From the first time I heard of unworlding--or astral projection as it was called in them there early days--the whole crux of the problem was that the instructions for getting unworlded seemed so unworldly. What I needed was either to 1) find more specific instructions and follow them exactly, every day till I got results, or 2) follow the instructions I already had, every day till I got results. With the emphasis not being on understanding, but on daily practice. Unfortunately, I'm not one to follow instructions that I don't understand. That's why I've been a beginner since 1970.
Be that as it may, here are some highlights of the process that I've undergone so far with emphasis on stuff that seems to be going somewhere vs. stuff that seemed to work twice and snuff out like the placebo that it was. From my experience, herbs and supplements belong strictly in the placebo category whether they might occasionally give you an acid trip in the Unworld or not. They have given me some great hallucinogenic roller coaster rides while asleep, but the whole idea of getting somewhere not due to one's one effortsome efforts does not sit well with me.
Most recently, I've finally just started to enter the Vibes consciously. This is somewhat anticlimactic because I want it to be. The Vibes have a way of not wanting to be Noticed. So I purposedly try to not give them much Attention, instead continuing to do what I was doing when the Vibes grabbed hold. I'm also pretty sure that the Vibes and sleep paralysis are either two facets of the same thing or else one is a precursor for the other. As a beginner I expect a more clear delineation will sort itself out as I get more experience. Some decades ago, I did experience the awe-inspiring, rough version of the Vibes, which has only happened once since then, in a cannonball exit from a dream, several months into my current practice which began two years ago.
Even so, the Vibes I've been experiencing lately are not subtle. They come on suddenly but without a jolt or any consternation on my part. This might be a result of relaxing into them, starting to learn the way there and not being shocked when it happens. Sometimes they bring me out of the relaxation because I might get a little mental about the whole thing, in which case they fade quickly. Occasionally the rush up my spine in a discrete wave of incredible intensity that makes me wonder how we manage to go our whole lives somehow ignoring the manifestations of transiting the Urumara. What's equally mysterious is how quickly these abruptly altered states that sometimes jar me into consciousness are so quickly forgotten. Amnesia is a powerful force in the realm of transitioning.
What I've read is to not focus on the Vibes but to keep doing what you were doing that brought them on. To move through them to the next thing. I'm repeating this advice because the questions of beginners who don't know what to do with the Vibes are extremely repetitive and I don't know if they're getting the point. The Vibes are a matter of being between stations. If you're tuning an old-fashioned radio with a knob, when you can hear two stations do you get on your facebook radio-tuning group and ask what to do next? No, you keep turning the knob in small increments till you get the station you were after.
Between stations is beginner territory, so you should expect the Vibes to mean little and to manifest less often as you gain experience in getting through transition states quickly. Just keep going: you got there by relaxing, so relax more. Relax into the Vibes. This could bring on sleep paralysis and/or a lapse into first person perspective with a variable degree of lucidity. So you're going the right direction. Just slow down so you don't go to sleep, and keep going that way.
There's a short window of opportunity when you can effortlessly get unworlded, but you have to find it for yourself by becoming familiar with the territory through repetition. Fortunately it's more common and less complicated to wake up already unworlded from a lapse or period of sleep, in which case you might not recognize your unworlded condition if you don't try an exit such as rolling out, floating up or sinking down, or Just Getting up. Don't be one of those insomniacs who doesn't believe that sleep is possible, lying in a mental picture of your bed when in fact you've been asleep for an hour or more, already unworlded. Some of the more commercial books might forget to mention that this phenomenon is extremely normal feeling sometimes, as real as real can be. I wonder where that False Insomnia thing should fit on the lucidity scale? I wonder how good I got at unworlding--without realizing it--when I was an insomniac as a child. Maybe I should make the scale four-dimensional instead of three-dimensional.
