to get there," I teased.

"Maybe he's trying to prevent lesser beings from finding him," she answered. "And he's succeeding, I think."

Ignoring her, I scanned the pre-dawn horizon looking for some solution. The distant ridgelines were going to be our destination, it seemed.

"Look for something shaped like a monkey." I indicated the edge of the sky.

Her eyes followed the highway until it dissolved in the shadowy depths of the desert, then on to the mountains. We drove in silence a bit, then she pointed a slender finger.

"What about that?"

I tried to make out the shape she was indicating. "I don't see it."

"Look at the flat-topped mountain --"

"The mesa..."

"The mesa," she continued. "Then follow it to the left, there's kind of a dome-shaped part. Maybe that's it."

"I don't buy that's a monkey. How about that set of spires over there? Can you picture it as a monkey raising its arms?"

She looked and laughed. "It looks like a collection of sea shells."

"Maybe we just have to drive further." I stepped into the gas pedal so the jeep would eat the miles and quickly spit them out the back.

"We're not lost, are we?" Terry looked concerned.

I tossed her the map and quickly tapped our location as she unfolded it. "We're here."

She studied the map. That gave me an idea.

"Those markings," I showed her, "Those are the topographical shapes of the mountains. Look for a monkey shape in the contours of the mountains as seen from above."

She pored over the swirling lines. "There's nothing here," she concluded.

"It's got to be here," I replied. "Max wouldn't just lead us on some wild goose chase."

"No," she pointed to the map. "Nothing. It's a town. It's near here. There's another one called Empty. Dry. Rhesus. Gorp. These are weird names." She looked closer to read another name.

"Wait!" I shouted. "What did you say?"

"I said these are weird names."

"Before that!"

"The names -- Dry, Gorp, Rhesus --"

"That's it." I slammed my hand on the wheel. "Rhesus is a type of monkey." I looked at her. "There's really a town called Rhesus?"

She showed me the map and sure enough, it was there. It lay at the end of a tangled web of back roads leading deep into the high desert mountains."

"Keep your eyes on the road," she cautioned.

"You navigate," I replied.

Rhesus. Jesus. I didn't want to know what it was named for. I was just glad we were on track. The miles howled away behind us. We followed a series of turns and the road began to climb. As we crested the last of the low foothills, a green valley spread out below us, an oasis in the desert. Pleasant rectangles of cultivated crops checkered the bottomlands. On the other side of the valley lay what I presumed was the town of Rhesus. It sprawled part-way up into the hills behind it, gleaming white in the light of morning. From this distance it looked like a hillside village in a mythical land that time forgot, Mykonos or Corfu for instance. I glanced at Terry. She was smiling, more comfortable at the sight of civilization after miles of nothing. We soon lost our view of it as the road took us down to the valley floor.

Twenty minutes later Terry and I were comfortably ensconsed at a table in a sterile chrome and glass cafe that could be mistaken for an operating room, if not for the large view windows overlooking a lush nine-hole desert golf course and the steaming bowls of cappuccino on the table in front of us. Jane was still asleep in the truck; we had elected to let her rest, leaving a note on the dashboard telling her where we were.

To Terry's dismay, Max's new abode was not in town. He had used this place as the jumping off place for a further series of riddles which would lead us to him. Not knowing how long it would be before we found him, I filled the gas tank and suggested fueling our stomachs before continuing the journey. The town turned out to be a conglomerate of modern and Spanish style buildings. None of the restaurants around the town square was open, so we drove around until we stumbled across the golf course and its cafe.

Our fellow diners had an average age of a hundred and seven, judging loosely by the gray hair, wrinkled skin and nightmarish pale plaid, white-shoed outfits they wore in preparation for their tee times. We got a few stares but they soon returned to their lost-ball-in-the-rattlesnake-infested-mesquite stories. The narrow greens dog-legged through rough terrain featuring ocotillo, tall cacti, jagged granite and, one would presume, the occasional rattlesnake. Terry stirred her coffee and I stirred my oatmeal, hoping the cereal would settle the queasy stomach I had developed on the long ride.

