PDA

View Full Version : Deja vu - what is it?



Perks
10-10-2007, 08:53 PM
Earlier today, I was swept by a wave of deja vu so intense that I really just had to stop and marvel at it.

Everything about this instance felt like I'd lived it or dreamt it, at its precise angle, temperature, context and nuance, at some point previously.

We've had it explained as a neurological misfiring, a psychic gold star to remind you that you are where you should be, and that there's a glitch in the Matrix.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on it - from the scientific to the mystical. What is deja vu?

dpaterso
10-10-2007, 08:56 PM
Didn't you post about this subject before? I'd swear you did.

-Derek

JoNightshade
10-10-2007, 08:56 PM
I know *I* posted on this before. Great, now I have to go find it.

KTC
10-10-2007, 08:57 PM
it's a loop. don't believe it to be intuition or i've been there before. I think it's a brain fart...that you actually process a moment twice. i don't believe all the lovey dovey stuff about it being anything but a blip and a double-processed moment. been there before doesn't add up...because if you had been it wouldn't trigger as an exact rehash of the moment.

Perks
10-10-2007, 08:58 PM
Didn't you post about this subject before? I'd swear you did.

-DerekLol! You'd laugh to know I double checked. It's a favorite mental Rubik's cube for me, but I don't think I have.

JoNightshade
10-10-2007, 08:59 PM
Ah, here it is:

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1592093&postcount=15

jennifer75
10-10-2007, 08:59 PM
ABSOLUTELY NUTHIN!

Say it again! DEJA VUUUUUU
what is it gooood for, ABSOLUTELY NUTHIN!


Sorry.

Perks
10-10-2007, 08:59 PM
Oh dear - http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=77003&highlight=Deja

Perks
10-10-2007, 09:02 PM
The left brain/right brain lag makes sense. It happens to me all the time, so I must have some goo caught in my corpus callosum. Just as I feared. I guess it's time to pour bleach in my ear again.

Siddow
10-10-2007, 09:02 PM
I lean toward the mystical when it comes to deja vu. My beliefs dictate that our lives are planned out before birth, we plan it ourselves, based on the experiences we'd like to have this go-round. So when we experience deja vu, it's a spiritual thing where our spirit is recalling that time before our birth when we said, "I want it to happen like this."

And I realize that some people think I'm nuts. :D

Sunkissed27f
10-10-2007, 09:03 PM
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!-Charles Dickens

Perks
10-10-2007, 09:05 PM
Siddow, I want it to be mystical. I want one thing to convince me I'm not just a lump of meat animated by the pharmacy in my head.

So, be nuts, by all means. And know I don't mind one bit.

DonnaDuck
10-10-2007, 09:10 PM
I'm a huge past life type person and I don't think it's connected to any kind of "I've done this before" type of thing. It doesn't make sense if it is simply because lives aren't run on constant repeat and technology hasn't remained stagnant. I get deja vu driving, sitting at my computer processing something specific, whathaveyou. I know that my some of my past lives center around ancient Rome and I think it's safe to say that I wasn't driving a car or punching a computer back then.

I tend to get them around moments of doubt about myself, where I am, what I'm doing. They vary in intensity, the heavier the vu, the bigger a signal it is that I am where I should be. I also get visions of deja vu in advance. Very odd, I know. What would that be called? Deja vuvu? Or perhaps the feeling of having done something already is so intense that I've convinced myself, partially, that I actually have done it when I really haven't and, seconds later, I realize that I absolutely couldn't have.

It's keeping you on the right track. The more often you have it, the more you should realize that you are where you're supposed to be. I don't think our lives are set out in advance but, to be metaphorical, we're given a certain path in the woods with an endless amount of forks in the paths we're on and it's our choice which fork we take. The paths maybe there but no one but ourselves make the decisions.