When I was doing daily Awakenings over two years ago before I got distracted by writing this book, I soon Noticed that I'd often wake up in a choking panic, a problem I'd never had before. I gradually learned to deal with this by having an Intent Agenda. If in fear of choking, I learned to take deep breaths instead of gasping in a panic. If waking with a severely dry mouth, instead of gulping hard three times as if I was going to die, I learned to just close my mouth and wait for saliva to do its thing. Eventually I got over the panicky deep breaths too. This might be partly because I no longer place much emphasis on lying on my back. I go to sleep on my back only if I'm very tired and sleepy. If I feel wakeful, I lie on my side because lying on my back with two pillows under my head and one under my knees is only comfortable till I start to relax. Soon the thing they call my body gets twitchy and here comes the rollover signal.
I haven't found any substance to the rumor that ignoring the rollover signal will instantly put you into sleep paralysis. It might do that for the expert unworlder who wrote those instructions, but that's the problem with experts. They've covered a lot of ground before they get to the point where doing X automatically results in Y . Beware the numbered lists of instructions churned out by experts dishing up detailed exactitude. What works for someone who knows the way there by feel--by experience--might not work for you, and rather than opening yourself up to becoming easily discouraged, you might want to get your instructions from unworlders who were recently beginners. Unlike many long-time experts, they might still remember what beginners have to go through in order to make something happen, or what beginners have to Notice in order to realize that something is already happening . For most people this must involve changing some beliefs and ovecoming some fears.
This morning after two quick jaunts out of bed to feed dogs, see kids off to school, and the like, I went back to bed and for two hours I lay on my side right in the transition zone, going through the Urumara over and over and over. I was in and out of the Vibes many times, and I was aware of trying to breathe, being unable to, and not panicking about it. This happens when the conscious mind is trying to wake itself up but has not reconstituted itself as a physical entity and has no control over the breathing process till it does. The body doesn't need the mind's help with the breathing process, and in my case, this has to be painstakingly demonstrated over and over to the conscious mind. Maybe that near-drowning as a child has something to do with it. Everybody has their own obstacle course to get through.
Becoming an unworlder splits your transition-to-sleep process into the disputed territory of two separately aware first-person points of view, which most people call the body and the mind, although it isn't really that archaically simple. These two parts of you can be separately conscious with one breathing just fine and the other one not aware of it just yet. The mind has to learn to wait out these few seconds calmly, and that's one big reason why learning to spend time at the borderline of sleep is essential to many practitioners. This confusion is what used to wake me up in a choking panic, a panic which I gradually got control over as it became apparent from careful observation that I wasn't choking, but only thought I might if I couldn't get control of the breathing apparatus quick. It was a matter of remembering to stay relaxed no matter what. Relaxation in the face of perceived danger is the pinnacle of achievement in unworlding and possibly in life in general.
Another milestone from just last night which is not a first but still worth mentioning is an auditory hallucination of my wife calling my name. This was 100% realistic and the rest of the good news is that I knew immediately that it was a hallucination. This means I was Officially Lucid in the Projection Room proper, because in the Green Room--the intake chamber of the Projection Room--we tend to see things but not hear things. Once through the Urumara into the Projection Room proper, there is no limit to what the senses might perceive with totally realistic detail.
From this point, the goal is to stay in the Projection Room instead of panicking and crawling back through the Urumara to escape imaginary fears which grow into manifested entities once through the Prime Urumara, i.e. the moment of falling asleep. Continue going even deeper, becoming able to retain control of the wandering Attention long enough to generate full-blown scenery, plots, and characters which one can interact with. This step, usually called hypnagogia, can be skipped or cut short by participating or interacting with any image along the way, if you're at the right stage for that to productively get results. The mistake in this case isn't trying at the wrong time; the mistake is worrying whether it's the right time which is as bad as not trying at all. My first WILD came about by spontaneously reaching out to interact with a Noticing.
During this morning's session I did in fact find myself in first person perspective a few times but did not get up to record the Awakenings because I was in the sweet spot and didn't want to break the spell.
