Déjà vu and the Brain, Consciousness and Self
UGH! I Just Got the Creepiest Feeling That I Have Been Here Before:
Déjà vu and the Brain, Consciousness and Self
We have all some experience of a feeling, that comes over us occasionally, of what we are saying and doing having been said and done before, in a remote time - of our having been surrounded, dim ages ago, by the same faces, objects, and circumstances - of our knowing perfectly what will be said next, as if we suddenly remember it! (Dickens in David Copperfield - chapter 39 (1))
It happens to me and it has probably happened to you. It is sudden and fleeting, leaving as unexpectedly as it came. While the experience is striking in its clarity and detail, it is difficult to recapture or recount. Generally, it is left unexplained and is described in a vague sense, often simply as, "Wow, I just got the strangest déjà vu." Because it is so difficult to research and seems to have no deleterious effects on daily and long-term nervous system function, déjà vu has been left largely to the wayside of neurobiological investigation. In all of its ambiguity, déjà vu is still a perplexing phenomenon that has not yet been fully explained. The value of truly understanding the source of déjà vu and its circuitry is in uncovering one of the many keys to the role of the conscious self in the functioning of the brain.
What is déjà vu and how does it work? Déjà vu is considered a common phenomenon. Surveys show that about one third of the population has had the most common form of déjà vu sensations (1). Due to the subjective and often indescribable nature of the associated feelings, it has been difficult, to determine who is actually experiencing déjà vu. In general, however, déjà vu is "any number of hard-to-explain sometimes upsetting occurrences of unexpected recognition, in which the person involved has trouble identifying an antecedent for the events and/or places which seem so strangely and intensely familiar (1)." Déjà vu has been defined as "familiarity without awareness (13)." While the situational cues of a déjà vu are familiar, there is a definite lack of awareness about the specific source of the memory.
Arthur Funkhouser (1) defines three types of déjà vu in an attempt to more clearly delineate between associated, but different, neurological experiences. These are déjà vecu (already experienced), déjà senti (already felt) and déjà visité (already visited). Déjà vecu is the most common déjà vu experience and involves the sensation of having done something or having been in an identical situation before and knowing what will happen next. These sensations are often felt through several senses: seeing, hearing, taste, touch and proprioceptive perceptions. The experience is often incredibly detailed and is usually connected to very normal activities. Although the episode itself lasts from only a fraction of a second to several minutes, it can often be remembered in minute detail long after the episode has occurred. One experiencer says, "There came this strange, almost physical up-welling of visual experience, a visual warping, and at the same time an eerie realization that everything happening now had happened before, maybe many times (11)."
Déjà senti is different from déjà vecu in that the episode of recollection feels more like the recovery of long sought after information. The sensation is one of satisfaction at having retrieved a memory although the memory was not actively sought. This form of déjà vu does not involve any feelings of premonition and the episodes quickly dissipate from memory. Déjà senti has been strongly associated with the partial seizure experiences reported by temporal lobe epilepsy patients. The extended nature of these episodes has allowed for more detailed descriptions of the feelings associated with a déjà senti event. "It was as if one of my dreams had simply been sucked out of the actual, physical environment and set to playing again in every detail (11)." Déjà visité is a more rare event in which a person visits a new place and feels that it is familiar. It is associated more with spatial dimensions while déjà vecu is associated with situations and processes. Déjà vu experiences can be in one of the three forms described above or can be a mixed version with a combined déjà vu effect [The above from (1)].
What causes a déjà vu episode? There are several possible explanations for what is occurring during a déjà vu experience. One possibility is simply the occasional mismatch made by the brain in its continuous attempt to create whole sensical pictures out of very small pieces of information. Looking at memory as a hologram, only bits of sensory information are needed for the brain to reconstruct entire three-dimensional images. When the brain receives a small sensory input (a sight, a smell, a sound) that is strikingly similar to such a detail experienced in the past, the entire memory image is brought forward. The brain has taken the past to be the present by virtue of one tiny bit of sensory information. It is this mismatch of past and present sensory information that causes the sense of disconcertment and unease associated with a passing déjà vu [The above from (2) and (3)]. This theory provides a satisfactory explanation for the physical effects of déjà vu. These appear to be similar to the effects of mismatch between sensory input and corollary discharge signal information to the brain. It does not, however, seem to provide sufficient answers to individual (even my own) accounts of déjà vu, where the memory image pulled up is not necessarily from a true past event.
Another explanation for déjà vu is that there is a slight malfunctioning between the long and short-term memory circuits of the brain. Somehow, specific information shortcuts its way from short to long-term memory storage, bypassing the usual mechanisms used for storage transfer. The details concerning this shortcut are not yet well understood. When this new, recent piece of information is drawn upon, the person thinks that the piece is coming from long-term storage and so must have come from the distant past (6). A similar theory says that the error is in the timing of the perceptive and cognitive processes. Sensory information is rerouted on its way to memory storage and, so, is not immediately perceived. This short delay causes the sensation of experiencing and remembering something at the same time, a very unsettling feeling (2). One other explanation is that déjà vu is actually the process of remembering memory connections, of following the impulses and synapses (4). All of these neurobiologically based explanations for déjà vu seem plausible and intriguing and perhaps there is some overlap or combination that accounts for the different experiences we call déjà vu.