NeuroFizz
10-10-2007, 09:23 PM
**It's seeing another organic writing versus outlining thread.**

The right brain-left brain thing doesn't make sense, unless we are able to pick up whole complex sensory and memory experiences with differences in the millisecond range. The way much of our memory works is through comparisons--we associate different stimuli to solidify the memory, and if we have previous experiences that are similar (or in some cases with identical components), the memory is better consolidated. The other part of the memory equation, recall, works much the same way, so if we get a few cues that are identical to a previous, stored experience, the entire memory may come back in its entirety. They can be subtle, so a weird sense of familiarity is detected, or it can be overt, seeming like a return to an exact previous experience.

There is no vital force involved in this activity (associative memory and recall), nor is it associated with "previous lives."

Perks
10-10-2007, 09:25 PM
I knew you'd be here. :)

Thank you, sir. Although, of course, you kick me in my shins for having hope that I have a soul. It's okay. I forgive you. I'm no worse off than I was yesterday.

RLSMiller
10-10-2007, 09:26 PM
I have this theory that we kind of become in tune with time for a moment, allowing us to see the immediate future. So when we actually do the things we've seen, it feels like we've already done it.

I don't know why I think this. I just do. :D

Jersey Chick
10-10-2007, 09:28 PM
vuja de - you've never seen any of this before ;D

I've had experiences with both. It's freaky, but it happens. What can you do?

dpaterso
10-10-2007, 09:32 PM
I'm leaning towards organism level defense mechanism. No, really. Your id, the primitive that lies deep within you, is constantly scanning for signs of danger and assessing every aspect of your condition and your surroundings while your conscious mind is still sorting fragmented information into a comprehensible worldview. When your mind finally files the worldview info, it's sometimes surprised to discover there's already info in the mental filing cabinet. There's certainly a mystical aspect in the fact you are two entirely separate beings, each of whom doesn't even suspect the other exists (under normal circumstances).

That's why we tend to design stuff that works in tandem, like your computer's BIOS and MS Windows. They are echoes of our own selves.

-Derek

NeuroFizz
10-10-2007, 09:40 PM
I have this theory that we kind of become in tune with time for a moments, allowing us to see the immediate future. So when we actually do the things we've seen, it feels like we've already done it.
This fits within the memory paradigms, which I have greatly simplified, but without the "seeing into the future" mysticism.


Although, of course, you kick me in my shins for having hope that I have a soul.
I have no problem with the concept of the soul. It's just a philosophical construct, not a biological one. The legacy I leave with family and friends, now and after I die, represent my soul.

Celia Cyanide
10-10-2007, 09:40 PM
I always felt it was a psychic thing. Because I do believe in extra sensory perception, but I think very few people, if any, have the ability to control it, or use it for much of anything. We pick it up before it happens, but it gets stored in our memory banks. We don't even know it hasn't happened yet, until it does, and by that time, it's too late for it to do us any good.

I had a friend in high school who used to have precognitive dreams. But it was the same thing--she had no way of knowing which dreams were precognitive and which ones weren't until after they came true.

NeuroFizz
10-10-2007, 09:43 PM
The human brain is a player, and a trickster. Dreams represent one piece of evidence.

jodiodi
10-10-2007, 10:19 PM
I have no idea what the underlying pathology of deja vu might be. I just know I love it when it happens.

And I have the coolest dreams sometimes and there's one I've had frequently about a place I know I've been, but I just can't remember where it is.

Perks
10-10-2007, 10:21 PM
I don't believe in reincarnation, but I also can't explain why this song randomly gets stuck in my head. It's a bit before my time --

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSp3zqqpvMo

joyce
10-10-2007, 10:25 PM
I lean toward the mystical when it comes to deja vu. My beliefs dictate that our lives are planned out before birth, we plan it ourselves, based on the experiences we'd like to have this go-round. So when we experience deja vu, it's a spiritual thing where our spirit is recalling that time before our birth when we said, "I want it to happen like this."

And I realize that some people think I'm nuts. :D

This is me so I'm sitting there with you in the nut cannister.

