The art of a hunter is to become inaccessible... To be inaccessible means that you touch the world around you sparingly. You don't use and squeeze... To be unavailable means that you deliberately avoid exhausting yourself... It means that you are not hungry and desperate, like the poor bastard that feels he will never eat again and devours all the food he can... A hunter knows he will lure game into his traps over and over again, so he doesn't worry. To worry is to become accessible, unwittingly accessible. And once you worry you cling to anything out of desperation; and once you cling you are bound to get exhausted or to exhaust whoever or whatever you are clinging to.
--Carlos Castaneda, Journey to Ixtlan
In learning to unworld for the first time, to increase the frequency of results, or to overcome a dry spell, your mindset is of key importance and method is not. This explains beginners' luck as well as the providential confidence brought by experience. Statements patterned after A and B below are wrong even when they seem true on occasion.
A: "If you do X you will not be able to unworld."B: "If you do Y you will be able to unworld."
It's not what you do; it's who you are. And it's not who you are; it's who you manage to be. Even intent is useless since we don't consciously know the location of our own magic buttons. Mindset, on the other hand, is something we can do something about, and fortunately it is the backbone of every successful unworlding experience.
Example: "If you don't practice enough..." Wrong. Good try, but wrong. This is not the Olympics. We're trying to do something we do in our sleep every night, but just to do it with a bit more awareness. Forget the work ethic, as we develop a picture of what the right mindset is. Why do some people get it right the first time they try, and then fail daily for months? Why do some people literally stumble onto unworlding with no practice? In a field of endeavor where the notions of progress and methodology are just notions, and where subjectivity trumps science, where it's a law that all things are equally unreal, where goals held by the endeavor's practitioners are phenomena considered impossible by a large proportion of people, I've found that all techniques are practically equal.
Not that techniques of unworlding should be trashed; we need our vehicles to get from here to there. But while the map is not the ground, it's also true that the vehicle can't use the map without the driver's participation at every stage of the game. Map or no map, the unskilled navigator literally has to stumble in the dark long enough to find his own way without being put out of commission. Without a key, most drivers would fail, and a little stumbling can be discouraging.
It is a rare mindset, that elusive magical attitude, that ever actually gets the hoped-for results. Meanwhile, evidence is piling up that all experiences are unworldings. In common language, everything is a dream; or as science now believes, everything is a function of a collapsed probability wave. And here we sit with our fingers in our brains, knowing more about it than any number of scientists who try to do everything the hard way on purpose. There are many valid reasons why the types of dreams most sleeping people usually have don't happen to be the types of dreams that unworlders want to have. These perfectly good reasons for the existence of discouragement stand up on their own merit while the methods developed to knock them down are inherently unreliable.
In the end, it doesn't matter what unworlding method you use, because if you have the right mindset, you can practice unworlding while you walk down the street or while you eat your breakfast. In fact there are even some people who find it hard to stay focused in the real world, who unworld without wanting to. And among those few hypnotists who are actually famous for their abilities, no schoolroom on earth could have taught them more than a small fraction of the savant's ability. An intuitive knowing made those rare individuals the masters of other people's states of mind.
Fortunately, it's much easier to learn how to influence one's own mental state than it is to influence and build an intended mindset in another person. Most people can create a reasonable facsimile of their own custom mindset once they know exactly what mindset they seek. But the question remains: what is the one set of mental conditions that, as an ideal, literally guarantees the practitioner entry, at will, into non-ordinary realities?
This book is dedicated to you, because only you can create, uncreate, and re-create custom worlds for yourself to inhabit. This remains true, no matter what you read in any book on unworlding including this one.
But speaking of mindset, here is the dream I had immediately after I wrote the above diatribe in the middle of the night after a few hours of sleep. I quote directly from my dream journal:
2017-01-08 8:30 pm
[To bed. Intent-o-genda is to merge with Whirly (my higher self) and experience all of my chakras/dream bodies from his perspective.]
2016-01-09 12:35 am
[To bed after writing a new dedication for Unworlding.]
"GongGong Gets It Right"
[Background: This afternoon as I was the first to leave a birthday party where I was terribly bored, the last person I spoke to was 10-year-old GongGong, who was just arriving with a friend. As a very small child, GG had been socially inept, beaten routinely by his father and bullied by all his peers because he never knew what to do or say in order to join in with the group. His first real friend, my son, was instructed by me to let him into the clique and stop making him out to be a misfit. By now GG is a normal, happy kid with lots of friends. The following dream is also about Whirly, who was known for years as Stumped-No-More the Fearless Fiddler, an ancient, crippled, homeless, mystical musician who I encountered in the best dream I ever had, over 35 years ago. Like the dream I had in 1980, this was a very unusual dream and words don't do it justice.]
At the birthday party, it's misty, foggy, I can barely see. I merge with GongGong. I pick up two drumsticks and start banging on a drum, a fast perfect solo. I am amazed at my sudden proficiency because I--GongGong--am making truly beautiful music. The rhythm falls out of me effortlessly in a beautiful, flowing outpouring of raw passion.
I continue with unabated perfect self-expression in a state of ecstasy for about two minutes or so, until the music I am making is no longer drum music, but a variety of instruments channeled straight from soul to atmosphere. I become lucid enough to know that my wife will notice me sobbing ecstatically, but I don't care.
I am somehow transported to a nice, spacious old apartment that I have just moved to (new place = new mindset). I really like this place. I find myself wandering aimlessly, looking at furniture I haven't used yet. The place is black and white--old white plaster walls, high ceilings, and very dark old wood trim and old-fashioned dark-stained furniture, all old and funky but comfortable and clean.
There's a knock on the door which surprises me because I'm new here and don't know anybody. I open the door cautiously, wanting to see who it is before opening it all the way. It's a woman about 35-40 years old, dowdy, with shoulder length, auburn, wavey hair. Working-class type, not the intellectual or artiste sort that would appeal to me. She says something about three things they want me to do with them. I don't get exactly what she's referring to, but I hear a loud TV from an open apartment door to the right of my door. I figure she's inviting me to watch a World Series or the like, and I tell her thanks, but I don't have time for TV. By the time I'm done saying this, she's already gone and I can hear her walking into her apartment saying something to her roommates which I assume is derogatory toward me. But I'm unaffected by this, and just glad she didn't insist.
I'm back alone in my awesome studio ready to create something, so what shall I create? I see a long, narrow dark-colored desk and can't wait to sit at it and write something, but what?
Oh Yeah! I almost forgot, I have to write down the dream I just had about GongGong! It's amazing how quickly I forgot about it. I see that there's no desk lamp on the bare desk, so I look up and see a light fixture directly above the desk on the ceiling. I head over to the wall to switch on the light, and wake up, my face wet with tears.