Most of us have experienced times when reality has literally shifted around us. We've noticed time has slowed down, sped up, or even stopped completely. Sometimes we notice that our coat, wallet, shoes or keys aren't where we know we left them -- or we're disconcerted to find that yet another sock has vanished into the "Bermuda Triangle" of our laundry room. Reality shifts are these times when we notice things appearing, disappearing, transforming, or transporting... or changes in the way we experience time.
What I find particularly fascinating about this phenomenon is the wide variety of reactions people have when they notice reality shifting. Just as in Alan Funt's "Candid Camera" television show, people experiencing reality shifts don't always respond the same way -- or even in ways we might expect people to react.
In the case of reality shifts, it's quite likely that our feelings are interconnected with the shifts in reality we are witnessing, so these emotions may help us find a key to better understanding the phenomenon of reality shifts. For example, anecdotal evidence suggests that people who are relaxed when they discover they have cancer (rather than feeling initially shocked or angry) are less likely to have spontaneous remissions of their cancers.
To find out how people feel when reality shifts, I designed and conducted a "How Do You Shift Reality?" survey of 395 people in April 2000, asking people to answer twenty questions about their reality shift experiences. One of the questions I asked was:
"When I notice reality shifts, I often feel... "
This survey offered several multiple choice answers to this question, including a write-in space for people to share additional comments. When I analyzed these survey results, I was excited to discover that there are twelve typical types of emotional reactions for people experiencing reality shifts!
The most typical emotion that people feel when reality shifts is curiosity. People typically find themselves wondering, "WHAT is going on here?!?" when they witness reality shifting around them. Of the 395 people I surveyed in April 2000, 62% of the respondents reported feeling curiosity when they noticed reality shifts. One survey respondent noted that just like Spock (from the old Star Trek television show) might comment, they often find themselves feeling like "Hmmm.... interesting!" Even those who are familiar and quite practiced in the art of intentionally shifting reality expressed a great deal of curiosity about what's going on when reality shifts. One of these survey respondents commented, even though "I have learned to control it (reality shifts) with my many years of magick practice, it only makes me yearn for more knowledge." Another person commented that they felt "fascinated - wonder whether we produce existence through will, or has time been changed?"
Reality shifts can be extremely exciting. I've often experienced dramatic changes, such as a woman across the street from me vanishing as I looked at her, which have given me goose-bumps once I realized the significance of such a thing happening! Of the people I surveyed, 45% indicated that they, too, have felt very excited when reality shifts. "Yeee - ha!" was one write-in response, which made me laugh out loud! Others said they felt "encouraged, anxious", "overwhelmed", and "restless". When the full import of a reality shift sinks in without being denied, very powerful emotional responses are often felt. One person wrote that it "depends on the circumstances, but my reaction is always intense one way or the other."
Reality shifts can often feel much like witnessing some of Nature's most powerful forces at work. Like hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, floods, and fires, reality shifts remind us of our relatively humble position in this amazing universe. 37% of the survey respondents said they felt "awe-struck" by reality shifts. People wrote that they felt "humbled", "awe-struck by the fact that we do indeed create time", and that they "suddenly feel small in the scheme of things". Reality shifts renew a sense of wonder for many people.
The next most common reaction to reality shifts is one of joy and happiness! 33% of the survey respondents said they feel happy when reality shifts. "I try to hold on to the moment as long as possible", wrote one person. Others remarked that reality shifts leave them feeling, "encouraged", "amused", and "validated".
A less common reaction to reality shifts is one of confusion. 26% of the people in the April 2000 survey indicated that they have felt confused by reality shifts. "I think that I'm crazy!", wrote one person! Typical comments of those reporting feelings of confusion were of feeling "mystified", "dumbfounded", "un-rooted", and "dizzy, light-headed, nauseous, disoriented". One person commented that I "wonder about my vision", and another remarked that reality shifts are "noticed usually after the shift or hindsight".
Fortunately, only a very small percentage of those polled indicated that they felt frightened by reality shifts. 7% reported feeling afraid, and wrote comments that reality shifts have made them feel, "agitated", "anxiety", and "thrilled and frustrated, 'cause it scares me before I can react appropriately -- cold and shivery".
A very small percentage (3%) of those surveyed reported feeling angry when reality shifts. It's understandable that people might get upset when things change without warning in seemingly unpredictable fashion. One person wrote that reality shifts make them feel "somewhat frustrated, curious, sometimes angry".
Sadness is another less typical emotional reaction to reality shifts. Like anger, we might expect a certain degree of sorrow when people see things changing suddenly. Only 3% of the survey participants in the April 2000 survey said that they feel sad when reality shifts.
While "denial" was not one of the multiple choices for how people feel when reality shifts, several people indicated that they intentionally disregard reality shifts, even when they notice this phenomenon occurring. "I shut it out of my mind", wrote one person. "I never seen that happen or maybe I did, but didn't understand what it was. Do not consider them as anything real. I pass it off to my being mistaken", commented another. A third wrote in feeling "a need to rationalize, until I shift it into something that makes sense". There is another moderately large group of people who simply don't believe in reality shifts, saying "I haven't seen them", or "I don't believe in them". In my survey, 6% of those surveyed reported that they don't experience reality shifts at all.
Another common response to reality shifts is one of gratitude and appreciation. Many people wrote in comments about feeling, "grateful", "thankful", honored", "reassured", "connected", "peaceful", "fulfilled", and "just glad to be able to see it and feel it when it happens all around me". I frequently feel grateful when reality shifts around me, because it overcomes the occasional doubts and skepticism I sometimes feel that such things can actually happen.
(11) Heightened Awareness
Quite a few people said they feel "alive", "high", and "aware" as a result of seeing reality shifts. These people are having what Abraham Maslow called Peak Experiences. When I first noticed reality shifts, I immediately began to pay much more attention to my surroundings, since I thought perhaps I'd been inattentive and that's why I was mistakenly thinking reality had shifted. What I found was that the more alert and aware I became, the more likely I was to witness reality shifts! One person commented feeling "very calm & focused in the moment", while another remarked, "I become aware of the WOW - "Whole" Other World - beneath the surface of this one, and feel my spirit stir when I witness veils drop and lift. " Others responded, "I read the signs to my reality -- I feel aware", and "Very, very interested!!!"
Yet another typical emotional response to reality shifts is one of calmly accepting this experience as part of normal life. This group of people is having what Abraham Maslow referred to as Plateau Experiences, as they become familiar with what was once a peak experience. The range of the feelings of acceptance in this group of individuals runs the gambit from "indifferent" and "ambivalence" all the way to "calm", "mellow", and "at peace with it because I understand it". These are the reactions of people who are "just used to it", who feel "that it was to be expected" when they witnessed reality shift. One person remarked, "It happens so often, I just accept it", and another commented, "I just accept them as normal". Others clearly feel that reality shifts are not unnatural at all, saying, "I feel that these are natural occurrences for me and am not alarmed", and "I feel as if things are as they should be".
When I look back at all these reactions, I'm amazed to find that I've experienced most of them myself. I hope that people who are just discovering this phenomenon will be reassured that most people find reality shifts to be exciting, awe-inspiring, and life-affirming in a very deep and profound way.
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