Last month I lost my new internet connection temporarily because I wasn't used to bandwith limits or whatever they call it when you can only use the internet so much for what you're willing to pay. Or in this case what the corporate masters are willing to sell me. Which is only a little bit in my case. I guess I don't smell like money. In fact I'd have to say that my new internet provider knows considerably more about my income level or lack thereof than the government that gave me a resident visa to live in this country.
Be that as it may, I had been without email and internet for only two or three days last month when I had a pair of Officially Lucid unworldings in two days.
At the time I gave the credit to a certain way I'd doodled confidently in my dream journal before lying down to sleep. But yesterday I lost my connection again and it will be gone for ten days. And today it occurred to me as I sat down for my afternoon Blaffinveigle session that the timing of last month's pair of unworldings was mighty suspicious. It's been many months since I had two in a row like that, and I'd been acutely aware that I was spending too much time on Facebook (again).
Come to think about it, once upon a time, long ago, I almost beat this unworlding game but then I semi-permanently gave in to semi-temporary frustration with frequent lucid dreams in which I kept deciding that I was not dreaming. This was decades ago when I was still at Ingrate Level; it was not yet part of my personal philosophy that all partial results were something to appreciate and expand upon, so I quit.
But the point is that I was having frequent Officially Lucid and so-called twilight dreams in which I either realized I was dreaming (lucid) or realized I was having a real experience and therefore decided I wasn't dreaming (twilight). I don't subscribe to any of that terminology; all dreams are lucid; realization is all good. But at the time there was no internet to go to for bad advice and belief-system upshoring, so I wanted what I wanted based on what the few available books presented as acceptable.
Wait--what did I just say?
There was no internet. This was the early 1990s. If there was such a thing as the internet, I wasn't aware that I would ever be interested. I did not feel its lack. It took me many years to overcome this pitiable condition. Now, with a lifestyle built around the internet, just try taking it away from me. I don't want to say what that is like, because it's bad luck to describe one's own weaknesses in a public place. It will cause people to kick sand in your face. Especially on the internet.
But before this weakness for the internet ever even showed its face, I was having lucid dreams weekly instead of monthly. Now that I'm retired and can meditate as long as I want, sleep as long as I want, grow mugwort in my garden, etc. I'm lucky to get unworlded once or twice a month. Back when I had a full time, stressful job pretending to run a business, and many years before I ever tried meditating, I was having lucid dreams by the week.
What's this all about? We all know it's addictive... but is it that addictive, to the point where our resolve and interest and enthusiasm for actual direct experiences dissolve so we can instead accomplish sitting and surfing and 'research'... which is mostly a matter of watching repetitive videos and trying to read boring rehashed guides on astral projection way worse than one I could write myself...
All of which takes the place of having a practice.
THREE WEEKS LATER
We've all heard of the Siberian unworlding teacher Michael Raduga's "direct method" or WILD which I call "Going To Sleep Right" and Raduga's "indirect method" which I call "Waking Up Right". By "right" I mean ready and able to get lucidly unworlded.
Having freed up the ordinary English words "direct" and "indirect" for use according to their dictionary meanings, let me suggest that there's a big difference between directly experiencing life and absorbing and/or posting stuff on the internet. And I'm not talking about the difference between a social life and social media. I don't care if you have a social life with humans or just with Facebook accounts. I don't care whether or not all your monkey mind thoughts come to you as memes. I care if you can get unworlded or not.
In my experience, when I become mentally wrapped around the Facebook pole or the YouTube pole or the like, then I am not going to get unworlded except maybe by accident. Nothing wrong with getting unworlded by accident, but I want more.
A direct experience with living on earth generally does not take place when you're looking at a screen, period. I learned the mechanics behind this long ago when I read an incredibly important book called TV, the Plug-In Drug by Marie Winn. Ms. Winn makes the commonly-missed point that it's not about what children watch on TV that molds or melts their character; it's the very act of watching TV--instead of participating in life--that is the critical factor. Since her book was published we've had a new birth in the human family: the personal computer, not to mention laptops, notebooks, tablets, and stupidphones, so-called because nothing intelligent can be done with a computer that's lost in the sofa cushions.
I've tried to explain this to my family, so let me see the hands of those who've had any luck explaining things to their family... that's what I thought. That's why cult leaders expect you to leave your family. If you're planning to change even a tiny belief, it's a good idea to not tell your family about it. Changing beliefs is treason.
Here's what happens when screens abound.
We have a great big, beautiful, scary world full of infinite variety, just look at it. Move your head around, see how it gets bigger? Now turn around and look behind you. Bigger still! Look up, look down, look all around... jeepers creepers, Mr. Peepers, what a big world! So many things to inquire into, get involved with, participate in... and it's all so changey! It moves around and stuff, all by itself, without me having to hit PLAY. What a challenge to even know that all that potential activity is out there waiting for me to join in. Or run like hell, if necessary, since there's no STOP button.