Other explanations for déjà vu have been given by psychoanalysts, such as the manifestation of wish fulfillment. Here, déjà vu is the subconscious repetition of a past experience, but with a more positive ending (2). The realm of parapsychology proposes that déjà vu is a chance for reincarnates to get a sneak peak into a past life. Most scientists scoff at these "magical" explanations for neurological events, citing that they break many of the laws of nature (6). Some, however, point to more recent findings in physics, such as the possibility of particles that can travel backwards in time (tachyons), time loops and multiple universes. They say that these may give cause for more non-traditional ways of seeing causality and for the possibility of neurological "time travel" (1). This means that, maybe, just maybe, understanding déjà vu as a means of seeing into the past or future cannot be so immediately dismissed. It is certainly food for thought for the rising debate, anyway.
It is important to note the level of consciousness involved in a déjà vu episode. There are common threads that run through many déjà vu experiences. "When you are in the midst of such an occurrence, you are conscious that everything conforms with your 'memory' of it" (1) and "I know exactly what is going on around me when it happens. (9)." This implies that the participation of the entire brain capacity is not required to produce a déjà vu experience. Perhaps more importantly, there is a significant role played by at least a portion of the conscious person and the I-function. "It was like being in a long-running play, complete with the sense of being 'on' and standing
What is this role of the self in déjà vu? "To what extent is it possible for the core awareness to preserve ... images and emotions before they're swallowed up again and sealed tight? (11)" One epileptic déjà vu experiencer claimed that he could consciously recapture the feelings and notions associated with déjà vu simply by writing down the images that appeared during the experience. Later, he found that the memories had not vanished as before but could be brought back to a conscious level simply by reading the notes. The experience was brought back to him as if it was a conscious daydream (11). The striking implication here is that part of the conscious self, the I-function, is intimately involved and may be communicating with the processes of a déjà vu.
Perhaps to some, déjà vu is not worth its research weight in synapses. It may seem to many to be just an oddball, quirky brain trick that we learn to incorporate into our daily routine. Investigation into the implications of this neural event, however, seems to lead towards more in-depth knowledge of ourselves.
Quite a few of us who have "already-seen" would dare to see even more---would actually follow that dangerous, disappearing, inbound road consciously and witness for the first time what is usually jamais-vu and hidden, and I mean the steady dark frolic of neurons and the ghost that is called ego (11).A better understanding of déjà vu may lead us closer to an understanding of the complex relationship between ourselves and our memories. It may light a path for a clearer view into how we incorporate ourselves into our memory and into how our memory is incorporated into our conscious selves. How can this be futile?
This Has Happened
(1) "Three Types of Deja Vu," in Perspectives - A Mental Health Magazine, on mental health net, by Funkhouser, Arthur.
(2) "Been There, Done That," by Geary, James, TIME Magazine 149/18, May 5, 1997.
(3) "You're Not Really Losing Your Mind," by Peterson, Karen, USA Today
(4) "If You Think About It...," by Shaughnessy, Ed.
(5) "Scientific Approaches to Consciousness," a volume in the Carnegie Mellon Symposia on Cognition Series, edited by Cohen, Jonathan and Schooler, Johathan.
(6) "Do Dreams Predict the Future," in FAQ Maintainer.
(7) "Premonitions or Deja vu Sensations?" by Dr. Dewey.
(8) "Partial Seizures," by Ryan, Diane.
(9) "deja vu feelings," by Moyers.
(10) "Mind, Body, and Seizures," by Benak, John.
(11) "Yellow Brick Road," by Media, Frank.
(12) "Reincarnation," in The Skeptic's Dictionary, by Carroll, Robert Todd.