If there is a magic bullet, it's relaxation. To get to X, relax. To get past X into Y, relax into X. To get past Y into Z, relax into Y. This is my digested version of others' instructions; I'm not that good at it yet.
So, 48 years after first reading the instructions on how to astral project ("just relax and visualize the colors of the chakras"), maybe it's time to define 'relaxation'.
The abstract definition is that relaxation is just another incomplete definition of 8ness. Eightness incorporates 2ness through 7ness and leads to 9ness, so 8ness is in fact the pinnacle of achievement except for the Miruvorning Vroombelleration itself which is 9ness, the synthesis of the Body of Air which is free to explore anywhere and to stay unworlded as long as it wants. Nineness is the final escape from the human form, an act that can last a Moment or a million years, or both. There's nothing wrong with having a Body of Air for only a few seconds or minutes; you have to start somewhere. Your ability to get all your parts to harmonize and share energy appropriately will determine the duration of your experiences. The best time to practice being this cooperative, socially efficient person is when you're wide awake interacting with the dream characters we call "real people" in spite of the fact that they seldom seem to do anything that makes sense.
In physical terms, relaxation is a near-synonym within the Synfonemia glossary for expansion . What is expansion? It's a change of state from more solid to less solid. Using the meat body and its transition to the air body as the example, you could imagine the meat body comprised of a variety of stresses or personal energy storage devices which are necessary to keep the body of meat i.e. the physical world in a physical state, but most of these stresses are not needed for anything else. So when you can drop stresses one at a time, you'll feel more relaxed and eventually you'll become less solid, less physical.
Like a plate of ice in the sun, your solidity will melt into fluidity and your liquidity will evaporate into a gaseous or vaporous condition, free to float away. Physics tells us that a change of state requires a vast amount of latent energy to accomplish. It's called 'latent' because the result are not immediately evident to our usual means of detecting results. When you heat water, it all but reaches the boiling point, and from there, to get it over the hump to the point where it actually boils and turns to steam, you have to pump a large amount of energy into it. This latent energy input does not raise the temperature of the water--it's already at the boiling temperature--until finally it goes up one tiny notch in temperature and starts bubbling away into the surrounding atmosphere. This last tiny notch of temperature increase requires an unusual investment of energy, during which there is no temperature increase; no sensed result.
With this analogy in mind, I will now create, before your very eyes, a new bit of unworlding terminology: the Latent Energy of Unworlding. Let's say you're doing everything right, you're relaxing, you're turning off the internal dialog, you're practicing Metsuke when you see images, you're appreciating your relatively non-lucid lapses into the Unworld during Awakenings, you're noticing that you wake up in the Vibes from every dream, you're going to sleep right and waking up right, etc. But you're still limited to one or two short unworldings a month.
This is because you're in the Latent Energy phase of your re-education wherein you will pump more and more energy into the practice to no apparent avail unless you're willing to sacrifice some pretty tenacious energy leaks: findable stresses such as interpersonal conflict, the unwillingness to keep a detailed dream journal, the unwillingness to practice sitting meditation, and getting emotionally involved with every online group on unworlding when you could be spending more time doing your practice. We get unworlded one person at a time, but we waste time on Facebook together.
If you're in the Latent Energy phase of your unworlding re-education, where the magic of beginner's luck has worn off and the initial enthusiasm that got you unworlded in the beginning threatens to be a thing of the past, the goal is not then to be in more of a grasping hurry, but to make everything you do revolve around Noticing the miracle of existence, because being stuck at the physical level of "I can't find anything else to relax" and still not getting results means that you're standing at the borderline and then you're not inserting yourself into the Unworld by taking that last step. You're being held back by fear whether you know it or not, and fear is a solid. It must be melted and evaporated in order to fuel a viable Body of Air.
In order to speed up the process of plowing through the Latent Energy phase of phase change, I recommend placing more emphasis on the Breath of Flight during your waking hours, and then while lying in bed with your mask on, always watch the breath. Use the REM Breath to get to the Urumara and hover there on either side of the borderline of sleep. I don't know what the REM Breath has to do with REM, but that's what I call it.
