Castaneda called it "using death as your advisor". In his way of thinking, if I would normally go to self-pity in times of stress, I should just go to "death" instead. Pretend that death follows me, dogs my heels everywhere I go, and at any time, death could tap me on the shoulder and say, "Let's go."
Ah, shades of the Dream Usher. I just got a flash of why I fear and attack the Dream Usher in my dreams.
Anyway, with life viewed as being infinitely short--exactly one Moment long--there's obviously no time for moping around feeling sorry for yourself. Another way Castaneda stated it is that "It's impossible for anyone to do anything to you." My Aikido teacher, John Smartt, said you have to accept responsibility for everything that happens to you, even if it's not true. I call this Veraspect, which literally means, "Tell it like it is." Seeing the world through this filter doesn't leave much time for emotionalism to sap your energy.
In a world created by fear, replacing the default thought is essential. Take Jim for example. Jim has a butterfly collection. When Jim is dinking around with his hobby, he's happy. The rest of the time he's a serial killer. Why a serial killer? Because he's afraid of everything and he hopes to kill it all off so he can be alone with his hobby forever. Why does his hobby make him happy? Because he becomes engrossed in it. While he's doing it, it replaces his default thought. Instead of "I'm under attack, I must lash out, I must destroy it before it hurts me," he's like, "More butterflies. More butterflies. More flippin' butterflies. Gimme gimme gimme more more butterflies." Jim's butterfly collection has saved many innocent people from a gruesome end.
The problem with obsessing on a hobby or other pursuit in this way is that it becomes an addiction, a dependency. Right now I'm addicted to coding my websites. The so-called feeling of happiness threatens to abandon me if I stop coding my websites and go to bed. All the way to bed I have to tell myself it will be OK, I can go back to working on my websites tomorrow after I eat breakfast and take out the trash. Once I hit the pillow I'm OK, because I'm sleep-deprived and it's 2:00 a.m., so I can see images instantly on closing my eyes and will pass out right away and have indecipherable coding dreams.
But obsessive interests are usually lousy for getting unworlded because they're obsessions, they're addictions. This is an imbalance of 6ness, the throat chakra. Another example of this same imbalance is the social butterfly. (Not the same as the butterflies mentioned above.) She wears a grin outside the house, everybody likes her, and when she gets home she instantly falls into a depression and beats her husband. So he retreats to his butterfly collection because he needs his wife alive.
While the inner workings of how exactly the magical mindset Intopia manages to get itself established are unknowable to a large degree, rarely does any kind of obsession help to fertilize the field where the magical mindset must grow. So what exactly is it that the obsessive interest is trying to push away or protect us from?
The default thought is fear. In between all practical thoughts--and most of us have some of these too--fear sneaks in jabs and pinches and pokes. Fear torments us so consistently that we don't even know it's there; we got used to it a long time ago, thanks to various coping mechanisms. For those who can't learn any coping mechanisms, well there's always prisons, mental institutions, homeless shelters, and the armed forces, right? But if I do learn coping mechanisms, then I forget that I'm living my life in reaction to the primal panic or Narxing, the omnispresent feeling that something is infinitely, irreversibly wrong: I am alone in the world.
In order to exist as an individual, I must be alone in the world. This explains both the social butterfly and the antisocial outcast. Both are running from the same fear: the fear of losing one's identity and being returned to the general sea of awareness, the creator of everything and nothing, the source. Castaneda called this the Eagle, and he used this unreasoned fear to sell books. He was a Catholic, and he had a large harem to pay for; he couldn't help it. I don't think he realized that capitalism, his default advisor, was just another mask for fear.
The solution of course is to practice the Frawmbickly Acts. For example, meditation or Blaffinveigle will teach you to see the fear poking at you between normal, useful thoughts. If I think 'X' then fear will poke at me with "That's stupid." If I think 'Y' then fear will poke at me with "They won't like it." Between each and every useful thought, the human being, i.e. inmate of the Earthville Mental Institution, fills the gaps with every possible kind of nagging, doubting, resenting, blaming, etc. and it's all just nothing but fear piled on top of fear. Fear is our default thought.