Dear Sir or Madam, I have read your article regarding de javu on the Internet. I experience that starnage phenomenon very often approximately twice a month. That caused me to find some information or explanation about it. Your hypothesis regarding the time delay in processing of the visual information looks quite reasonable. There is one thing I would like to note. In that article you said that the phenomenon is exclusively visual. However, when experience de javu not only my visual sense remembers the situation but also all my other senses are at work (I remember sounds, tastes and even smells). I would like to hear your comments on my case since you are a specialist in this field. Sincerely, Galymhzan T. Koishiyev Kazakhstan, Almaty firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for referencing my MGH post. I took that work quite further and developed a formalized theory for seizure control based on my own research. This work culminated in a trip to Prague in 1999, where I presented a paper on my research at a neurology/epilepsy conference in Prague. That paper was subsquently published in 2000 in the British medical journal "Seizure." If anyone is interested in a copy I'd be happy to email it to you. While the seizure frequency has subsided quite a bit over the last ten years, I still have the experiential seizures a couple of times a month. I'm more than willing to discuss any questions anyone might have about this or related subjects. Thanks! John Benak email@example.com
I have experienced a deja vu and it was very strange.When i do a definite action i have the feeling that i have done it before.It also heppened to me to know people who i have never seen before(to have the feeling that i know them).But the strangest thing happened when i was in the States for the summer the previous year.(I am from Europe and i have never been in the States before).It happened during my visit of Six Flags.The moment at which i heard the music and saw the entrance of it i felt something.It was something like fear.........something very strange.I did not know where was this coming from.I had that strange feeling all the time we stayed there but i was trying to interpret it like a great exitement that i am there.At the time we were about to leave it happened.I was there waiting for my friends to come.For a fraction of a second i felt i am somewhere above the others.I could hear vopices but they seemed very apart.I was stared and moveless.I was looking at a small bench almost unnotisable.There were many trees around it.What i remember is vouge because it was so strong and i was so upset after it.I felt that i am sitting in that same bench with somebody and i can almost say that i pictured myself there.The feeling was very strong.I even knew the time (i can say it was a long time ago when people were wearing these funny renessance clothes ).Then i could feel only how my friend took my hand and the whole scene disapeared suddenly.I remember being very scared after that.My friend kept on asking me if everything was all right.I was left without answer.I deceided to try again .I went to the same place but this time i could remember nothing.Everything had disapeared.It looked so normal.But the feeling of fear was left.I dont know if it is normal to be afraid.I have always been afraid of the dark and unknown and i was always trying to prove to myself that whatever it is happening it has an explanation.But now i feel afraid more than ever becauser there is no explanation on what happened.I am not afraid of the feelings that i am repeating an action (because i calm myself down by saying "ok maybe i dont remember when i have done it") But how to calm myself with what happened.I felt not only that i have been in a place where i actually have never been before but i pictured myself there, i felt the time separating my moveless body from the bench i was sitting maybe in some of my past lifes.I hate the idea of the past life.I am afraid to know that there is something beyond.Can you give me some explanation to what i have experienced(scientific)? Thanks
Hi, I have just read your article about Deja Vu's,My name is Timothy, I am currently 18 years old and am having a real hard time with deja vu experiences. I have had the casual experiences throughout my life, even in childhood, but these experiences would come and go in a matter of seconds. This brings me to my "problem". For the past 2 or 3 months I have been experiencing deja vu everyday, literally. Not just once a day either. Sometimes I might have the experience throughout the whole day. This is driving me insane. I have been looking and searching everywhere for some type of answer but have found very little. When I experience deja vu, I get a fearful feeling along with the feelings of familiarity and confusion. I get this feeling of fear from the deja vu itself and from past experiences with deja vu. In past experiences when I would have frequent deja vu's, a tragedy (such as a death of a friend or family member, or even the 9/11 attacks and the Tsunami) would occur. So I started to see these experieces as a sort of warning. So now every time I have a deja, I get really afraid and almost paranoid, fearing that soon I may lose someone dear to me or that some type of catastrophe will occur. Over these past months, only one distant family member has died. Yet the deja's continue to occur. I am wondering if there is some sort of way I can control how the deja experience effects me. I don't expect you to have any answers for me, but I am hoping that maybe somehow you could try to help me and possibly help stop these things from happening or at least lessen the occurence. I deeply thank you for listening. Sincerely, Timothy J.
I have alot of dreams that you could say come true but they are really insignificant (i.e. I had a dream I hit the ground really hard and someone shouted "God D*** It!! about a week later I was playing a football game (I'm a highschool athlete by the way) and I was running the ball and I got tackled and the exact same scene, though only a few seconds, occured which I realized right away. I'm not really expecting an explanation though it is welcome I just happen to notice alot of people write so I thought I would.
To Timothy and the other deja vu'ers writing here...research is ongoing regarding deja vu / deja vecu...if you would like to help with it, I'm also beginning to post some links (at http://myspace.com/espiralli), including those to Art Funkhouser's article "Three Types of Deja Vu" and to the Deja Vu Survey.... Timothy, you are what I refer to as a "perpetual", meaning someone who has gone from the usual fleeting dv incidences to a continual state. Don't be frightened - it doesn't mean catastrophe...it's a different form of consciousness, and one that you can become accustomed to and that can be beneficial to you and to others if you do not succumb to doubt and fear. Art Funkhouser's survey includes the choice of "continuously", and in so doing I suspect it will eventually clarify that there are many functioning perpetuals "out there"...which may in turn eventually help to clarify the true meaning of deja vu / deja vecu, elevating it out of the realm of "dysfunction". That will take time, and your help, and the help of many other deja vu'ers, perpetual and otherwise. Together we change the status quo. Espiralli
I find that the article about déjà vu provides an excellent overview of this intriguing phenomenon (or, better, phenomena). I am trying to collect data about déjà vu and it would be a great help if persons who have experienced or who are currently experiencing it in any of its forms would fill out a questionnaire I now have up on the Internet at silenroc.com/dejavu
Many thanks and best wishes, Art Funkhouser, Bern, Switzerland
FOUND THIS PAGE WHILE SEARCHING,A VERY GOOD EXPERIENCE TODAY, I HAD AN EPISODE OF DEJA VU AND MY WIFE HAD THE EXACT SAME EPISODE AT THE SAME TIME,HOW CAN I EXPLAIN THIS????IN OTHER WORDS ,CAN TWO PEOPLE HAVE THE SAME FEELING AT THE SAME TIME????
