Everyone is familiar with Deja Vu and how uncanny it is to experience one. We all feel it now and then. If you’re not sure and are lazy enough not to google the phrase, I’ll tell you about Deja Vu in a very simple statement. Deja Vu ( actually déjà vu) is something which someone suspects to be seen/heard before which is actually not the case.
Consider yourself bag-packing to somewhere in India where you’ve never been. You’re excited, a new place awaiting your arrival and Bam! A weird sense of feeling of being in that place before, drinking same root beer from similar mixologist before, having a laugh on a joke you think you’ve heard/made but you know that is not true. This uncanny feeling is Deja Vu.
There are many theories explaining the reason and cause of this event. Many stating that this as a gift from god to delay the inevitable, if developed into a strong force. Some stated that this is just normal behavior of brain when sometimes it is high (drugs or not) or just over functioning. And some of the others said this is just brain catching un-received signals from other brains sent some time ago. (If you’re feeling funny on the last one, let me tell you one thing, it is true* but that’s not déjà vu. I’ll get to that later).
Scientists even have thrown this in the garbage in earlier days, stating this Deja vu stuff – ain’t real. Until a few months earlier when a team of scientists actually solved the Deja Vu mystery.
When brain tries to correlate the events or people, places and things nearby to similer that happened some time ago, it forms an image of you doing that thing as if you have already done in past.
Understanding Deja Vu
To understand this better I’ll tell you an example. Ever heard of YouTube buffer? or storage cache?
YouTube pre-downloads a video when you’re watching it online trying to give you the best experience and thank god YouTube offline made its way to India because it sucked. Getting to the point, YouTube stores a little later part of your video so that you can watch it flawlessly(apparently) and that’s what our brain does. It predicts the near future unconsciously and gives you a deja-vu-sensation.
Similarly, consider your computer which has some cache storage built-in. Cache simply stores the most or recent visited memory locations of your hard-drives so that you can get access to them faster. Gosh, I managed to make it sound so geeky. Our brain is marvelous(at least mine is) and it fetches the history in our brain or image of some possible future to link with the ongoing present to save you from confusions or a sudden feeling of overwhelm. Wow, and it does that with déjà vu (Irony).
But this theory is not my favorite. I still like to wonder if I’ve done that in past life. Ooh Spooky.
A few years earlier, I attended some mind-peace sessions. Well, they were free of cost so who is to judge. They used to teach stuff like meditation and karma, which is for me is a half glass full.
According to them, the universe is a 5 Millennium cycle. A CD played by God himself continuously (It’s not my metaphor). Which means everything that is about to happen has already happened. If you’re reading this right now, you were reading this 5000 years ago.
So, this theory basically fails many scientific achievements so far including carbon dating. So that means bristlecone pine tree is not real. No matter how fallible this theory actually is, it explains deja vu most clearly. And after how great scientific minds during early era behaved to Pythagoras when he said the earth is round or Phileas Fogg who actually traveled the globe in 80 days, I’d like to keep my mind open.
PS. Okay, Around the world in eighty days is a fictional novel. But it is a classic. And quite possible.
*Like many myths of reality, brain-wave is actually getting a little scientific attention and more research would find the reason how someone nearby starts humming the song you were thinking just a second earlier. I’d post more on this later.