Monday, May 8, 2023

Deja Vu


In French, "deja vu" means basically "already seen." It is the sensation that you have been somewhere or done something before, a vague fleeting almost premonition-feel. 

Scientists have explained this as a phenomena where one sees something or does something and have a fleeting recall of a past memory that is lost. 

Have you ever caught the scent of coconut and suddenly are having recall of summers at the swimming pool and slathering on suntan lotion? It comes with a fleeting warm feeling, sunshine, feel of a worn beach towel, sound of music on the loud speakers. It's these very cascading sensory recalls that reinforce the deja vu feel. 

Scent is probably the most common deja vu because we can be walking along, smell cherry tobacco and suddenly be thrown back in time to grandpa and his favorite pipe.

It's not uncommon to drive to a town you've never gone to, see the City Hall and then suddenly feel you know where you turn to find the school. 

Maybe you are having a conversation with your mom while she peels apples and she feel you know what she will do next because you've been in this event loop before.

One that I get the most often is I'm driving in my car with the radio playing and heading to a friend's house across town. A song comes on at a certain intersection and I think, "wow, that's an old song rarely played and last time I was in this exact spot, it played."

Have I been here before? Perhaps in another lifetime? 

The hardest part is dividing the mental deja vu from the precognitive. A psychic certainly understands that sensation as predictions are like unraveling clues from cues. 

It's a very psychic feeling when one is in the middle of deja vu and stops to elucidate what comes next, hoping to play out the familiar scenario.

I recall a deja vu I had that was quite significant. My family had the most amazing Victorian house on the Chesapeake when I was growing up. I loved the place more than our main home in Fairfax, Virginia. They sold it when I was an adolescent and for all my life I had repeat dreams of trying to find the house, but back then the sandy roads had no names and as a kid I barely paid attention to the long drive. So, I'm in the dream, driving around, looking out over water and marshes, nothing familiar.

As it's getting dark, I'm frantic to find the summer home. I drive past a big old white clapboard church and have total recall that I am close to the house. I look out over a field and see a cemetery and then a corner store with crab traps on the porch. I'm there! 

Well, eight years ago I took my best friend back there with me. Just like in the dream, I am driving around looking for anything familiar. We drive past marshes and water. It's starting to get dark and I'm frantic to find it. We pass by a white clapboard church and then a field with headstones, and a boarded up white corner store. I found it!

Did the dream tell me where to go because somewhere in my memories I actually did store the details of the trip as a kid or was the deja vu from the dream being played out? 

I figure, as we go through our daily life we manage to save info. It's rather like studying for a test. I used to write my notes at angles on the page because when I needed to recall the info, I could in my mind look at the top right part of the page and recall. Positioning was everything.

Well, when we set down memories, sometimes there are feelings, positioning, sensory conditions that make them lock in for future reference should we face a similar situation. The very thing that could be bringing on the deja vu is turning your head to the right, smelling laundry soap, and feeling warm. 

Some movies that might be of interest - 

Deja Vu

Stir of Echoes


The Reincarnation of Peter Proud

Between Worlds

What Dreams May Come

The Return

In Dreams

Total Recall 

Audrey Rose

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