i am a 21year old indian girl doing my B.E in electronics n communications.i stay in the hostel(india).my parents are in england.its been a year or so when i was travelling by bus alone,i felt voices ringing in my ears that sounded very familiar n that i hav heard b4, n all of a sudden my hands felt numb n cold n i felt weak. it stayd on 4 abt 2 mins n den i cudnt remember wat it was. wen i reachd hostl i narratd dis 2 my friends n again i felt the same but it was mild den. then it came once or twice after dat n i consultd a doctor n he said it might b dejavu n i need 2 do an EEG n a cat scan after my xams since iam busy wid my xams. but nowdays thi dejavu is disturbing me frequently on the mornings of every xam n even during the xam...its not true dat dejavu is only prominent in the sense of sight coz in my case it is the hearing. pls help me.
Hi, I've had many expierences on, the feeling of reliving a moment, where I know I've been in the same place before, and that evrything and everyone is where they should be, and say what i knew they were going to say. But there is something else that happens often. It happened more when i was younger but still happens to this very day. This may sound crazy, and i'm not making this up, but say today i think of a movie or a song i haven't heard in a long time (briefly), and i wont say anything about it. I wont even try to listen or look for the movie that briefly popped into my head, but usually a day or two later its on tv, or on the radio. I mean i know it doesnt sound right, or sounds lame...but it's eerie. Its almost as if I have a sense of something that i want to see, and somehow it appears. Its never rapid, and its not in my control. And i wasnt reading the tv guide, it just happens. How is that possible? its not just one time or me even trying to make it happen it just does. What would your answer be to this? Like any explanation? Deja Vu happens to me once in a blue moon, but i can remeber the last time i had it, probably a year ago, and the time delay sounds relevent but, couldint it be possible that our dreams, and daily life can connect on another level? not magic or any of that but what if we are just reliving our lives in a constant pattern, where we've done this before, and that deja vu is an echo through time. I know there is no evidence, and i'm just thinking and typing but any answers or response would be extremly intresting, and helpful. thanks again -tom
greetings! i am also one of those who often experience this sense of deja vu. the delay in the visualization and conduction to the brain is somehow reasonable. however, howcome my other senses can also experience it at the same time. especially my hearing. there's also one other thing i want to share with you and the readers. when i was a kid, i always thought that i've been in a place where my parents and i were riding a yellow bus. we were having a trip along a rocky mountain with sculpture of different faces on it. it was only in highschool that i realized it never really happened when i saw that particular mountain on the television. the twist is i've never gone to any other country other than philippines. what could this particular feeling be...? thank you very much. my this help you explore more discoveries regarding deja vu.
Throughout my life I've experienced feelings of deja vu', but one particular incidence was of great importance. For me, the sensation is not "just visual", as some have written, but the totality of the entire experience of what is going on, including sounds, words, smells, everything. In fact, I've felt that I've known exactly what someone is going to say and have deliberately not said anything in a desire not to disturb the moment. One day while having a deja vu experience, one of the people I was with an was very aware and they asked me if I was O.K. I said, Yes, and that I'd just had this deja vu experience. His reply was, he'd observed my pupils dilate, my muscle tone slacken and my cheeks flush! For the 1st time in my life someone had witnessed physical changes that accompany this mental state. Although I've never come to a complete understanding of why this experience occurs, it is totally random, I can confidently say it's nothing mystical, but definately physiological.
Dear Sir, I have been having these so called "Dejavu" experiences right from my teen years and they are still persistent now, at the age of 30. I don't think that any reasearch is advanced enough to explain this phenomenon yet. Though it was scary at first, I eventually leart to like and even enjoy such experiences, as its just a part of life.
I have been experiencing deja vu for almost my entire life, but today I had the most vivid of all: I was watching a TV show, one that I have never seen or heard of before, and then the feeling started, I saw that before and I actualy recited three lines before they were spoken on the show. Unfortunatley now I cant remember much. My question is if deja vu is caused by some temporary mulfunction of the brain, how could I have known the future ?
