General Question

flyawayxxballoon's avatar

Is deja vu just an illusion that you've experienced something before when you really haven't, or have you actually experienced it in a dream or some kind of other vision?

Asked by flyawayxxballoon (1347 points ) August 6th, 2008

Some people believe they actually have experienced something before in a dream, vision, etc. when they have deja vu, but others are skeptical. What is your take on it?

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22 Answers

iriemuffin's avatar

I wish I knew the answer to that question. This happens to me quite often.

AstroChuck's avatar

Didn’t we just have this question?

flyawayxxballoon's avatar

@AstroChuck; Haha. Lurve for you!

nikipedia's avatar

An article from the American Journal of Psychiatry says:

The déjà vu experience is a common phenomenon, occurring in pathological as well as nonpathological conditions. It has been defined as any subjectively inappropriate impression of familiarity of a present experience with an undefined past.
(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2244635)

Sounds like a vote for “illusion”.

I’m not so clear on how someone would have a dream about something that hadn’t happened yet. Much more evidence exists to suggest that dreams are new memories integrating themselves into our neural networks. I’m not familiar with any studies suggesting dreams are visions of the future.

sndfreQ's avatar

It’s a change in the mainframe of The Matrix…look out!

8lightminutesaway's avatar

or perhaps deja vu is evidence of the theory that time isn’t linear as we perceive it, and that an idea of “fate” exists, but not in the traditional sense. It exists in the sense that everything that will/has/is happening all exists together but we experience them separetly and in an apparently linear fashion that we call a time line. I forget the the name of the theory, but it has something to do with advanced quantum theory and relativity.

sndfreQ's avatar

It’s a change in the mainframe of The Matrix…look out!

flyawayxxballoon's avatar

@8light ; I know exactly what you’re talking about, but I can’t think of what it’s called either!!
Ughh, this is going to bother me all night…

But good point. =)
Lurve to you. ♥

8lightminutesaway's avatar

hehe thank you. Is it something to do with the zero point field??

flyawayxxballoon's avatar

@8light; Sounds familiar, so possibly…but I really have no idea!

augustlan's avatar

I don’t think it’s an illusion, at least not always. I frequently get the feeling “I’ve had this conversation before” in the middle of a conversation, and will then know what the other person will say next, and what I’ll say after that, etc. Despite the awareness, I have never been able to say something different, to change the outcome. weirdness ensues

jlm11f's avatar

i vote for illusion.

Randy's avatar

Maybe it’s black magic.

Bri_L's avatar

sndfreQ rules!! That had me laughing so hard. hehehe.

ezraglenn's avatar

I’ve heard that deja vu is actually the brain “filing” what’s going on in the memories “folder” of your brain, so you register your current situation as a memory. Basically, you need a better mental secretary.

augustlan's avatar

Deja vu aside, I could definitely use a better mental secretary!

cookieman's avatar

Or to quote George Carlin: “I just experienced Vu daje. The feeling that I’ve never been here before.”

flameboi's avatar

somebody told my that it was some kind of time loop :s

cage's avatar

OH OH OH I KNOW PICK ME!!!
It’s actually where you’re brain is working a bit overtime and processes two or more stimuli at the same time. It relays from the short term to long term memory, to find out if you have experienced it or not, and the neurons get mixed up along the way back making you believe you’ve actually had the experience before, when it is, in truth, a new experience. Not an illusion, not a dream, just your brain being lazy.

I did a bit of research on it myself a while ago because it was really starting to piss me off.

:)

winblowzxp's avatar

@Randy It’s African-American magic now.

my2pittz's avatar

What ever it is its some weird stuff!

caitieeatchu's avatar

There are so many answers to this that will lead to other questions. For instance, reincarnation. Whether you believe it or not, if you have watched or studied evidence of it, that could lead to the ultimate discovery of this deja vu. You could have had a dream about it, if you know it’s something common to expect. There is also astral projection. Which is when the “soul leaves the body” in a sleeping state. You don’t have to be asleep, but that’s normally when. This is also when split personalities will occur. Apparently, a demon can take place of your soul enabling this split personality to occur. These could be possibilites to deja vu. However, I believe that lucid dreaming could be part of the cause of deja vu. Which is when the conscious mind is working in your sleep. It’s all really a matter of faith. Whether you had a past life or not. If any do believe in this, it’s the belief that when reincarnation occurs no memories are passed on to the next life, usually. If they are passed on, they are only remembered at a young age. So to say, 2–4 years old. They soon out grow this though. Which is why I believe we do not remember much of our infant lives. Anyway, what is actually transferred are signals, such as deja vu. Scientifally speaking, deja vu usually only occurs when you are thinking about the future, or anticipating it. Makes some sense, huh? There’s also this thing called Jamais Vu. Basically, it’s just the opposite of deja vu. Where in deja vu something seems completely familiar. Where with jamais vu, it seems totally unfamiliar. For example; you could be having a conversation with someone you’ve known for a very long time, and you feel like the person is totally unfamiliar. Jamais vu isn’t as common as deja vu though. How well you respond to either of these is whether or not you enjoy it, or if it bothers you. Some people become terrified, others are interested or amazed. These are pretty much my views on it. Anyway, hope this helped.

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