This chapter is not going to be a rehash of the cliche and obvious argument that we should have sensible, realistic goals instead of grandiose, childish ones. I'm going to get specific and try to explain some simple mechanical actions that can be taken in order to get tangible results in an intangible field of endeavor where getting results is notoriously hit-and-miss. I don't think there's anything particularly obvious about anything I'm going to assert in this chapter.
One main idea is to shoot for mini-bites you can actually hope to experience in the average Daytime Practice session. This includes experiences such as Noticing phantom wiggles, and tiny lapses into altered states of consciousness, which build up quickly and turn into self-confidence.
Most beginning unworlders want to learn the "direct exit" or "WILD" methodology immediately and most experts shake their wizened fingers at them and try to badger them into learning the easier stuff first. I agree that a variety of approaches should be mixed in, but I'm not in favor of raining on anyone's parade. So practice the supposedly hard stuff first if you want, because you might be better at it than the experts who are telling you not to try it (and telling you to not try it at bedtime). If WILD or the direct exit does turn out to be a special skill you happen to have, you'll never find this out if you don't break the rules, same as any beginner.
I'd like to rename this whole "direct exit" or "WILD" methodology after the process of going to sleep right. What is unworlding if not going to sleep? Unworlding is the idealistic name for the larger, general category that includes lucid dreams and OBE. It's the perfect name, because it doesn't pretend to know what it means exactly, but unlike previous names it's not already used for something else in the field and it is not inaccurate in any way. "Unworlding" is the complement to the everyday, completely uninformative term, "going to sleep". And just as I would rather not have to always say, "lucid dream or OBE," I don't like always having to say, "direct exit or WILD," especially when half the people who read those words won't know what at least one of those terms means. So the art form formerly known as "direct exit or WILD" will henceforth be called "Go-To-Sleep-Right".
Similarly, the indirect technique, which corresponds to the lucid dream method DEILD or Chaining, is going to be called Waking-Up-Right. Or just Chaining. But that's another chapter.
What makes people give up in this business is the perceived or imagined impossibility of the goal, which saps our motivation by secretly terrifying us instead of filling us with our fuel, which is something akin to enthusiasm. There are a variety of impossible goals within the general field of unworlding, the best example of which will probably always be forcing your soul to leave your body. In case you happen to disagree with that statement, go ahead and prove me wrong. Do it now, I'll wait. Waiting. Still waiting. How long do I have to sit here? I thought you said it was possible to force your soul out of your body? Why aren't you doing it?
Because of built-in resistance, a fact of science that has to be dealt with in all forms of energy transfer, when you set your difficult-or-impossible-sounding goal, make your careful preparations, assume the correct position, and tell yourself to "do X now," you are pretty much doomed to fail. There's a contrary being in all of us called the conscious mind which believes that its death lies in giving up control, so while it's good, worthy, and understandable to want to learn and master the art of going to sleep right, it's also necessary to somehow outsmart your own conscious mind, unless you're an unworlding savant who falls asleep consciously at will. Since "falling" and "willing" are contradictory, going to sleep right is to put more emphasis on "willing" and take some of the momentum out of "falling". So let's dissect this contradictory-sounding act by reframing your conscious part in it as a conglomeration of Frawmbickly Acts which can be learned and are possible. All the Frawmbickly Acts have a bearing on Going-To-Sleep-Right, but I'll focus on three of them.
In my research for this chapter, which consisted of reading possibly even more WILD tutorials than you have, I've broken down the impossible-ish act of Going-To-Sleep-Right into three actions that are possible: Metsuke, Blaffinveigle, and Vac-U-Move. The unworlder needs to forget, on some important level, about any and all ambitions to "get out of body now", and adopt instead the goal of learning these three simple skills. Since it's easy to understand what these skills are--unlike unworlding, which is notoriously controversial and hard to define--they just take practice. No magic involved, just put in the hours with regularity and enthusiasm.
When it comes to long hours spent horizontal with an impossible goal to do battle with, I know what I'm talking about. When I was a small child, my mama used to "tuck me in" to bed and abandon me, often before it was even dark, and always before I was sleepy. As a small child, my reaction to being told to "go to sleep," under these circumstances was an unconsciously motivated and thus non-adjustable resistance to going to sleep. In my mama's case, putting us in bed was a euphemism for getting rid of us so she could have some time to herself. Somehow this scenario locked me into an unworkable mindset instead of tucking me into a cozy snooze nest. Between the two of us, my mama and I created a monster case of insomnia for me to solve alone. I had no idea what to do about it, and no one to talk to who would listen or who had the vaguest notion how to deal with the problem. So until I was 16, my night life consisted of lying in bed half the night staring at the ceiling wishing with every fiber of my being that I knew how to go to sleep. And they wondered why I acted odd when I was "awake". Well, let them wonder.
So I guess I was doomed to revisit this scenario on purpose someday. Here I am over a half century later and many months into an unworlding practice with a certain number of milestone experiences under my belt, and I am starting to realize that I learned how to Go-To-Sleep-Right over and over as a child, after hours of nightly misery, and happily forgot how it's done when I no longer needed to do it consciously. So far I only have two relevant memories:
1. I would lie in bed every night waiting for a babble of voices to come. When the babble came, I finally knew I would sleep. Unless by some freak accident my mama let me stay up long enough to swallow my dessert and work up a half-assed case of the sleepies, I would have to wait for a long time.
2. I would be lying in bed ever so long, unable to sleep, when I would gradually come under attack by the feeling that spiders and bugs were touching my skin. We unworlders call this "the Itchies".