Celia Cyanide
10-10-2007, 10:26 PM
I don't believe in reincarnation, but I also can't explain why this song randomly gets stuck in my head. It's a bit before my time --

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSp3zqqpvMo

It's catchy? :)

DonnaDuck
10-10-2007, 10:29 PM
**It's seeing another organic writing versus outlining thread.**

The right brain-left brain thing doesn't make sense, unless we are able to pick up whole complex sensory and memory experiences with differences in the millisecond range. The way much of our memory works is through comparisons--we associate different stimuli to solidify the memory, and if we have previous experiences that are similar (or in some cases with identical components), the memory is better consolidated. The other part of the memory equation, recall, works much the same way, so if we get a few cues that are identical to a previous, stored experience, the entire memory may come back in its entirety. They can be subtle, so a weird sense of familiarity is detected, or it can be overt, seeming like a return to an exact previous experience.

There is no vital force involved in this activity (associative memory and recall), nor is it associated with "previous lives."


But considering many of us work on a regular schedule, according to your definition deja vu could happen constantly. I've sat at a desk numerous times processing work yet I haven't had deja vu numerous times because my brain picked up certain aspects of a previously similar memory and decided to repeat itself. For many lives who are seemingly so regular, who live many days repeating what they did the previous day, you would think these "recalls" would happen more often if the brain picks up previous similar memories and attaches them to the current situation. I honestly don't think enough is known about the brain to accurately determine what deja vu is, if it is even something connected to the brain or if it's something external. Science can't explain everything.

NeuroFizz
10-10-2007, 10:46 PM
Now, you are going to have to bring in other aspects of brain function like expectation and its relationship to familiarity, and a very unique property of brain function--to make no big deal of repetitive, expected, or constant stimuli/experiences (even to ignore some of them). Add to that the brain's preference for conscious (and subconscious) focusing on stimuli, events, and experiences that are unique, unexpected, unusual, or infrequent, and you have a wide range of recognition-related acknowledgement available to the brain. For the usual or expected, any eerie feelings of "having been there before" are just not going to happen. To get the combination of proper triggers for unique enough experiences that overlap so closely with a current experience, in what we would consider a deju vu thing, is going to be extremely rare. Add to this mix arousal and motivational states that can up- and down-regulate these feelings, and those "been there" moments will be even more rare.

You can choose to explain brain function with the mystical all you want because it is perfectly safe. There is no way to prove or disprove it. But if what we are talking about can be explained through biological brain function, the mystical becomes laughable.

DonnaDuck
10-10-2007, 11:28 PM
Unfortunately, though, the majority of the population aren't familiar with the intricacies of neurology and, honestly, sometimes the mystical definition is much easier to understand than medical babble since the majority of the population can't understand that either. Sometimes it's like trying to convince people that don't believe in evolution that it's laughable not to believe in it because the proof is right there. All science is theory taken as fact until something else comes along to disprove it. It's a constantly evolving spectrum. 100 years ago PMS could render a woman institutionalized. It's come a long way and it's still going to go a long way. What we think of as proven could rightly be turned around and what we now deem mystical could rightly be proven later down the line.

Science also likes to be a buzz kill. Sometimes it's so much more aestetically pleasing to think of something in the mystical. With unknowns there remains hope. Where's the joy and imagination in knowing everything? For me, there's so much more in thinking that some outside being is telling me something than just some systematic synapses misfiring. There's no fun in that!

Perks
10-10-2007, 11:34 PM
But if what we are talking about can be explained through biological brain function, the mystical becomes laughable.I know. That's why I have to hate you. It's nothing personal. I want a soul, but you people keep taking it away with your logic and proof.

joyce
10-10-2007, 11:35 PM
Perhaps deja vu is a brain quirk, who knows. One thing I do know is that nobody can tell me that all the "mystical" experiences I seen, felt and experienced in my life were brain quirks. Yes, I know I'm probably a nut case, but I think I can tell betwen what is real and what is my mind playing tricks on me, especially when I'm wide awake. Ok....now it's time for me to go to my mental doctor appt.

jst5150
10-10-2007, 11:36 PM
There is always that "I've bumped into my asteral self again and he wasn't paying attention" explanation.

