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The Myths of Magic, Manifestation, Reality Shifting, and Other Strange Ideas: Separating Fact from Fiction

I find it hard to believe that I have to say this to adults, but magic isn't real.

Yes, you heard me right.

Despite the countless TikTok trends, Instagram posts, and self-help books claiming otherwise, magic—in the sense of manifesting desires out of thin air, reality shifting to Hogwarts, or summoning a spirit to do your bidding—is not a thing.

magic isn't real

As a lucid dreaming teacher and researcher, I spend a ridiculous amount of time having to argue with people who make absurd mystical claims about reality. It's tiresome, odd, and makes me question what on earth has happened to the education system.

While on the surface lucid dreaming might appear to be related to the paranormal, being an unusual subject that feels like magic, it's not.

Not even slightly.

Lucid dreaming is a psychological phenomenon that has a strong foundation in science and reality—It's evidence based.

And it certainly doesn't require us to rewrite the rules of physics.

Magic debunked

So this article is a space to let off a little steam, put things into perspective, and hopefully stop the silly questions and comments rolling in. But I expect there's as much of a chance of that as manifesting next week's lottery numbers .

And before you accuse me of being a party pooper, let's dive into why the modern obsession with magic, from manifestation to reality shifting, is more fiction than fact.


Manifestation: The Modern Wishing Well

The concept of manifestation, also known as the Law of Attraction (LOA) has taken the world by storm. The idea that if you think something hard enough, it will come to fruition. Sounds a lot like wishing, doesn't it?

manifestation law of attraction LOA

Remember when we were kids, throwing coins into a wishing well, eyes squeezed shut, hoping for a mountain of candy or a pet unicorn? That's manifestation in a nutshell.

Only now, we're not wishing for candy; we're wishing for success, love, or even a parking space. The main difference? Adults are doing it with a straight face, calling it "The Law of Attraction" instead of "wishing upon a star."


Reality Shifting: Hogwarts Isn't Hiring, Folks

Then there's reality shifting, the belief that with the right mindset (and maybe a YouTube tutorial or two), you can transport yourself to alternate realities. Harry Potter fans, I'm looking at you.

Reality Shifting

Who wouldn't want to escape to a world where magic is real, and you're the hero? But, let's be real.

The closest we've gotten to shifting reality is getting lost in a good book or binge-watching a fantasy series until 3 a.m.

Calling imagination "reality shifting" doesn't make it any less of a daydream.


Astral Projection: The Ultimate "Leave" of Absence

Astral projection, the older brother of Reality Shifting. It has been around longer, and comes in and out of fashion. It's the idea that you can take a stroll outside your body, visit the pyramids, or float through space—all without leaving your couch.

Astral Projection

Sounds like the ultimate travel hack, but unfortunately, it's nothing more than a mental vacation—vivid day-dreaming or a sub-par lucid dream.

While the concept makes for an epic storyline in a fantasy novel, real-life attempts at astral projection tend to result in nothing more than a nice nap.


The Magical Thinking Behind Magic

Why are grown adults so enchanted by these concepts?

Perhaps it's the allure of control in an unpredictable world. The idea that there's a secret formula or hidden knowledge that can give us what we want without the grind.

It's a seductive thought, but at its core, it's as realistic as a Disney movie.


Time Travel: The Unclaimed Miracle

Interestingly, there's one magical concept you don't hear many people claiming they can achieve, although a few have tried: time travel.

Time Travel

Why? Because it's immediately disprovable. Imagine someone claiming they travelled back in time to stop the release of the infamous "Cats" movie. Yet, here we are, still traumatized.

Time travel, unlike manifestation, reality shifting or other more vague claims, offers a quick reality check. You can't argue with the present.


The Reality Check

So, here's the deal: life is tough, unpredictable, and often unfair. Looking for magic in the form of manifestation, reality shifting, or any other modern sorcery might offer temporary comfort, but it's not a solution.

The real magic lies in hard work, resilience, and the incredible things humans can achieve through determination and creativity. Let's focus on that and leave the wishing wells for coins and fairy tales.

real magic

While the idea of magic offers a fun escape, it's essential to remember the difference between fantasy and reality. Exploring speculative ideas, and indulging in "what if?" is healthy and creative, but not if it comes at the cost of a firm grasp on truth and reality.

Are there things we don't yet understand about the universe? Yes, of course.

Does that mean we get to fill-in-the-gaps with things we pull out of our bottoms? Well no, that's just silly.

Instead of waiting for a magical solution, we can create our own "magic" through action, innovation, and perseverance.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to manifest a cup of tea—the old-fashioned way, by brewing it.


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