Dear Madam / Sir! Deja vu... I anwered my professor during a lesson when he asked the students: "..what do you think is de-javu?" Answer given: "..if I can explain our brain in simple terms as a computer..the eyes, ears (and feeling) - the input devise see under certain circumstances "something" - which information is then send to our Microprocessor to interprete and to send this info the "concious" mind and in the same time to the memory from which we can draw when we are in "muse"... But some time our "microprosessor" has a little malfunction and gives this information to our memory only (or first (more likely) and the "concious mind" receives it from there first.(or double with time delays in x. 10-x seconds(?)) So, we "think", we have seen this already, we have been there...heard - can in fact foresee whats happens next - because our "computer" is to fast - but can be tricked." We had a long, long quiet moment in the classroom. I have sometimes (2-3x year)this feeling and mostly accours when I come home, had stress in work... and hungry (think "feast of the tibetan Monks and others) It seems that your own body energy which drives us plays the trick. Our brain contains light, which is a certain frequency,-visible. We are in fact moving (more or less) antennas in a light (protons...photons...)surrounding atmosphere, our head being at least 170 cm above ground and moves with ~1300 km/h through the air. So we are quite exposed to "field" out there. In situations where our energy "balance" goes to one side we can expirience this. To some "it happens", others are able do it.. I am not a fan of a sect or simmilar, I just took long journeys (by reading and trying to conclude) through history and as engineer I can say I stay by impirical methods first - so I don't loose the big picture. B.T.H.O.T.G.A.O.T.U. best regards Manfred Kraus, Durban South Africa
I've lived with it for so long that I feel that I own the subject. I would appreciate anything you could offer on my particular situation. Thank you ... Angel, 13 August 2005
Hello, I have just recently been thinking about my past deja vu experiences as well as any precognitions, but deja vu more due to a topical class that I am having today for discussion in an English School (maybe a little heavy for ESL).
When I have a deja vu experience it feels like I had dreamed it and that it is a memory. I rarely have these experiences though I have had them since childhood. I mean rarely by maybe one or two a year. Sometimes more or sometimes less. Though at present I have had a hard time recalling any of these experiences. I know that once it was in a discussion among four or five friends and we were talking about something. Another time it was in another country but again in a group setting. And there is a vague memory of an early experience going somewhere with a friend. Now when these happen, I'm never afraid or alarmed but surprised actually and intrigued by the possibilites of life and consciousness or subconsciousness.
I wonder if there is a possibility that I actually dreamed of the future but with my mind or brain not having anything to associate the dream with the experience is in my subconscious waiting for the arrival of the future. This leads me to believe that perhaps there is a destined path or a predetermined future, but perhaps it is just a physiological weakness common to mankind...? ... Charles Osburn, 6 March 2006
ok my names ricky de lacruz but im just saying this is all very weird to me becuz i have 5 to 6 deja vu's a week and i dont know...its not just dreams i have either i mean like ive had all three of those different deja vu's and they're cool and all but its all confusing...cuz i dont just dream it now and feel it now i predict some things...i dont know if im just putting the obvious together and saying a date and stuff but i dont know like i use a feeling in the pitt of my stomach to make decisions and it works most of the time and i mean thats alot 90-100% the other 10% is school haha but yea im amazed by the feeling and i love it but i dont know I want more ... Ricky De La Cruz, 2 April 2006
When I was 17years ols - 36 years ago - my parents & I were arguing while in my room. I was hit in the head/face and knocked out by my father. When I came to I noticed the onset of an intense deja vu. At the time I didn't even know the term, and really didn't know what was happening. As my parents spoke to me, I could tell exactly waht they were about to say. I could see their actions before hand. For my part I kept silent. After about 15 minutes of this I became fairly scared and announced - speaking for the first time myself - that I couldn't take it any longer and so I wanted them to leave, to break this off. My mother left the room. As a 17 year old by my room was most often quite a mess, with things and clothes all over the floor. Among the items was a Marine Corp knife my father had given me years before. It was in its sheath on the floor in front of where I sat on my bed. I saw it there and also saw in my mind my future actions as though seeing them from my own eyes as I would see anything from my own perspective,I did not see these actions as though from an outside observer. I saw each step of the next few seconds as a separate step. First, while still seated on the bed, I saw myself reach for the knife. Seeing this, I felt compelled to act it out. I did not feel I could stop it from happening. As I fullfilled this image by following through, I saw the next step I was about to do. I saw myself pick up the knofe and unsheathe it.So I di it. As I picked it up and unsheathed it, I saw myself approach my father who was standing above me, watching. So I did that. As I unsheathed the knife and approached my father, I saw myself put it to his throat and tell him to get out of my room. So I did that. As I did, I saw myfather grip my wrist, take the knife from me, and put it behind him and walk away safely. Then he did. All along I felt calm, reassured that nothing would happen. This more or less broke the spell. But then for about a year I would experience deja vu at least two or more times a month, which would last as long as I wanted them to - five minutes at a time easily. I could stop them by doing what I have called 'changing the script', or simply deciding on what I knew was an incorrect scenario. As I knew A would say to B such and such, I would decide , for example, that A would get up and leave. As this was not 'scripted' it would bring the deja vu to an end. This lasted about a year or so and since then I still have deja vu, but nothing like that. Mostly, as afar as I know, I have them as anyone does - infrequently and only in a flash ... Kim Emerson, 21 April 2006
I NEED ADVICE.
