What is Deja Vu?

A look at the different theories surrounding the phenomenon of Deja Vu.

Most people experience Déjà vu. In fact, it is believed that between 60-70% of us experience it at some point, although it’s more common among children and young adults.You’re having a conversation, or you visit somewhere new, and you stop and think ‘I’ve done this/been here before’. Some people are even able to anticipate what is going to happen next. But what exactly is Déjà vu, and what causes it? There are countless theories which try to explain the phenomenon , both scientific and spiritual, ranging from seizures to remembering past lives.

Déjà vu comes from the French, literally meaning ‘already seen’, and describes the sense of familiarity in a situation, the feeling that you have been in that exact place before, doing the exact same thing. Perhaps you remember having a conversation with somebody, or you recognise a place that you know you’ve never visited before. 

Scientists have tried for years to explain it, and have never managed to agree on the cause. Some explain it as a type of seizure in the temporal lobe of the brain; misfiring neurons sending mixed messages to the rest of our bodies, while others believe that the answer lies in our memory; something about a situation we are in triggers a memory of a similar, past experience that we can’t quite recall, leading to the feeling of familiarity.

The idea that we are trying to recall memories is a popular one among the more spiritual of us; not memories from this life however, but recollections from past lives. It is believed by many people that Déjà vu is caused by the soul remembering experiencing the same thing in a past incarnation; the idea that we have already done this same thing in a different body, at a different time.

A common theme of Déjà vu is the feeling when you meet a person for the first time that you have in fact known them for years. This could be because you actually have met before, or your souls have. Have you ever met somebody and felt an instant bond? This is because your souls are already familiar with each other, perhaps because they have had a close relationship already. 

Another reason people believe that we are remembering past lives is that Déjà vu occurs mainly in youth, and incidents get fewer and far between as we age. There are many cases of children remembering past lives, describing places they’ve never been to, people they've never met, and events they've never witnessed in great detail. It is believed that when we are young, our souls still carry strong memories of our past lives, but that as we grow and spend more time in this life, experiencing new things and creating different memories, our souls forget what has happened before, and therefore Deja vu experiences aren't as common. 

For now, we can't be completely sure what causes Deja vu, but if you find yourself experiencing it, pay close attention to what exactly it is you feel like you're experiencing again. If you can, write down an account of the incident, describing the scene and what felt familiar. Study these accounts and look for a theme, see if there is anything that stands out or is repeated; this could provide clues about what it is that your soul is trying to remember. 


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