Reality Shifting 101
With the whirlwind of events that have occurred over the past year, how far would you go to escape reality? For some, they are willing to go as far as traveling to a different reality altogether. In the past couple of months, a technique known as reality shifting has gained popularity on social media sites like TikTok. Reality shifting can supposedly allow people to shift their consciousness from their current reality to their “desired reality,” and these desired realities can range from fictional settings like Hogwarts to realities where the “shifter” is simply a better version of themselves. Many have compared it to lucid dreaming although shifters claim that shifting is more intense and realistic than any dream.
For beginners to shifting, the process of shifting can be confusing, especially with the abundance of information and tips circulating within the shifting community. However, the process is simpler than it seems. The key is allowing yourself to fall into a meditative, half-asleep state and planning out your desired reality in a process known as scripting. Scripting is when the shifter writes out a detailed script of their desired reality, including who they are in the desired reality, the people they are surrounded by, what they are doing, and more details. There are even script templates online that can help people shift to fictional worlds from popular shows such as Game of Thrones, Star Wars, and Attack on Titan.
After establishing their scripts, shifters then use a shifting method to achieve a meditative state and travel from their current reality to their desired reality. There are many methods out there, but the two most popular methods include the Raven Method and the Alice in Wonderland Method. The Raven Method involves the shifter laying down in a starfish position and counting backward from one hundred, imagining their desired reality the entire time. The other method, the Alice in Wonderland Method, involves the shifter imagining chasing after someone from their desired reality and “falling down a rabbit hole” with them. Two other notable methods include the Pillow Method and the Elevator Method, both of which share similarities with the Raven and Alice in Wonderland Methods.
While many are skeptical about the concept of shifting, shifters claim that the results they have gotten are genuine. Thousands of people online, mostly teenagers and young adults, have insisted that they have shifted to their desired realities and that it felt real and enjoyable to them.
However, shifting realities is not a new concept. It supposedly dates back to the mid-1900s where author Neville Lancelot Goddard published many books regarding reality shifting and theories based on it. There have also been shifting communities on apps like Reddit and Amino prior to when shifting became popular on TikTok. However, TikTok seems to currently have the largest shifting community, with the hashtag “#shiftingrealities” boasting around 1.4 billion views.
Although shifting is popular, it brings up a particular question: is it dangerous to shift? According to some experts, shifting is not as harmful as one might expect. In an interview with Vice, therapist Grace Warwick explained that shifting is essentially a “transliminal experience,” which usually occurs when someone is in a relaxed/meditative state, and that there is nothing inherently wrong with shifting. However, different people can have different experiences, and there are certain red flags one should look out for in case things go wrong.
“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,’” Warwick explained. “Also seek help if there is any ongoing drifting into altered states outside of intended ‘shifting’ sessions.”
Aside from that, Warwick stated that shifting can help shifters feel “revived and energized” in their current reality and that most shifters seem to have positive experiences (so there is a low risk for any long-term consequences).
Overall, reality shifting seems to go one step beyond the normal techniques of escapism, allowing people to transport themselves to worlds that they have only seen on TV or read about in books. Especially amid the pandemic and other crises of the last year, shifting has allowed many people to take a break from the stressors of reality. While there will always be skepticism and doubt surrounding it, shifting seems to be mostly harmless for those who partake in it.