There are a lot of paranormal things I have been experiencing. I need to get them out there and be known, for some reason, and if I don't I don't know what to do.
I am a 22 year old, female, college student, majoring in criminal justice. I have no real interest in psychic, or paranormal happenings, but apparently they have an interst in me. I didn't realize that what I experience as deja vu is very uncommon. I've recently started to research this subject just for my own personal interest. I am having a hard time writing this comment because the recent urge to tell someone about my experiences is almost overwhelming. I consider myself an intelligent, well educated person, who is level headed, and so what I am about to say makes me very anxious. I know that there is something amazing (I can't think of any other word) going on in me, and every day it seems to intensify. I believe I've always been in tuned with my sixth sence, but for the past six months it has just exploded. Deja vu is a big part of it, but there's more to it. For me, deju vu happens at times of change in my life, but really it happens all the time, but I seem to be more aware of it at those specific times. The following happens as an "either-or" kind of thing. Deja vu is either like I'm reliving an actual experience for the second time, or it's a reacuring dream. I have deja vu of having deja vu. The moments last for about 10 seconds, but they hit like a ton of bricks, and it takes a few breaths for me to calm down and shake it out of my system. I can feel the deja vu coming on, and then I can literally see what is about to be said, heard, felt, inhaled, done, etc. It is so crazy, and emotional, and strange, and I'm amazed as to how long I've been able put those moments aside and go on with my life. I can't put this aside anymore. It's impossible to explain in words the vibes, and feelings I have been having. I have been always able to sence when something big is going to happen, either personally, individually, or globally. My sister and I share these feelings, which we just discovered a few years ago. My sister and I also seem to share this very real, and very apparent mind connection (telepathy??). We have lived 3 hours away from eachother for over 7 years, and we talk maybe twice a week, but we always seem to be experiencing the same concerns, thoughts, motives, emotions, etc. We call eachother at the same time often, and like I said, we only talk two or three times a week. Really random things that come up in conversation turn out to be the thing that will solve one another's problems. I don't know, it's hard to explain, but I need advice. I need to tell someone who knows something in this realm in the chance that they can point me in the right direction. I'm really not this scatter brained usually. My experiences go so much deeper, I wish I had more time and space to write about them, but maybe someone will get my drift!
Thanks for your time ... Evann, 24 April 2006
I'm another person who has had multiple deja-vu experiences, including two particularly "deep" experiences where I actually said to myself "this woman is about to say this" and she then said exactly what I predicted.
So I am one of those who finds the "standard" explanation completely untenable.
I suspect we have precognitive experiences from time to time in the dream state, then remember them when the events take place as deja vu ... Matthew Cromer, 4 May 2006
I was interested to come across your review of deja vu. It may be of interest for you (and your readers) to be aware that in my book 'Is There Life After Death'(Arcturus in the UK and Chartwell in the USA - available in bookshops and on Amazon). In this book I come up with a totally original explanation of deja vu. I propose that we are all existing in a three-dimensional 'recording' of our own life - a recording of a life that was once lived for real but is now on permanent re-run (like the film Groundog Day). In the book I attempt to explain the hard science behind such a seemingly bizarre suggestion. The sensation of 'living this moment before' is brought about by a 'judder' in the replay mechanism like a jump in a DVD recording. Recall what happens to Neo in "The Matrix" when he perceives his 'deja vu'. What is happening is the 'reality programme' was being amended ... Anthony Peake, 25 September 2006
I started searching for info on deja vu specifically to see if there are any theories/hypotheses on more than one person sharing a deja vu experience simultaneously. It looks as though one of your readers in Nov 2005 also had the same question. I have always had a passing interest in deja vu because it seems so unnatural and mysterious but fleeting. There was an occasion during a phone conversation that I stopped to announce I was "having a major deja vu", only for him to say he was too. The sensation of reliving a moment is startling enough but to share it was altogether another matter. If you've come across any sources that have explored it, I'd greatly appreciate knowing. Thank you ... April, 25 October 2006
Hello there, I am a 15 year old guy who has experienced deja vu. This has been happening to me for about 2 years since i can remember which was at the age of 13. It is very sudden and it always happens sometime later in my life. Its mainly me seeing the image I dremt about, or sometimes a sound. But when it occurs, I know its deja vu and I know I've seen or heard this before. I am aware that I have seen this in the past, but I am also aware that it was definitly in a dream I had. Unfortunatly I can never remember the dream until it happens and I see it when I am awake. Another unfortunate thing about it is that it is always an insignificant experience. I would really like to know if there is some way to trigger these experiences, and maybe some sort of way to expand what I see into the future. Thank You, and hope to hear from you. =D ... Adam Bridges, 8 November 2006
I have always had deja vu to a degree, coming and going...Two years ago, deja vu lasted almost three months, non stop, went to bed with and woke up with it. My doctor is aware of it and suggested a mental health issues. I do not believe it is a mental health issue...It comes and goes, sometimes a few second, few minutes, few hours, all day...I am 49 years [old] ... Robert, 15 November 2006
In referrence to de javu, I have my own theory. Recently, within the last year or two, I have had feelings of de javu quite often. What I find strange about them is i know why i feel so familiar with a persons face, conversations, situations, and settings. I have very vivid dreams and remember most of them, definetly more than most people. I've come to find that most of my "de javu" instances are portrayals of scenes had in previous dreams. I believe that somehow, we have de javu because we have dreamt of situations, conversations, etc. Since most people tend to have little or no memory of most of the dreams they have, this could explain the reason they do not know why they have that sense of familiarity. I know for a fact that most of my feelings of de javu are related to previous dreams I have had, even some which I have had when I was a young child.