Perks
10-10-2007, 11:38 PM
Ok....now it's time for me to go to my mental doctor appt.Your doctor is mental? Well, that could be a problem.

Shadow_Ferret
10-10-2007, 11:41 PM
it's a loop. don't believe it to be intuition or i've been there before. I think it's a brain fart...that you actually process a moment twice. i don't believe all the lovey dovey stuff about it being anything but a blip and a double-processed moment. been there before doesn't add up...because if you had been it wouldn't trigger as an exact rehash of the moment.
I don't think so. My brain is so slow it takes a long time just to process something the first time. To say my brain processed something twice in that time so quickly that it made me feel like I'd been there before... no way, ain't ever happening in this little puddle of muck in my head.

joyce
10-10-2007, 11:41 PM
Your doctor is mental? Well, that could be a problem.

Only the best! Well I do want him to agree with me that all my quirks are not quirks don't I?

joyce
10-10-2007, 11:43 PM
[quote=Shadow_Ferret;1713657]I don't think so. My brain is so slow it takes a long time just to process something the first time. To say my brain processed something twice in that time so quickly that it made me feel like I'd been there before... no way, ain't ever happening in this little puddle of muck in my head.[/quote

Were we twin brains in a past life?

Perks
10-10-2007, 11:44 PM
Only the best! Well I do want him to agree with me that all my quirks are not quirks don't I?This is a good plan. I'm writing it down to tattoo on my forehead for later.

jst5150
10-10-2007, 11:44 PM
I want a soul, but you people keep taking it away with your logic and proof.
There, there Scarecrow ... we're almost to Oz. :-)

NeuroFizz
10-10-2007, 11:48 PM
Science also likes to be a buzz kill. Sometimes it's so much more aestetically pleasing to think of something in the mystical. With unknowns there remains hope. Where's the joy and imagination in knowing everything? For me, there's so much more in thinking that some outside being is telling me something than just some systematic synapses misfiring. There's no fun in that!
People have been ignoring science for decades, particularly when it infringes on their beliefs, it's inconvenient, or even when it gets in the way of their fun. I have no objection to how anyone's beliefs play out. I'm just trying to give a scientific spin to this discussion. The bad part--my spin can be tested, and verified.

NeuroFizz
10-10-2007, 11:51 PM
I know. That's why I have to hate you. It's nothing personal. I want a soul, but you people keep taking it away with your logic and proof.
Here ya go. Just posted:

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=80213

joyce
10-10-2007, 11:54 PM
People have been ignoring science for decades, particularly when it infringes on their beliefs, it's inconvenient, or even when it gets in the way of their fun. I have no objection to how anyone's beliefs play out. I'm just trying to give a scientific spin to this discussion. The bad part--my spin can be tested, and verified.

I love science. I think it is great. With that being said, I don't think that science can explain every weird event that takes place on this planet and the people on it. I'm sure our brains go haywire every now and then, (daily event for me) but it can't be the reason for everything.

Perks
10-10-2007, 11:55 PM
Here ya go. Just posted:

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=80213And just replied - nice job!

ColoradoGuy
10-10-2007, 11:58 PM
But if what we are talking about can be explained through biological brain function, the mystical becomes laughable.
No it doesn't.

DonnaDuck
10-11-2007, 12:00 AM
Science can't explain what's wrong with my stomach. As if I'm going to trust them with my brain! No touchy!

NeuroFizz
10-11-2007, 12:14 AM
I love science. I think it is great. With that being said, I don't think that science can explain every weird event that takes place on this planet and the people on it. I'm sure our brains go haywire every now and then, (daily event for me) but it can't be the reason for everything.
Whoa. I'm discussing scientific explanation within the context of the deja vu discussion. When did it get to be an "explain everything in the world" thing? And, brains do go haywire. That's why we have the fields of neurology and psychiatry. And when they do go haywire, some really interesting (and disturbing) things come out. And when we can't find out what's wrong with a malfunctioning brain (or what's right with a normal brain), does that mean that something non-biological is happening in there, or that we just don't have the knowledge or technology to understand?