So we wander through life in a haze of panic-mode kneejerk reactions, and that's fine, that's what the human form is for. That's what Earthville is all about. We can stay here as long as we want.
Until I realize that all the babble is the same and just stop frothing my energy away with any of it, there's no hope of escaping this place. But removing the default thought, which we use to glue our world together, is also scary. Because fear is the default thought. So if I think, "I'll just replace the default thought," that scares me too. And 'round and 'round we go. How do you create a void between necessary, useful thoughts, and then how do you keep it empty?
You have to put something in the void on purpose, because nature abhors a vacuum and if you just leave it empty, then guess what slides into that vacuum on its own impetus? You guessed it: more fear. So replacing the default thought becomes a top priority. It's unacceptable to walk around in crisis mode all the time, because I want to get unworlded, and I'm not going to induce death to make it happen, so I have to try to figure out how to dismantle this world temporarily so I can go somewhere else and enjoy the flight of freedom for a spell. Trouble is, self-talk creates the world; most self-talk is crisis-mode mumbo-jumbo, so we wander helpless through a maze of scary shit, trying to defend ourselves from monsters popping up from behind every rock, tree and bush.
Since the default thought is something along the lines of "EEK!" it's easy to figure out what should replace it, and that would be something along the lines of "There is no crisis." I once got myself worked up into a manic state of mind (for months) based on constantly reminding myself, "The universe is not broken." I made a lot of bad decisions during this period, but no regrets, I also did what I had to do. Point being, you don't want to replace the default thought manically repeating "it's no crisis" in a panic-stricken way. Know what I mean? Enlightenment-in-a-hurry is the plague of the new ager, the self-help addict. We must have infinite patience with ourselves.
Without experiencing Blaffinveigle, I doubt that most people would be able to do this. But most people can't practice Blaffinveigle 24/7 so replacing the default thought becomes a sort of walking meditation which can be practiced 24/7, especially combined with conscious breathing. Pay attention now... are you even breathing at all? Or just breathing enough to stay alive?
Time to put this into practice. One, two, three, big deep breath, relax all your muscles including the ones that hold your head up and repeat after me, "There is no crisis." Feel it, believe it, live it, breathe it. There really is no crisis. Now close your eyes and also relax your eyes. Using Metsuke, focus equally on every point in a 360 degree sphere with you in the middle of it. Look everywhere at once including behind you. What you see is not blackness. Nothing black about it. Maintaining the right balance of focus and detachment, i.e. not trying too hard and not being in a hurry, while unquestioningly accepting your personality and interests as what they are and anyone who don't like it can take a hike and...
BREATHE, it's not a crisis.
What do you see with your eyes closed, when you're not in crisis mode? What if you were flying over a field right now, over some mountain peaks, through clouds, over a forest or a city or up through an ornate ceiling into another world?
This is how I suggest you think about getting unworlded, instead of trying to find some mythical crowbar to pry your mind out of your body.
Now let's look at some words. They're just symbols for things we think about, and they're not the only symbols there are, but I find them interesting.
Did you know what the words criticize, critical, and crisis have in common? Well obviously, 'criticize' and 'critical' come from the same Greek root word, but what about 'crisis'?
Yup, same root. These words all refer to the same action. To learn what that action might be, let's see what the original Greek word means: decide .
This is all about making a decision, forming a judgment. A crisis is a juncture at which one is forced to make decisions. A critically important thing is a thing that must be dealt with decisively. A judgment about someone is a decision to believe A or B about their character, actions, attitude, intentions, whatever. To criticize yourself is to announce your decisions to yourself about your own character, actions, etc.
The default thought, on the other hand, is an auto-slide into crisis mode, i.e. flitting around in a panic instead of volitionally deciding that just because somebody looked at you cross-eyed--or knocked your teeth out, for that matter--doesn't mean the world is coming to an end. So in general, due to the dynamics and semantics involved, the thing to do with the auto-default thought "EEK" is to replace it with a volitional default thought such as, "This is not a crisis."
If that doesn't work, go ahead and panic, and see where it gets you. It will not get you unworlded, unless you manage to give yourself a heart attack.