I also can say that I have had precognitive as well as clairvoyant experiences. On these "psychic" abilities, I believe most people have or will experience some situation where these are apparent to them. However, other people seem to possess these qualities moreso because they simply understand how to control or grasp these concepts easier than others ... HM, 24 November 2006
My best friend passed away in November last year and ever since then I have been experiencing frequent deja vecu. I was doing research on deja vu, because initially that is what I thought it to be, however I knew my experiences were somewhat different from your "typical" deja vu. It feels as though I am reliving certain moments of recent happenings all over again. Once I get that flashback, I try recount to where it was when it happened, to see if maybe I am confusing it with something else and then I get a huge Shock, because I have a memory of the exact same thing that happened a while back, I remember conversations etc. I then came across an article posted in the New York Times about deja vecu and it seems very similar to what I am experiencing. I went to a therapist and she said that it is related to PSTD and the mind can manifest or distort memories. However, I am not yet convinced and these flashbacks are very real to me. Please help, as I find this to be hugely distressing ... T, 26 January 2007
I know this seems to be an old site but it is intriguingly interesting. I have had those common deja vu experiences as does everyone, but lately they have been getting weird, lasting for up to 5 minutes maximum. Every time I say something it brings me straight back to the deja vu. I even deja vued once that I was having a deja vu ... Cayla, 1 February 2007
Hi, i do not see much point talking about my experience here, but if someone is willing to explain the Deja Vu I had today to their best knowledge, it would be much appreciated. Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and i will tell you what i felt and percieved. Thanks! ... Steve D, 27 February 2007
i have dejavu and im pretty sure i ben and done that same thing b4, im pretty sure because sometimes i could tell what my friends gona say b4 he does when im having a dejavu. but the weirdest one i had was yesterday. i was in another country for more then a year and i had a really weird dream i was with my friends and we went to pick up someone else from an apartment and we weere making fun of him cuz he came out looking real goofy and when i woke up i told myself not to forget this dream because it seemed so real and so i could find out if dreams come true. About 8 months later me and my friends went to the apartments because one of our friend lives there and thats when i had the dejavu he came out wearing shorts and being real goofie and we started making fun of him and thats when it hit me that i really had ben through this and this is what i saw in my dream that seemed so real ... Turk, 3 March 2007
The answer to deja vu is simple. It's God. Scientists and philosophers just can not explain certain things. That's why it is the way it is. Have some faith. It is simply God's way of telling us he is greater than we are and smarter we humans ever could even possibly get ... Christina, 16 April 2007
serendipity (i have been here before) yes, perhaps you have. but how? it may be a memory from your life in the spirit realm. is it a clone of another experience?
is it an aspect of spiritual reality? in other words, is it a look into the spirit realm? perhaps there is a certain significance bearing upon your personal search for something, a reminder perhaps, or an opportunity to relive a certain experience and to try again. but it is startling and the important part may be that it is a very awake and conscious experience. serendipity is super real. there is no doubt whatever that it is not imagined. i can only speculate and guess and ask questions
about it. however i hope i have made a positive contribution to the study. i may have further insights, so please keep in touch with me. fond regards and read me on "BLOGGER" by google ... Doug Rosbury, 20 April 2007
I have just finished reading your DÈj‡ vu and the Brain, Consciousness and Self.
Personaly I thought it was fantastic.. I have always thought that Deja Vu was somehow important and I totaly agree with you that the study of deja vu could reveal so much about yourself. So I thought I would discribe my feelings when I come accross a time of Deja Vu.