"Why did he leave?"

She was asking about Max. I pretended to ignore her, poring over the rough scrawl which held the clues to our destination. A light but well-placed whack on the shin shifted my attention.

"Don't ignore me," she said. "He must have told you."

But I wasn't sure I should tell her. Max had taken me into his confidence and explained a lot of the depth of the energetic work that he was doing.

All along, he insisted that it was something other than medicine. That was a point that was always a bone of contention between us. To me, it was medicine, even though the explanations were more esoteric and used substantially different methodologies. When he said "frequency" I heard "disease." But he steadfastly denied it. These arguments would invariably end with an agreement to disagree.

Little by little, though, I realized Max was taking a path even I couldn't understand. At first, I thought he was just plain wrong. The resistance he encountered from the medical community led him further and further into his energetic alternatives. Finally he declared that the western system of medicine was incurably limited by its false beliefs in a universe governed by Newtonian physics. Material realism is what he called it. In principle, I agreed, but urged him not to abandon attempts to get academic recognition of his work, so it could be made available to the endless hordes of the sick.

"You get it and you don't get it," he said. "You abandoned your own beliefs in western medicine long before you met me, then try to tell me you want me to waste my time convincing them that they're all wrong. Why don't you do it yourself?"

I didn't have an answer.

"Your problem," he continued, "is that you're still stuck in paternalism, somehow you still want to please them, you still want agreement from these so-called authority figures. We've been through this over and over. Nothing has changed. You're like a Model-T mechanic trying to fix a supercomputer. Why is it unacceptable for you to have a negative frequency? Why do you have to give it a name like Hansen's Disease? Did Hansen give it to you? If you can't breathe, who cares if it's called a Koch bacillus? I identify frequencies, not micro-organisms. Maybe there are problems which have no frequency associated with them, in which case you need to see an MD, because I deal with frequencies. If you have a problem with no frequency, I can't help you. On the other hand if you have a frequency imbalance I can help you, but I can't tell you whether or not you have a micro-organism because I don't measure those. Maybe you're tired because of a frequency you have, or maybe it's because Mr. Epstein and Mr. Barr attacked you. If it's the latter, you should pay them a visit."

He went on to talk about Heisenberg's uncertainty principle: In the late 1800's, Werner Heisenberg, a German scientist, had developed a mathematical model which showed that we could only know either the position or the momentum of an electron, but never both, because to know one factor destroyed both our capability to know the other factor and the existence of the other factor. Though it described subatomic phenomena, it applied equally well to so-called "real-world" events. For instance, if we know how fast a train is moving, we cannot say with certainty where it is, because it is, in fact, moving. In order to determine the precise position of the train, we must destroy its momentum, its forward speed. At the moment we fix its position, its speed can no longer be known with certainty. As soon as we try to determine its speed again, our certain knowledge of its position evaporates.

"Oddly enough," Max pointed out, "many of my clients have experienced a parallel to this. Medical diagnosis of their condition seems to become more ambiguous as their energetic balance changes." He smiled. "Perhaps we should think of their medical diagnosis as their position and their energetic balance as their momentum."

Over time he went further and further out there in terms of his work with frequencies. He told me about measuring frequencies of more ethereal things, metaphysical things.

"Are they real?" I asked him.

"What does that mean?" he challenged. "Every frequency is real. Your question is 'Is it relevant?'"

"Your work with identifying real physical things using subtle-energy techniques is fine," I said, as if my approval was needed to validate his work. "But now you're identifying frequencies of things which otherwise aren't known to exist. How do we know these things are real?"

Max eyeballed me and I couldn't tell whether he was even taking me seriously or not. Finally, he replied. "You've opened a can of worms if you really want me to address your question. First we have to ask: Is reality an objective fixed thing or is it culturally biased, something created out of consensus? If it's objective, then is our perception of it capable of seeing it objectively? Linguistically, you're in a bind because you might be implying that you can subjectively see something objective and you're caught in a paradox."