Now fold all that potential for attraction one's Attention into a little rectangular screen and focus all your Attention on that little screen. Stupidphone or big screen TV, what's the difference? Grab the remote, let your fingers do the living, who needs good old-fashioned real life? I could fall down the stairs and break my leg and my wife wouldn't know it, not if the TV's on. This is the one-pointed focus phenomenon commonly called "hypnosis". Maybe you've heard of it. A little old lady accidentally runs over her cat, jumps out of the car and lifts the car off the cat. She won't remember later, because she did something she thinks is impossible, so a deep state of hypnosis like this--a totally one-pointed focus of Attention--generally comes with amnesia, and it happens all the time. Squashed cats are saved by little old ladies lifting cars off them all the time. Totally one-pointed focus is an extremely efficient tool for enabling all kinds of superhuman tasks. And the almighty Screen is the easiest way to get that slack, blank, complacent, passive, receiving-only, bland, hypnotized, all-believing look onto the face of an otherwise fairly intelligent being. Who would rather sit at home scarfing chips and ice cream than packing up for a trip to the library or a search for some real sort of social scene. In fact the whole notion of using electronic media to spread propaganda was invented by the same fella who invented the Volkswagen Beetle: Adolf Hitler. As a cult leader with a fair amount of sway over people, i.e. charisma, Adolf recognized an Attention sponge when he saw one.
As for the practical side of this argument in terms of learning unworlding, it has come to my attention just this morning as I did the laundry before breakfast that Facebook is my Castanedian petty tyrant!
Here's what happens. I say something on Facebook. Maybe I go out on a limb. I have an opinion. Might even say something semi-controversial, or dealing with a sensitive topic, or God forbid, preaching my particular gospel. Something that someone could easily take issue with, the internet social scene being more or less a mass squalor of road rage waiting to happen. What do I do the rest of the day? Especially if someone implies that I could perhaps be a total idiot for having and/or stating my opinion?
Obsess, obsess, obsess.
The purpose of a petty tyrant is to force us to eradicate self-importance, because upholding the ego, the self-righteousness, the image, the identity, uses up all our energy. Thoughts revolve all day around some two-bit pseudo-conversation on Facebook and when I finally lie down, I'm tired, world-weary, burned out, frustrated, disappointed with life, and ready to chuck it all. I crave deep unconsciousness, not disciplined focus of Attention. The opposite of lucidity.
That's what I call an indirect experience of life: spending X amount of my time having pseudo-conversations online and then spending the rest of my time and energy that day and the next, obsessing about pseudo-conversations which impinged on ego-triggers. Living with my fingers, eyes, thoughts and emotions, with little else going on. Internet-focused monkey mind is not so much different from monkey mind in general, but the fact that the internet and the resulting pseudo-conversation is so addictive seems to amplify the already-obnoxious chitterings and chatterings of Mr. Chimp.
In contrast, here's a list of things I could do which are direct experiences of life, and which could tend to generate lucidity. And lucidity has momentum: generate lucidity while you're awake and it will follow you into sleep.
LIST OF DIRECT EXPERIENCES
Stay away from screens. (Terrifying but possible.)
Spend time with my son.
Read. (Also addictive, but it takes more effort--and it's easier to put down--than a TV show that ends in a few minutes anyway... so might as well finish it and ooooohhhh what's on next...)
Walk somewhere (This refers to using the feet to magically change the scenery. Look it up.)
Well that's my short list, I think you should probably make your own.
Two days ago I walked to town and then walked across town twice. Altogether maybe about five to ten miles, no big deal, except that here in the Philippines people will think you're crazy if you walk around in the hot sun. This is so very true that I have been here for 13 years and never walked to town. When I tried, people stopped to give me a ride. Like I said, this is not the USA.
But two days ago I was determined to get there by foot and I finally made it. I was hoping it would make me lucid that very night and it didn't, because I was using some knock-out decongestant for a mild cold, but last night in my Unworlding Lessons I re-experienced a walk I took as a 19-year-old, almost half a century ago, up a steep mountain trail in fuzzy bedroom slippers. I didn't re-experience the hike; just the feeling of the hike. My hiking companion way back then had been a (now) long-lost friend with muscular dystrophy. He had his handicap and I had my slippers. We walked eight miles up and eight miles back in bedroom slippers. He was an old friend who had driven hundreds of miles to surprise me and take me on an impromptu two-week road trip. My response had been to jump into his car and go... without shoes. That feeling of unbridled spontaneity came back to me in my Unworlding Lesson last night in my Unworlding Lesson when I passed a bunch of scary-looking homeless people who were singing and laughing, so I started dancing in the street and noticed I was wearing those bedroom slippers, they were flopping around and half-fixed with duct tape.
Someone said, "The junkies are all laughing," and I woke up in ecstasy. That was lucid enough for me, considering I'd been pissed all day about something someone said on Facebook.
So... what is it about Facebook that makes it my petty tyrant? Simple. I'm not giving it up, because it's the only social life I'll ever have, and I can't. So if I'm gonna become a competent unworlder, I have to give up the self-importance that it stimulates. I have to literally bypass the stimulant, ignore the opportunities for adrenalin jolts, and control the excesses of my mind and emotions so that when I lie down, I will not be tired and crabby and ready to dive into deep unconsciousness as quickly as possible. I have to use Facebook without caring about what people think of me.