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The Science of Finding Lost Things

Cynthia Sue Larson

How to Find Lost Things with Quantum Jumping 

While I do my best to stay organized in order to minimize misplacing or losing things, every now and then something manages to get misplaced… and sometimes by the time I discover it’s missing, I need it right away. I’ve also noticed that I’m most likely to notice something missing when I’m in a hurry to go somewhere and don’t have a lot of time to search.


The first step in finding something that’s gone missing is to conduct a basic search, making sure that it’s not actually right nearby and we somehow missed it. A good basic  search involves:

(1) Retrace your steps to where the item was last seen and where it might have traveled,

(2) Ask anyone nearby if they’ve seen it,

(3) Ask the item to show itself by asking aloud a question my mother taught me when I was very young, “Now if I were ____________, where would I hide?” 

(4) Tidy things up while searching. Putting things together with other similar items creates a systematic process of elimination, making it easier to spot the missing item.


Expanding search categories so more of your brain is involved in your search is a natural process. Researchers at UC Berkeley have found that your brain calls in backup to find lost things. We typically organize objects in one of 1,000 categories in our mind, in such a way that when we see something we can assign it to a logical and easily retrievable location in memory. While this may not in itself be all that remarkable, recent neuroscience studies conducted at UC Berkeley have shown that when study participants are asked to look for something in particular, such as a person, their brains can be seen to widen the net of possible categories:

“… their brains also commandeered the brain regions responsible for perception of animals, body parts, action verbs and natural minerals and shifted them toward the perception of people. Likewise, when participants were seeking vehicles, the categories of tools, devices and structures were also stimulated by representations of vehicles.”


If you’ve tried all the above steps and still can’t locate your missing item, it’s time to pull out all the stops and resort to some truly amazing natural processes. As it turns out, nature knows a few tricks that physicists don’t, including how to utilize quantum coherence in natural processes such as photosynthesis. What does this have to do with finding lost things? Plenty. Just as scientists are now learning that plants try all possible pathways in order to maximize efficiency of light absorption in cells by virtue of a process called quantum coherence–so too can we take advantage of the fact that as many physicists believe, we and every object around us exists in a superposition of states.

The basic concept is this. If you’re looking for lost keys, for example, envision there is more than one reality in which your keys exist. In some realities, your keys seem to be gone, and in others your keys are nearby in a perfectly accessible place. You are now seeking one of many possible realities in which your keys return to you. Without getting overly concerned with which particular realities have your keys and which don’t, it’s best to adopt the attitude seen in many a “Missing” poster that reads, “No questions asked.” In the realm of quantum physics, in which Shrödinger’s cat is either alive or dead, we don’t so much care about the details as to which of many possible universes the keys come back from, as long as they do return.

Reality ShiftsOnce you’ve focused your attention on what you’re seeking, so as to expand your ability to find it (with more of your brainpower actively being put to work), it’s time to lighten your mood a little… and relax. Saying “Hope for reality shift!” the way my daughters did when they were young is actually an excellent way to feel a bit more light-spirited, thereby making it easier for you to make a jump between parallel worlds of possibility. What this phrase lacks in sophistication it more than compensates in successful returns of missing things–often either in places already thoroughly checked, or rather unexpected locations one would not expect (such as my toddler’s favorite juice cup suddenly perched atop the refrigerator, or water shoes resting atop my daughter’s pillow, or my favorite jewelry tucked inside a dresser drawer). When lost objects reappear, they often seem a little shy… preferring to quietly sneak into an out-of-the-way location, rather than startling people by exuberantly popping into existence right before their very eyes.

I hope you’ll feel inspired by reading real-life reality shift stories posted at RealityShifters and included in the book, Reality Shifts: When Consciousness Changes the Physical World. Sometimes, all it takes is a little bit of hope that missing things really can reappear… right out of the blue… and they do!


Dowsing is a great way to find lost things. I’ve had excellent success finding lost things using pendulum method that involves just my fingers–so no extra equipment is required. To use the hand dowsing method, you will create circles by touching your left thumb to left forefinger, and right thumb to right forefinger. These ‘circles’ can be intersected, so you have created a two-link chain. With this system, I’ve found “lost” family members in crowds of thousands of people very quickly, able to walk directly to them! The dowsing works through muscle strength. The idea is that when you are thinking or saying something you agree with or know to be true, such as, “I am alive,” your muscles will hold strong, even as you tug your hands away from one another, trying to pull the circles apart. If you think or say something you know is untrue, such as, “I am dead,” you will get no such strong support from your muscles, and your hands will easily separate as you pull them apart. Once you’ve tried out hand dowsing a few times to get familiar with how it feels when you get a “yes” or “no” response, you can use it to locate people in crowds (by asking yes or no questions as to whether they’re ahead of or behind you), and to locate lost objects.



Ball, Philip, “The Dawn of Quantum Biology,” Nature, 16 June 2011

Draxler, Breanna, “Your Brain Calls in Backup to Find Lost Things,” Discover Magazine, April 2013

Larson, Cynthia, Reality Shifts: When Consciousness Changes the Physical World, 2012

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