In another dimension, we existed where the popular “beginner books” featured a family of friendly bears who taught children about morality and life lessons. They were titled, The Berenstein Bears. In another, we saw news where Nelson Mandela the tireless apartheid activist passed away during his incarceration in Africa. We may have also learned about Greenland and Iceland in geography. And then, there was Svalbard.
If you think that the books titled The Berenstain Bears have a misspelling, thought that Nelson Mandela died in prison, and never knew about the existence of Svalbard welcome to the club – for those who experience The Mandela Effect. Where some of us diverge from society in our memories of the past and they are oddly different from the majority.
The rest of society believes that we have confabulated memories, are poor learners when it comes to world geography, or that we are out of touch with news/media coverage. There is another hypothesis, which is rather grandiose, but may explain the bizarre memory phenomenon. The Mandela Effect is relatively new and hypothesizes there are people who merged into this reality from another.
What is The Mandela Effect?
According to internet sources the Mandela effect (ME) was first written about in a Stranger Dimensions blog post titled The Wood Between Worlds in 2012 by a blogger named Reece, also a physics student, who posited a hypothesis on The Berenstein Bears problem. His explanation was a parallel universe, “At some point in the last 10 years or so reality has been tampered with and history was retroactively changed. Somehow, we have all undergone a π/2 phase change in all 4 dimensions so that we moved to the stAin hexadectant, while our counterparts moved to our hexadectant (stEin).”
Articles explaining the phenomenon credit Fiona Broome as the originator of the name ‘Mandela Effect’. As Broome described an experience where she discovered other people had false memories similar to hers. Specifically, that Nelson Mandela died during his imprisonment in the 1980s. “See, I thought Nelson Mandela died in prison. I thought I remembered it clearly, complete with news clips of his funeral, the mourning in South Africa, some rioting in cities, and the heartfelt speech by his widow. Then, I found out he was still alive.”
As the internet buzzed over the ME paradox, it quickly earned a title as a conspiracy theory. Causes for the false memories were attributed to everything from confabulation of memory, alien invaders, the European Organization for Nuclear Research known as CERN, and a time traveler altering time.
Are We Living in a Simulation?
More recently, as an off-shoot from ME, another theory has gained recognition in some surprising circles. Over the summer, billionaire Elon Musk (PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla) made a public statement on reality, “We are almost definitely living in a 'Matrix Style’ simulation.” The Silicon Valley mogul told a reporter at San Francisco’s code conference the chances that we are not living in a simulation were billions to one.
Certain philosophers, physicists, and scientists are exploring the notion of reality through this “simulation hypothesis,” that our experience of reality is a giant computer simulating our existence and was created by a more advanced intelligence. These experts are looking towards the past to define our current state of existence which includes the rapid advancement of technology and our memories within it. Inside this paradigm, ME is a glitch in the matrix we are living inside, but are not conscious of.
While most academics are skeptical of the simulation theory, there are others who are investing considerable time, effort, and financial resources toward explaining it. According to the New Yorker capitalist Sam Altman, there are two technology billionaires secretly working to find the right scientists willing to crack the simulation code.
Does this mean the Matrix and The Mandela Effect are real?
The idea of a superhuman race or intelligence designing simulations may be new according to contemporary philosophy, but Descartes who coined the phrase "I think therefore I am" and other philosophers were theorizing about existence long before Atari, Nintendo, and The Berenstain Bears.
Most of these modern day scientists refute or negate spirituality and consciousness in their research efforts. Whereas, with ME we cannot escape it. If there are individuals who either experienced an extinction event on another timeline or a natural merging of one parallel's timeline into this one - one thing is for certain. It will be small oddities like The Berenstein Bears, the spelling of Chick-Fil-A (check it out!), and popular culture which bring the glitches novelty to our attention and make us question who we really are. It is only through the culture of questioning consciousness-spirituality, because culture is king, that will bring these altered memories to critical mass. Not, the evading of consciousness in the very question, "What is reality?"
About the author: Courtney Marchesani is the author of The Energetic Psychopath: How to Protect Yourself and Recover from Violence. She designs integrative health plans for the Highly Sensitive Person. Her works have been featured in The Huffington Post GPS for the Soul, Elephant Journal, and OM Times Magazine.