Last night and again this afternoon in practice sessions I was assaulted by the Itchies. Whatever the origin and purpose of this phenomena, the fact is that I couldn't help but notice that, "This doesn't itch, it hurts!" Thus... the Ouchies.
Which brings me to one of the three main skills an unworlder must learn instead of trying to learn how to "get out of the body" or "go directly into a lucid". Did I mention that as a child I learned to stop seeking out sleep and developed a substitute goal which had the side effect of putting me to sleep? For me, listening for a babble of voices of people that weren't there was a lot easier to do than to follow my mother's orders and go to sleep. Maybe this is why I'm not afraid of sleep paralysis. I must have experienced it many times and gotten used to it, maybe even learned to like it, then forgotten the whole thing by morning. Stranger things happen all the time, like the way we forget almost every dream we don't write down.
Metsuke, Vac-U-Move, and Blaffinveigle are skills we can practice while learning to Go-To-Sleep-Right instead of lying there stiff as a board wondering if you're out of your body yet. To do three things which are simple to understand puts the practitioner in the driver's seat. Getting unworlded then becomes an optional side effect of doing these three possible things. It wouldn't help if I tried with my conscious mind to intend to unworld, as the conscious mind doesn't have access to Intent. The conscious mind has indirect influence on Intent by detaching from its usual death grip on what it thinks it must have, thus handing the reins to the Dream Usher, the door to the Remote Mind. This detachment is Metsuke.
A new application of Metsuke is never far away in unworlding practice. Too much focus and you're wasting your time and energy. Too little focus and you're doing the same thing. Focus must be balanced with detachment at every level of the unworlding practice. Another opportunity to meet up with still another of the thousand faces of Metsuke is always right around the corner. The Go-To-Sleep-Right approach to unworlding is another of those opportunities.
Metsuke is the balance of the energy-hog we call the conscious mind (the 2-3-4 Mind) in which we divest the 2-3-4 of its excess energy and give it to 5ness, the element of reality that is variously known as detachment, change, Intent, the Dream Usher, the Nowhere, the void, the heart chakra, the center of our being, the door to anywhere, the 3D Blackness, etc. This merging and cooperation of the 2-3-4 with the central of our energy centers is the force that merges what you want (2-3-4 is about the individual's desires) with what you get (5ness is Intent, i.e. absolute, ultimate, effortless manifestation).
In the application of the Metsuke principle to Going-To-Sleep-Right, one thing that comes up is the need to sneak around the 2-3-4's resistance. Like all emotion-sourced problems, resistance is really fear-sourced since fear is the primal emotion, and in turn, underlying fear is 2ness. Fear is one way of expressing 2ness, but not the only way. When it comes to establishing one factoid over another as belief (2ness), there will be various reinforcing memories and attachments (3ness) and habits of thought and self-talk (4ness) which cement a routine reality into place. Learning how to go to sleep at all--if you think you can't--involves avoiding the temptation to walk up to the 2-3-4 and demand that it perform what it wrongly considers to be suicide by just going to sleep. The 2-3-4 is the worst kind of trickster: a stupid one. It doesn't know the difference between sleep and death.
Show me a mother who screams, "Go to sleep!" and I'll show you a lousy mother. Try it with anyone: walk up to the first person you see and demand that they fall asleep right now. See what I mean? The simplest act of all, something we do one or more times almost every day of our life, cannot be demanded of anyone else, so how can you demand an act of sleep from yourself? You have to walk around this automatic resistance. So being too focused on the mechanical acts we associate with Going-To-Sleep-Right is anti-productive.
One thing you can try differently is to purposely change your position every five to ten minutes, then go back to Vac-U-Move. I'm not saying this will get you unworlded, but it might keep you body from throwing a temper tantrum with a case of the Itchies or the Ouchies. I doubt that the popular interpretation of the Itchies is correct: that it's the astral police testing to see whether or not the body is asleep before turning on the paralysis juices. You don't need sleep paralysis anyway. It's easier to take the experimental traveler's attitude instead of letting some tour guide ruin your vacation by dictating what you have to do to get unworlded. Don't shoot yourself in the foot trying to prove to the astral police that your body is asleep. This works for people who it works for, but it is not the only way.
The problem is that it's always mindset over method, so getting hung up on a method that messes up your mindset creates a real dilemma. Unlike the intention to lie stiff as a board and hope your astral body pops out through your ears before you go crazy, Vac-U-Move is the art of watching for your dream bodies' natural movements while you lie reasonably still. This trains your Attention for the real thing, but I am an advocate of never forcing anything on yourself. People who can do it the hard way are welcome to lie still and push their astral body out through their ears, but I have other things to do with my Daytime Practices.
I've covered Vac-U-Move and Metsuke above; now for Blaffinveigle. Being able to relax the mind and the lifestyle is at least as important as being able to relax the body. Naturally there is some overlap among the various Frawmbickly Acts. Metsuke and Vac-U-Move and Blaffinveigle could be considered three different ways of looking at the level of relaxation that the unworlding coaches say is needed in order to get unworlded. Blaffinveigle is a huge topic that includes every form of meditation ever invented or discovered, including daily exercise. It's central to the practice. So no matter what you're doing, if it isn't working or you get the impression that you're wasting your time, as often as not you are chattering away to yourself about something irrelevant including unrealistic goals, while only pretending to do a practice superficially. Shutting off the internal dialog is the great energizer in this field, which is why so many people believe that meditation is a prerequisite for all unworlders.