I am a 22 year old Male and I have had plenty of Deja vu already.. some weak and some strong. The way most people describe Deja vu is a little different to how it comes to me, most people have the feeling they know what is going to happen next or that they have been there already. But when I get Deja Vu (this is going to be hard to explain so bare with me) like you said its unpredictable when its going to happen but when it happens i dont know what is going to happen next its only when i see what happens i know in my head ive seen it befor e.g i cannot predict what someone is going to say or do, but when they say or do whatever it is druring the Deja Vu its more of a reminder.. also when I have Deja Vu im more relaxed than most people.. normaly someone who encounters Deja Vu stops and says they are having Deja Vu and tries describing what is happening to someone else, I used to do the same.. untill i turnned about 19-20 I just started "going with the flow of it" keeping the moment to myself and analysing it after it had finished.. some people believe a dream can be interperated into real life such as a pot of gold could mean you win $20 on a scratchy.. and so forth, I tried this method on a few of my Deja Vu times and found that some were quite acurate and some way off key. The other thing i have noticed about myself is that when i dream my sleep feels very short and dried out but when i dont dream its like im dead... I have no clue weather dreams and Deja Vu are related but they could be. both unpredictable when u get them and some dreams can even be extreamy familliar. well its late and i got work in the morning.. i hope you reply with thoughts on what i have said.
and sorry about the bad grammer and spelling. but i was never one to study in a class room instead i would be Day Dreaming :D
I hope you can make some sence of all this.
oh and the other thing I was going to mention is that I have a terrible memory.. its actually that bad i have "conditioned" myself into a few things i would normaly forget or lose. such as my keys wallet and mobile phone have to either be in A. wallet and keys in right pocket and mobile in left or B. on my bedside drawer. haha... odd how someone with such a bad memory has alot of Deva Vu ... Ashley Parker, 16 June 2007
Interesting articles on Deja Vu. I've been trying to research it as a particular incident happened to me in 1991 that I still think about on a regular basis. I was on a aquisition trip to England for the company I was working for. I had never been there before. We were driving, in a limo with 4 other peers, to a business location near Norwich. Suddenly I felt a warmth, like taking a hot shower on a cold morning, come over me with an extreme sense of calm. I looked out the window at the fileds & village homes and felt like I was home or in my old neighborhood? I certainly didn't say anything to my peers as I thought it pretty strange. It only lasted about 2 minutes. I immediately started to try to analyze it. Never said anything to anyone about it until 10 years later. I had become interested in tracking my lineage. After much research, I found that my 10th great grandfather was born, raised, & married within 10 miles of where I had had the experience. Coincidence? I don't know. It was real to me ... R. George, 20 June 2007
okay i have been having deja vu a lot lately. It is about stuff where i have never been and people i have never ever seen before are in my dream. Then a fews weeks or months later my dream occurs. I don't understand how people i have never met be in my dream so vividly and then i meet them and they look exactly the same ... Caitie, 23 July 2007
One person asked, "How can two people have the same exact Deja Vu episode at the same time?" Well, I had the same experience. I told my girlfriend about what I just experienced and she said she also had just experienced, the asked me, "what did it have to do with Rex?" was floored because my just occurring episode had Rex (one of our friends) as part. So, 1st we had simultaneous episodes and 2nd, we ad a common link to the content, in this case Rex. Any comments or thoughts? This certainly suggests something more than individual brain function ... Jim, 25 October 2007
man!!!i still cant figure out what causes this ''deja vu'' thing..its creeping me out..i mean,its not gestures or anything,its the real thing,everything is moving except you.first,im watchin a movie,and then,i stopped or paused for a sec. and looked at the movie screen,then there it was,deja vu, and it really is getting on my nerves and thats not the only one..there are thousands of times that i encountered somethn like this..some PARTS of this deja vu thing,i HAVE already dreamed of,yah know,before it happened,i just realize it when im done doing that certain action,pissing me off man.i dont know how to stop it ... Nicole, 29 October 2007
hey every1 check this dajavu must be connected to epilepsy because ive had both at the same time . Il talk through it. When i was younger i was walking down the street then i noticed this guy . I swear right then everything came back to me like it was watching tv or a film over and over again you know . Then i thought this has happened before. Right then i had a feeling in my stomach, i ran home dazed got down on the sofa and had the seisure the worst one ive had ever and ive had over 40 seriously. I also had an elusion then on the sofa of a rainbow-coloured parrot. This when i was like 8 iam 16 now and i dnt have then hardly now. Ive also heard epilepsy goes back to jesus times (on this picture i seen it had it annoted that a kid on it had a seisure . Email me your experiances . Because its all an interest of mine email@example.com ... Mr. T, 15 November 2007
Julia wrote an awsome article on deja vu. i think people shouldn't freak out about it i am very happy that i have deja vu cuz sometimes it helps me realize what's around me. there's been numerous times that i've had a dream (usally with houses)and i'm in this place for a while and unusual events start to happen. Then later on usually days or weeks i'll see that same place that i thought would have ever existed. Sometimes when there's alot going on and i'm really busy during the week i'll have deja vu every day. There's also those days when i can remember my dreams and it actually happens. i think it's pretty awesomed ... Claudia, 13 December 2007
Hello, I'm 18 years old...I'm from Italy and I've experienced several strange dej‡-vu...I mostly don't remember what they were about, - I just know I had a dej‡-vu but not what were the words or actions I considered familiar at the time - but I happened to remember one of my last dej‡-vu clearly enough...besides,some weeks ago, I had another and it was like I had foreseen all that was happening...still, according to my dej‡-vu I should have said a particular sentence that in reality I didn't say...pretty weird ... Maurizio, 5 January 2008