A look at the new reality shifting phenomenon.
BY MEGHAN BEERY ‘21
Ever since humans discovered language, authors have been bringing their stories to life and sharing their characters with the world. Readers all over the globe experience the haunting universe of The Hunger Games, the magical world of Harry Potter and the adventures of Percy Jackson. However, as much as bookworms may wish that they could live in their favorite books, there is no way to do so. Or is there?
Reality shifting, a new trend on TikTok with over 61.8 million views, has been taking the online community by storm. Supporters of the idea claim that humans have the ability to shift to desired realities, whether it be Hogwarts or a reality where horses can talk.
According to a Subliminal Users group on Amino, a community app home to one of the largest shifting communities, humans shift realities every second when making decisions.
“Shifting is switching [your] consciousness from one reality to another,” a user on Amino said. “Everyone can do it, in fact we do it all the time. When u decide to turn left, u switched to a reality where u turned left, there’s a reality where u turned right, one where u didn’t turn at all.”
There are several methods to shift, such as the Raven method, where the shifter lays in a starfish position and counts down from 100. The method also uses subliminal messaging, a message in the form of a video or a sound that supposedly tricks the brain into subconsciously receiving a message. Subliminal messages are used in many shifting methods, and these videos can be found on virtually
every online platform.
Although there is a scientific basis to subliminal messaging, there is not any conclusive proof of reality shifting. According to therapist Grace Warwick in an interview with Vice, shifters are entering transliminal experiences, not jumping through reality portals.
“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 Vice. “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
In addition to inducing a transliminal state, shifters write scripts on their phones to direct their experiences. Scripts can outline the basic plot of the experience, what the shifter looks like in their experience and how others act toward the shifter.
“Shifting is a very strange experience. It’s like an extremely vivid dream, yet it’s more real than any dream I’ve ever had,” TikTok user @helen.jenko told Vice. “Before I plan on shifting I write myself a script in the notes app on my phone, in which I plan exactly what happens in the desired reality. This makes it easier to visualize exactly what I want to happen—so I might script that I want to go to Hogwarts and for Draco to be my boyfriend, or that he will flirt with me.”
Warwick compared the script to a general outline for a transliminal state.
“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,” Warwick told Vice.
While shifting and scripting may not be unhealthy, it is unknown. Shifting remains a largely secret and exclusive practice that has not been extensively researched in the scientific community. Other than testimonies from shifters on apps like Amino and Reddit, there is no conclusive evidence as to what a shift looks like or its effects.
As much as we all might love dating a young Tom Felton, it is important to use both reason and caution. Shifting in itself may not be dangerous, but an unhealthy attachment to daydreams can be. As Dumbledore famously told Harry in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”