NeuroFizz
10-11-2007, 12:15 AM
No it doesn't.
Within the context of this discussion, and to me, it does.

joyce
10-11-2007, 12:19 AM
Whoa. I'm discussing scientific explanation within the context of the deja vu discussion. When did it get to be an "explain everything in the world" thing? And, brains do go haywire. That's why we have the fields of neurology and psychiatry. And when they do go haywire, some really interesting (and disturbing) things come out.

I know, I just thought you might have an explanation for everything else. You do seem quite educated in the scientific field which I am not. Can't blame me for trying. LOL

brokenfingers
10-11-2007, 12:46 AM
I wondered about this very question myself until I remembered that I knew the answer 324 years from now.

It's a simple transdimensional timeshift. Time, like space, can be manipulated - and if a great enough disturbance occurs, it will sometimes move in waves or ripples thereby creating overlaps which the brain cannot process.

You don't have any secret government installations anywhere near you, do you?

KTC
10-11-2007, 12:48 AM
I was braindead once. Now everything is deja vu.

KTC
10-11-2007, 12:49 AM
I was braindead once. Now everything is deja vu..

Gehanna
10-11-2007, 07:22 AM
NeuroFizz said:


The right brain-left brain thing doesn't make sense, unless we are able to pick up whole complex sensory and memory experiences with differences in the millisecond range. The way much of our memory works is through comparisons--we associate different stimuli to solidify the memory, and if we have previous experiences that are similar (or in some cases with identical components), the memory is better consolidated. The other part of the memory equation, recall, works much the same way, so if we get a few cues that are identical to a previous, stored experience, the entire memory may come back in its entirety. They can be subtle, so a weird sense of familiarity is detected, or it can be overt, seeming like a return to an exact previous experience.



Because I doubt everything (including science), I find it unfortunate that previous, stored experiences can't be carbon dated. Then again, I'd just end up doubting that to.

Sincerely,
Gehanna

SpookyWriter
10-11-2007, 07:50 AM
Didn't you post about this subject before? I'd swear you did.

-DerekNo that was me.

Lock thread the secret is out.

People have bad memories.

benbradley
10-11-2007, 08:05 AM
Deja Vu is a really good album by CSN "and sometimes Y." Way back then they called that music folk-rock but it sounded pretty rockin' to me. Okay, "Teach Your Children" was pretty darn folky.

it's a loop.
What an odd coincidence - I was just looking on Amazon at Douglas Hofstadter's latest book "I am a strange loop." He's certainly a strange character...in all his writings about the mind, I'd be surprised if he hasn't mentioned deja vu at least once.

don't believe it to be intuition or i've been there before. I think it's a brain fart...that you actually process a moment twice. i don't believe all the lovey dovey stuff about it being anything but a blip and a double-processed moment. been there before doesn't add up...because if you had been it wouldn't trigger as an exact rehash of the moment.
Aha, Occam's razor at work... (as in this explanation compared to others in the thread).

benbradley
10-11-2007, 08:09 AM
Siddow, I want it to be mystical. I want one thing to convince me I'm not just a lump of meat animated by the pharmacy in my head.

So, be nuts, by all means. And know I don't mind one bit.
It's not a pharmacy, it's a biochemical factory.

Unless you were a child of the '60's...

ErylRavenwell
10-11-2007, 11:45 AM
There's a perfectly rational explanation for such a phenomenon. In a given period of time (a couple of years for instance), one can dream of millions of events, most of which are stored somewhere in the memory bank. Within a considerable period time (but not so long that the relevent memory is lost), it is highly probable that something you dreamed of may coincide with a real-life event, hence the sensation.