"There has been a new trend recently taking over social media platforms such as TikTok. It is called reality shifting." --Reeghan Walsh, 6th Grade
Reality Shifting 101
Reality shifting is a process in which you go to an alternate reality, as the name suggests. You can go to either a real place, or a made up one. The destination one is trying to get to is their desired reality (DR), and the place they are currently in is their current reality (CR). For a little more background: The CR is the reality one is currently existing in. According to an interpretation of quantum physics, there are thousands of realities being created every minute. Why? Because, theoretically, for every decision you make, there is an alternate universe created where you made the other decision. For example, say in this reality (the one you are living in now), you decide to take a sip of water; another reality is then created. In that reality, you decide not to take a sip of water.
How To Shift
Shifting occurs when a person is asleep. One must be very tired before attempting to shift. Before going to a DR, people will write about what will happen in this DR. They put down what they look like, their friends, basically anything about that DR. This is called a script, and it helps with the shifting. That poses another question; how does one shift realities?
There are many different ways to shift. Two popular methods are the Raven method and the Alice in Wonderland method.
The Raven method is the simplest. The person attempting it lays down on the ground or on their bed in a starfish position, their arms and legs sticking out. They count down from 100 while thinking about the reality they want to shift to and saying affirmations after each number. Then, the person falls asleep, and wakes up in their DR.
With all these people claiming that they have shifted, and that it’s real, one may be torn. Some things about it don’t add up or make sense, but there are people who claim that they have actually gone to another reality. There is science behind shifting.
Grace Warwick is a therapist with expertise in anomalous experiences. Warwick says that despite popular belief, reality shifting is not lucid dreaming. Instead, it is something called a transliminal experience. “Transliminal experiences occur when awake and are most common when the mind is in a soothed state - for example, upon waking and before falling asleep,” Warwick told i-D. “The ‘instructions’ [for shifting] that abound on social media include being half asleep as a start point. They then introduce repetitive music [or] counting backwards slowly. All these factors would induce a state conducive to a transliminal experience. An interesting aspect of the techniques is the central part that a prepared ‘script’ plays - I would liken the role of the script to creating a guided meditation or working with active imagination.”
Some may be worried about the effects shifting can have on a body. Warwick points out that shifting can be different for everyone. “For the vast majority, the current trend is simply the next iteration of our relationship to altered states — enjoyable and seemingly magical — but I would urge a sense of caution,” she says. “Key indicators to seek mental health support would be if the ‘shifter’ experienced anything that created fear for them, or challenged their belief system regarding what we could refer to as ‘consensual reality’. Also seek help if there is any ongoing drifting into altered states outside of intended ‘shifting’ sessions.”
Warwick also points out that, thankfully, the vast majority of shifters have good experiences. Warwick says the shifters can return to their reality “[feeling] revived and energised by an experience that fitted with their belief system and experiential limits”.
Yet, there are also some concerns.
Can you get stuck? According to The Warrior Online, you cannot get stuck in your DR. People claiming that you can are incorrect. What happens if you die? The Warrior Online also states that if you die in your DR, you wake up in your CR.
Adrian Roatis, a 5th grader at Joaquin Miller Elementary, proposes a good point. “People should stop making eight year olds feel bad about themselves because they can’t do it [reality shift].” Roatis was referring to when one can’t shift, and they are told they aren’t trying hard enough. When someone truly wants to achieve something they can’t, it can be damaging. If reality shifting doesn’t work for someone, most likely a child in this case, they could lose motivation or love for the DR they want to shift to. It’s easy to see how reality shifting can be deceiving in this aspect.
No matter what someone believes, it is always important to respect them. The reality shifting community has gotten some backlash for multiple reasons, despite there being science behind it. Reality shifting may or may not be real, and that is for you to decide for yourself. But everyone should at least listen to what others have to say about the topic.
If you are thinking about shifting, do your research, and stay safe.