When we do the Breath of Flight, one acceptable reason is to get high. So it can get kind of extreme with deep breaths, short exhalations, and the like. It can also put you to sleep, but not until you stop. Assuming you aren't doing it to hyperventilate and pass out. Which is forbidden anyway. Currently I'm experimenting with Robert Monroe's assertion that tiny movements of the lower jaw change the quality of the Vibes or tune them. This is true, though I haven't found a use for it yet. At this point the Vibes are more like stopping me than getting me unworlded because I find them so fascinating. One issue is that breathing can get me to the Vibes, but since I got there by a physical act other than simply relaxing more and more, what do I do next? I think in this event, relaxation is essential even if the breathing that got me there was intensely physical. We'll see.
Many people experience the fear of suffocation upon arriving at the Urumara, and this puts the conscious mind out of commission. What I call "comatose". Then the conscious mind resurfaces later in a relatively non-lucid condition, not quite remembering its own name and definitely not remembering its own address. In order to prepare the 2-3-4 mind for giving up control of the breathing, the Buzz Breath or Breath of Flight can be used with breath-holding between breathing sessions of ten to thirty breath cycles each, as taught by Wim Hof. My goal is sometimes to hold the breath longer than I want to, instantly relaxing every muscle in my body at the same time while calmly repeating my affirmation such as "Retain awareness through the transitions to and from sleep". Then calmly let some air in but without jerking or caving in to panic.
The REM breath is much different and is less distracting than the Buzz Breath if you're trying to do an induction without moving. Avoiding the extremes of deep inhale and fast exhale, keep a steady, even rhythm in the center of the deepness spectrum, neither inhaling deeply nor exhaling deeply. Inhale and exhale should each last about one second with no breath-holding. You should try to make it look like your torso is not expanding and contracting at all while you breathe, while simultaneously getting more and more relaxed in body and mind. This will put you to sleep if you're sleepy, so the best time to practice it is when you've had plenty of restful sleep and you're not quite sure you could go to sleep again, or when you wake up from a dream and want to Chain back in. I used the REM breath this morning to hover at the borderline of sleep for two hours, experiencing dozens of trips through the Urumara and back. Simultaneous relaxation of the body and mind is essential.
This chapter was inspired by this morning's experience. Lately I keep being astounded to find that the things one hears about from other unworlders can and do happen to oneself, as one proceeds through the nuts and bolts of putting together a functioning Body of Air. I'm not one of those Naturals who has found incredible, awe-inspiring unworldings to be had from the very outset... or am I?
What do you think of the things you write in your dream journal? If you think they're just dreams, then why even bother? My approach is to take the journal more and more seriously, and my dream bodies have backed me up on this every time. The lucidity of all experiences should be evaluated three-dimensionally according to heighth, length, and depth, not by the single black-and-white designation of lucidity as officially recognized, which is just the knowledge that you're dreaming. While it is a milestone and an awesome experience to realize that you're dreaming, every dream is lucid and should be judged by how long it lasts, how vivid it is, and how meaningful its symbols and other components are to you personally. This approach is highly motivating because it means you only have to wait for this very night to have that milestone experience.
And if you really know what you're doing, you'll have that milestone experience right now while you're awake, by telling yourself to get hep to the fact that existence itself is the miracle that all other miracles are based on, and exploring it could keep awareness occupied for an eternity of eternities. If existence itself was not just plain miraculous, then I don't know why you'd take a chance on the Unworld being any better.
Dissolving physical reality is not some sort of mystical mumbo-jumbo. It's a simple, physical skill that you do with your body. What else would dissolving physical reality be, other than a physical act? Same as catching a ball, anyone who knows the feeling of the ball landing in his hands can invoke that feeling again, and count on a pretty good success rate that is physically measurable, an experience that can be recorded in memory forever.