The mind is a wonderful thing – there is so much, which remains a mystery to this day. Science is able to describe strange phenomena, but cannot account for their origins. We all have some experience of familiar feelings, which comes to us occasionally, about what we say and do, what we know and see, what we listen and hear. When you walk into the house of a new friend, you realise something strange. The place looks familiar though you have not been there and the people look familiar though you have not seen them.
You have been there before, but not exactly in person. A serious recollection makes you realise that it was in a dream, a dream that perfectly portrayed with every small detail the exact room you’re now standing in. Sounds familiar? This is an experience that is not as rare as most people think. For many, these arbitrary feelings of extreme familiarity, known as déjà vu, come through dreams that some say predict the future.
These déjà vu feelings are all of the dreams that we have each night that we cannot remember. You feel as though you have already been there because you have, in your dreams. The things that dreams show may not be significant, just a random moment proposed to happen somewhere in the near or far future. There have also been accounts where the dreamer claims they saw a catastrophic event occur before the incident actually happened. The study conducted by Colorado State University psychologist; Anne M. shows that this unnatural phenomenon has become more and more popular with time. Multiple cases of this have come forward, all of them experiencing the same distinct feeling that déjà vu brings. Natalia from Brazil stated- “I was fast asleep and I was having a dream. A dream where all my neighboring huts were burning down, it was wild; everyone was screaming for help and running around deranged.
I was choking in my dream, I was struggling to breathe, I felt like it was happening for real but I couldn’t find myself waking up from the horrible dream and then suddenly in my dream my son had died. I woke up trembling, shivering, sobbing at the middle of the night, the entire dream felt like it was happening, but then I reassured myself that it was just a dream and went back to sleep. Two days after early in the morning I smelt something burning and woke up instantly to find out that my dream had come true….. All the huts were burning down, I instantly went looking for my son, but it was too late… my son was already dead. I wish I would have known before.”- Brazil, favelas. What is your theory on why we experience Déjà vu?
“The electrical signals that allow us to store memories in our brains can take a number of different routes to arrive at their final destination. If a ‘memory’ in the form of an electrical signal takes a couple of different routes at the same time, it is possible that if one route is longer than the other, it arrives in the memory part of your brain only to find that the same memory has already arrived by a shorter route. This would make you think that you had already experienced the event on a previous occasion. It is a bit like hearing an echo when a sound wave has been reflected via different paths. That’s my theory, and I’m happy with it.
– Says Philip Carter, Researcher and Sociologist in UK. “I think that at some point in our dreams we have dreamt about a face, place or situation and at some point when we are awake we could be doing something similar to our dream that triggers the brain into thinking that we have done this before.”- Says Dean Ferdje, Head psychologist in Stanford Research Institute. “It is a 7th sense. Some people are psychic; they have full control of retaining information of what they see in the future, and however most of us do not have such abilities. At one point we catch a brief glimpse into the future, usually an insignificant event. That glimpse is stored somewhere in the deep recesses of our mind.
When that event actually happens, déjà vu occurs, it triggers the memory of that momentary glimpse, because of its brevity and depth it is stored in our mind we do not remember having it in the first place. It is familiar, but not recognizable”. – Dennis Ladwe, psych pharmacologist in Australia SMU Psychology Professor Alan Brown identified these facts about déjà vu by studying different kinds of people, people with different jobs, different age, different personalities and different life styles: * A majority of people experience déjà vu, roughly two-thirds of the population. * The frequency of déjà vu decreases with age and is most common among people from 15 to 25 years old. * High income and well educated people have more déjà vu experiences. * Déjà vu appears to be associated with stress and fatigue. * Those who travel have more déjà vu experiences.
* Some people report that déjà vu experiences appear to repeat prior dreams. Even you reading this article can be a déjà vu.