Deja Vu

So I have been experiencing the feeling of déjà vu quite a lot recently. I think most people have experienced that at least once in their lives: The sense that you have experienced a moment or a place or met a person before.

For me, it is usually a moment – sat in a specific room, often talking with someone about a specific topic… And then it occurs to me: I’ve been through this before: This exact experience, with the same person, in the same position, same room, same topic, same words even…. It feels like a fleeting sense of recognition – like remembering a part of a dream… and leaves a strange feeling in my stomach. Not necessarily unsettled, but almost like the feeling that you are on the edge of discovering (or remembering) something.

Sometimes it catches me mid-sentence…and I often stop and try to recollect – recall where or why I know this. And at that moment, reality seems to warp, to wobble… my eyes start to twinkle and glitter with that feeling of ‘there is so much more’ – to learn, or to remember…

Sometimes it is a person – someone ‘new’ who I feel I have known forever.

It can be really trivial, seemingly mundane things – like laughing with a friend over a tv show, or while washing the dishes and overhearing a conversation in another room…and it can be exciting and mind-stretching – like knowing a place intimately – a place that you have never been to before.

And it makes me think about ‘reality’ and the subjective versus the objective. What is ‘real’, what is perception. Have we lived before? Are we recalling past lives? Or are these ‘memories’ of our current lives? Can there be two or multiple realities? How I see the world and experience it can differ vastly from how you or any other being experiences or perceives it. We all live in our own bubble – we all have experiences which help shape our lives – and the way we look at things. I can travel the world, yet I may never know the world in the same way an 80 year old man in rural China might, or a 5 yr old orphaned child in Brazil or anyone other than myself really. We are all living here on the same planet, yet we all experience life and the world so differently. So from that perspective – there are billions of perceived realities!

I have been reading a lot of articles and books on Quantum Physics over the last few years and see the parallels between much spiritual and philosophical thinking and recent and emerging scientific theories. There are many books drawing this comparison also.

A few books I read recently around this subject:

  • The Divine Matrix – Greg Baden
  • The Elegant Universe
  • Quantum Creativity
  • The Quantum Astrologer’s Handbook

Going back to Déjà Vu: I thought I would do a little research on it and its origins – as I have heard of it and experienced it throughout my life, but have never looked into it in depth.

Definition of déjà vu:

The illusion of remembering scenes and events when experienced for the first timea feeling that one has seen or heard something before.


Déjà Vu:

A feeling of having already experienced the present situation.
Oxford Languages

Neuro science explains it this way: “Déjà vu is basically a conflict between the sensation of familiarity and the awareness that the familiarity is incorrect. And it’s the awareness that you’re being tricked that makes déjà vu so unique compared to other memory events,”

Apparently, approximately 60% (2 out of 3) people have experienced the sensation of deja vu at least once in their lifetime. French philosopher and researcher Émile Boirac first coined the term back in 1876. Since then, many philosophers and psychologists have taken a look at the phenomenon, with Freud calling it repressed desires (of course!), Jung claiming it “arose from tapping the collective unconscious”, In an article from Penn State University this year, Claire Flaherty-Craig states: “”There was a long-standing theory about a visual disconnect,” she explains. “It was thought that one hemisphere of the brain would process the visual information first and so the delayed information reaching the other hemisphere was processed like a memory.” However, recent studies done on the blind have challenged this idea, and Flaherty-Craig notes at least one case where the blind individual reported déjà vu involving hearing, touch, and smell.


So is Deja Vu just false memories – the brain testing itself out or battling between regions to correct itself or is it a parallel or multiple universes? Or something else? To me, it hints at there being more (or less) to reality and how we perceive it. It feels exciting, exhilarating, confusing and sometimes a little unsettling, but mostly; I find myself intrigued and curious – and I feel aware of there being more to life – a fleeting sneak-peak from behind the curtains – and that gives me a familiar sense of comfort.

(c) A Barthorpe 2015


Vaguely familiar, I’ve been here before…

Been here, and knew you, on this stranger-less shore.

Ripples or clouds, sometimes wave-like they show.

To lifetimes, to movements I know I have known.

Memories, daydreams, imaginings ride high,

tell me I am not once, but a thousand times live.

These echoes of moments, deep stirrings of more

than my waking eyes see, when I see I’ve seen more.

(c) A Barthorpe Driftwood Beach

Hope you like the painting and poem.

I’ve been looking for a few relevant songs out there. There are a few on dreams (Fleetwood Mac, Cranberries, Blondie….), but here are two songs I hadn’t heard before (or, at least; I think I haven’t heard before! 😀 ):

Here’s Crosby Stills Nash and Young’s Deja Vu

And one from Teena Marie (below)… Both old now, but very fitting, I feel.

Have a wonderful day (and yesterday!) 🙂

One thought on “Deja Vu

  1. I’m really late to the party here but your post was recommended to me. Deja vu can also be a type of seizure. I’ve had them and it’s exactly the way you described–you feel you’ve been in the same place, with the same person, wearing the same clothes, talking about the same thing, and you get a weird sensation in your stomach. A seizure episode of this is pretty powerful. Not saying you had a seizure, just giving another angle on it.


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