Almost two years ago today (May, 2018) we learned that it was not only our eyesight that would betray us, but also our ears! An audio clip was making the rounds on the internet and people were utterly perplexed. Do you hear Laurel or Yanny?

what name did you hear

My favorite part of the Laurel and Yanny phenomenon is that the shift in perception comes from understanding that you are always and everywhere hearing both Laurel and Yanny.

This was true with the visual images in our post yesterday as well, but our visual field is linear and it’s uncomfortable when the visual image shifts. (This is probably why I got such a major headache yesterday when I was trying to figure out how to explain the shift from white to blue!)

Our ears, on the other hand, are used to perceiving multiple sounds at once- in harmony, in orchestra, or as a cacophony. So, it’s easier to understand that Laurel and Yanny are both there all along. Once you believe that, you will begin to hear the echo of the other.

Tkey for going back and forth between Laurel and Yanny is to believe in the other voice. Let’s say, “Laurel” is said by Darth Vader and “Yanny” is said by Phineas from Phineas and Ferb.

One will be perceived as the “figure” which you will “hear” while the other will be more felt as “ground.”

Now, to switch from Yanny to Laurel, imagine a Darth Vader voice saying “Lorrul” over and over again. BELIEVE THAT VOICE. Say it like that to yourself over and over and eventually he’ll say it, too.

To go from Laurel to Yanny (which I admit, is harder for me even though I began with Yanny) imagine Phinneas saying “Yanny” with a nasally/pitchy “a.” Eventually, the voice will pitch up and you’ll hear Yanny.

The world is waiting to open up for you

It turns out that it’s not only what we see that can shift if we believe in something new, but also what we hear…. and taste [ever been eating salsa with someone who spits it out says “There’s soap in there!” but no one else can taste it? #cilantro] and smell [who here has peeled an orange and been transported to a happy place?].

And, most of our lives are even more malleable than our senses! If we want to, we can perceive so much more opportunity and delight and possibility than we do right now.

What freedom is this? So much freedom!

What becomes possible now? So very, very much becomes possible when we allow ourselves to believe what we see on the edges and in between.

And, what happens when you shift two things at once?

A whole new level of perceptual fireworks!

The movie The Wizard of Oz was a perception shifting work of art back when it was released. It opened in black and white and then shifted into technicolor after about 19 minutes in. It was an experience that changed people’s awareness of their lives, and “seeing your life in technicolor” became a phrase used by pop psychologists (and me!) forever after.

And then there’s Pink Floyd. Remember them? Their album Dark Side of the Moon was a genre breaker, too. The album was designed to be listen to during a sitting, the first album to attempt to deliver an artistic experience that built on itself. So much so that Pink Floyd sued the record industry to keep the sale of individual songs off of iTunes, to preserve the artistic integrity of the album.

So, what happens when two perception shifting game changers come together? You get the mind-wobbling masterpiece, The Dark Side of Oz.

The dark side of oz

The hardest part was figuring out When to start the album, but no more! Thank the Lord for the Internet! Here it is, combined perfectly for you to experience!

To get the full experience of listening to the Dark Side of the Moon while watching the Wizard of Oz, you need to watch from 19:35-25:00. You can watch it all, obviously, but if you don’t have 2 hours to spare, this is the part that has the most bang for your buck.

It’s downright creepy and will change your perception of the Wizard of Oz forever!

Choose technicolor integrity whenever you can

The Dark Side of Oz has captivated me for almost two decades, ever since my engineering friends hosted watch parties back in Y2K. I was fascinated and delighted:

  • How did this happen? Who was the first person to say “I’m going to watch the wizard of oz… hey let’s put on some Pink Floyd.” Or was this a roommate mashup? One person watching the Wizard, another listening to Pink Floyd… and history was made!
  • Why does the feeling of the Wizard of Oz change so dramatically the minute it’s set to this soundtrack? Why does it suddenly feel like a 1970s psychedelic drug movie, when 10 minutes before it felt like a kitchy old-timey throwback?
  • This was before the internet… how did this idea spread?

So many thoughts.

I encourage you to watch a little bit of it, and then let your mind wander.

What would happen if you believed in the potential of a bigger, better, even more perspective shifting life for yourself?

Could you end up with something so remarkable that it stands the test of time?


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About the author

Dr. Amanda Crowell is a cognitive psychologist and business coach who helps accidental entrepreneurs get more clients and have a bigger impact. She is the author of Great Work, the host of the Unleashing Your Great Work podcast, and the creator of the Great Work Journals. Amanda's TEDx talk has received almost two million views and has been featured on TED's Ideas blog and Ted Shorts. Her ideas have also been featured on NPR, Al Jazeera, The Wall Street Journal, Quartz, and Thrive Global.