As a vivid dreamer, I often chalk it up to simply that – an event or vignette that holds a strong similarity to something I’ve experienced before, either in a dream or waking life.
Most often it happens during the strangest circumstances. Like when I first moved to our small town in Maine and was hanging out in a coffee shop, talking to a kid about his dinosaur robot.
A situation so oddly specific yet unimaginable and unmatchable in my previous real experience.
Yet, I felt that sense of premonition – of knowing that this would happen. Some scientists chalk this feeling up to a small hiccup in our brain processing experience – that as an event is happing your brain doesn’t construct your experience in it correctly, and this creates a ‘false familiarity.’
With a memory as wonky as mine – which remembers some things so clearly (random facts anyone? that one article in the paper that one time?) but most others very, very vaguely (remember childhood/big trip/studying abroad? …I remember that big rain storm!) I am sure that my conscious self is most likely just missing the real connection.
My brain and body then tries to viscerally remind me of where its been and what it has seen – but the full association just doesn’t come through.
Rather than freaking me out, I’ve always been somehow comforted by my frequent déjà vu.
These feelings are, somehow, a confirmation of being right where I’m supposed to be. That life is progressing as it should. For someone that does not believe in predestination, that feeling is pretty nice. Even if it’s just created by my biological quirks.
Or we’re all in the Matrix. Either/or.
The Art of the Everyday – March 28: Déjà vu, Have you ever truly felt déjà vu, the sensation that you’ve already had the experience you’re currently having?