As I struggled to come up with a rebuttal, he continued. "Can you perceive the universe? It's bigger than your vision. It's bigger than your concept of it, unless you expand considerably. If you can't contain it, or stand outside of it to see it clearly, you lose all hope of true objectivity. In other words, to answer your question, if it can be detected it has reality."

"What do you mean by 'detected?'" I asked.

"Perceived," he replied.

As I thought about it, he continued: "We've been using the word see as a synonym for perceive. That's an important point as well. What if you can't see it? What if it has to be perceived in another way? Thousands of years ago, Plato said 'Take a look round, then, and see that none of the uninitiated are listening. By the uninitiated I mean the people who believe in nothing but what they can grasp in their hands, and who will not allow that action or generation or anything invisible can have real existence.' So your dilemma isn't new, is it?"

Still, his new direction didn't sit right with me. "What's wrong with maintaining a focus on a subtle-energy interpretation of the world as we know it?" I asked him.

"The world as we know it is an unncecessary limitation," he explained. "Where would the world be if Columbus had stuck to the world as it was known then, or Galileo, or Newton, or Einstein, or Edison? We're exploring a new frontier. I want to see how far things can go, how far the unknown river will take me."

Finally, his exploration took him to the point where he abandoned the world of orthodox medicine altogether and totally immersed himself in the metaphysical implications of his work. He put his medical license into inactive status and closed his hugely successful medical practice. For a little while, he ran an "energetic consulting" practice which quickly became as well attended as his previous medical business. But he grew impatient with it. "I'm wasting time with the small stuff."

"Small?" I exclaimed, incredulous. "You're curing cancer."

"I cure nothing. I only direct your energy. And if I can do that, why live with the limits of your perceptions?"

"What are your limits?" I asked Max.

"Hopefully, I'll never know," he said. "I can be satisfied with my work, but I'll never be content with it."

We debated further and he asked, "How many times have you told me you feel better than you've ever felt?"

I just looked at him and he continued:

"Does each time you said that include the previous times?"

I acknowledged they did.

"What makes you think that next time won't include this time?" he demanded.

I laughed and said I figured I was perfect.

"This is serious," Max said. "I'm on the verge of a breakthrough. I've found a much more subtle, tenuous and promising path and I need you to walk it with me."

"What are you saying?" I asked.

"I'm not sure yet," he said. "I'm still thinking it through."

I had no idea what he was talking about, but without hesitation knew I had to be part of it.

"So where are we going?" I asked.

"We're not sure," he said. "But we know how to get there."

What I knew was that he had worked miracles on me. I felt better than I ever had, so I had no need to visualize anything else. But Max was convinced that the true value of his work had not yet been realized.

Then suddenly, he disappeared. My phone rang non-stop as his clients that knew me called to ask where he had gone. I was clueless. A few weeks later I got a letter from him containing cryptic directions to his location and an equally cryptic note of triumph claiming dramatic and powerful new discoveries, along with what I can only call a "summary invitation" to see for myself. As it happened, Jane's impending demise hastened my immediate departure.

Terry's voice brought me out of my reminiscence.

I spooned the last of my oatmeal out of the bowl, finished my coffee and said "Let's get out of here."

We walked to the car. As I opened the door for her, she turned before getting in and grabbed my hand. She smiled at me. It felt really warm in the cool desert morning. The smile, I mean. I smiled back at her.

"You know what?" she said. "It's really great to see you again."

I felt the same way.



Thank you for reading Sanctuary: The Path to Consciousness!

If you like what you read in these opening chapters,
please buy the book!


In addition to the previous chapters, the Epilogue, titled Epilogue: The Evolution of AIM is also available on-line.

The Epilogue was written after Sanctuary: The Path to Consciousness was sent to press. It illustrates techniques that did not exist when the book was first written. If your copy has the Epilogue, you will find it as a separate booklet glued inside the back cover.

If you have not yet read the Epilogue, please do so to learn about the important advancements in the subtle-energy work of EMC²!


© 1998 Stephen Lewis & Evan Slawson
All rights reserved.
This material may not be reprinted for other than personal use
without the written consent of the copyright owners.