I was going to start out by saying that we need a new name for this incredibly important practice of learning how to balance focus and detachment. Everyone from Carlos Castaneda to Frank Kepple talks about it. Robert Waggoner, Ryan Hurd, everyone. The closest anyone has come to naming this thing is Frank Kepple, who usually called it "mild curiosity". This comes close to being usable terminology, but what British Frank doesn't know about Americans is that they won't let you refer to anything they do as "mild".
So I was going to entitle this chapter something like "Balancing Focus and Detachment: What Should We Call it?" when a usable interim term jumped out at me: Whatchacall. The all-important act of Balancing Focus and Detachment shall temporarily be called 'Whatchacall' until the correct word reveals itself. Because it forms itself from your Intent, not from your klunky conscious machinations. Whatchacall is the goose that laid the golden egg at the end of the Tunnel of Noticing. The pinnacle of Spontaneous Noticing is when you can see through the Urumara into the Projection Room. This is a highly motivating experience whose purpose is to tempt you and taunt you into taking that plunge through the dreaded Urumara and into the Projection Room or past it into the Nowhere.
Some quick background on how the word whatchacall took on special meaning for me.
Decades ago in downtown Portland, Oregon--a place I once enjoyed being almost as much as I now enjoy being in the Unworld--there was one shopping cart dude. He was the first shopping cart soldier I'd ever known of. This was a really long time ago. His name was Bill.
Bill was a big black homeless dude who called his shopping cart his "house". He only owned a few things, his few precious possessions, and kept them in his shopping cart. I got close enough to notice that he owned a saxophone. This was his stuff. Like everyone else, he kept his stuff in his house.
Bill had a PhD in philosophy. I never spoke to him myself. It was said that he could be very entertaining, up to a point, but that as his monologue proceeded, his explanations for life, the universe, and everything would quickly devolve into "Whatchacall this, whatchacall that..." at which point his audience would get bored and wander away. But he probably had a valid point about the core nature of human values: it's just stuff.
As a long-time fixture of downtown Portland, Bill was under little pressure to change his lifestyle, so over the years he gradually expanded his holdings until his house would no longer hold his possessions. This became a problem for the police since his house had spread out across several of the concrete park benches outside the beautiful Public Library. People no doubt were complaining that a fourth of the shady benches outside the library could no longer be used. Bill refused to slim down his stuff, and as a result was finally arrested. In jail he died of pneumonia.
I can't help thinking that if Bill had just been willing to cut down on his whatchacall, his whatchacall might have survived the whatchacall and he might still be whatchacallin' in downtown P-town today. But alas, it were not to be.
For many years I called it an 'act of detachment': that magical thing Whatchacall that we do by accident that finally gets what we want and what we Intend to coincide as if by coincidence. As explained in the chapter on Intent, if I remembered to write it, when Intent wants something, there's nothing for us to do but keep score. Because whatever it might happen to be that we thought we'd intended, Intent always gets what it intends, without exception.
Here's an excerpt from my journal from the time when I was still trying to name our magical principle Whatchacall:
2017-01-22 early a.m.
By Noticing I was able to see through the Urumara into the Projection Room. A smallish screen opened at bottom center of visual field covered by a field of goldish brown fractal patterns, vertically corrugated like a stage curtain. In the center a vertical line would appear and the curtains would begin to open. By maintaining the right balance of focus and detachment I could allow the curtains to open, revealing ever more intricate patterns behind, finally noticing a dot of fractal energy in the exact center of the screen which generated the rest of the image. Willed the scene to enlarge and fill the visual field, but it lost resolution when this happened so I let the state go. During this experience I was quite aware that trying to force, push, or hurry the opening of the curtain made the whole scene disappear, but I could bring it right back by rebalancing focus and detachment.
When a discrete screen of small size is open in an otherwise blank visual field, this is a special kind of Spontaneous Noticing in which you're looking through the Urumara into the Projection Room, using the Urumara as a slimming-down device in adjusting the balance between focus and detachment. If all goes well, you can enlarge the scene which is equivalent to moving through the Urumara into the scene. I tried to do this prematurely; you can't be in a hurry.
Back when I used to call it 'the act of detachment,' what was the purpose of engaging in the Act itself?
Well, I was trying to manifest something. Like a check in the mail, for example, way back when I had a mail order business, many decades ago. I had to walk to town two miles every day to check my mail, and if I was able to not worry once during the whole entire walk whether or not there would be a check in the mail, then a check there would be. You can imagine how seldom that happened. Nowadays I use the same trick to get my computer to function. As the old saying goes, a watched screen never unfreezes.
But the Act of Detachment does work, it does free up manifestation. I have not studied the so-called Law of Attraction because I feel that to do so would be the opposite of the Act of Detachment, but I'd bet that part of the Law of Attraction, if I were to study it, would turn out to be something like an act of detachment.
This detachment is the key to getting some certain item, object, or event lined up in Intent. Now that's something I think I understand. If you want to know what you had lined up in Intent, wait for something to happen, and that's what you had lined up in Intent. The Dream Usher is in charge of lining stuff up in Intent. The 2-3-4 doesn't know how and can't learn. With rigid values based on firm identities from the basis of logical memories, how could the conscious mind help us do magic? The 2-3-4 is geared for doing everything the hard way, by the sweat of its aching back.
While the conscious mind wastes its time and energy trying to force its supposed intentions to become realities, what's really going to be real is well known to the Dream Usher because lining stuff up in Intent is what the Dream Usher is good at. The Dream Usher lines stuff up in Intent all day and all night. As the Director of Change and all that Flows, the Dream Usher never gets tired of lining stuff up in Intent. Ruthlessly.
But the balance of focus and detachment is not Intent. Intent is the fifth harmonic of awareness, change, the principle that enables change and will to play nicely together. What I'm looking for is a term that refers to a state of being that allows the will (what you want or wish) and the Intent (what actually must happen due to metaphysical laws that trump even physical laws) to be the same thing. We already know that this is an Act of Detachment, a Balancing of Focus and Detachment.
At one time I wrote over twenty pages on my blog trying to come up with a name better than 'Whatchacall' for the core notion and Frawmbickly Act of balancing focus and detachment. And then I learned that there's already a word for this thing. I should have remembered this from my Aikido days when I was trying to read some of George Leonard's books, but kept getting pissed when he seemed to be calling me a 'dabbler'.
I believe that 'soft eyes' is Leonard's terminology for our new unworlding glossary term, the balance of focus and detachment: Metsuke. But someone should tell George that ascended masters are not soft.
12.0 Applying Soft Eyes/Metsuke
The Aikido Encyclopedia defines Metsuke as 'Eye-to-eye contact without focusing on a single point which permits awareness of the total field of vision'. I like to think of it as soft eyes or soft gaze.
In fact metsuke is one of the three fundamental aspects to train in Aikido ('1. Metsuke/soft gaze, 2. Mai-ai/fitting distance, 3. Musubi/connection'). All three have to happen for connective flow and blending to occur in the movement. With soft eyes, we are focused as much internally as we are externally and we approach the connective movement in such a way that internal and external are one and the same space, Uke, Tori, and all those around us, are one and the same body. In that state, the room that we are situated in seems not to have walls and our perceptions become expansive and without borders. Try it next time you do Aikido. Make a soft gaze when you practice and notice new levels of awareness.
Funny enough, Metsuke is also the name given to the official band of anti-corruption investigators during Tokugawa times of Japan, that checked nobody was melding with the system.
--Lawrence Warry & Ze'ev Erlich, Our Aikido World