posted on Jun, 20 2006 @ 11:29 AM
Many will totally understand your reaction to the experience, and your curiosity now, so don't worry, you're in good company :-)
I imagine it happens at least once to almost everyone. It's a 'world stops still' moment, isn't it -- something you're likely to remember and
ponder over for years to come.
It used to happen to me quite frequently when I was a young child, to the point I pestered my father about it more than once. I described it, though,
as : " I've done this before !! ".
I remember being in a rock-throwing fight amongst two rival gangs of kids, when I was about seven. Suddenly, I experienced a feeling that was similar
to being underwater: the sounds around me seemed suddenly far away and everything seemed to go into slow-motion. I watched my rock arc through the
air and hit a kid on the side of the head. He yelled and fell sideways and as it happened, it was like I wasn't there in my own body. Instead, for
a second, I saw things from a different and strange perspective. A very strong deja vu feeling swept through me. I'd done it before. I knew who my
rock would strike before it landed. I knew the sound the kid would make, the face he would pull, the way other members of his gang would point at me
and begin furiously hurling retaliatory rocks in my direction. It was similar to watching something from two different camera angles at the same
time. It was a very strong experience, because I still remember it, all these years later and despite experiencing deja vu on dozens of later
But the most memorable aspect of deja vu is the 'feeling', at least it is for me. It's a weird feeling that's impossible to describe. It's not
JUST the sensation of having done this precise thing before: it's the weird feeling that sweeps through you. It's not pain. It's not joy. It's
not 'good' or 'bad'. It's different to other sensations: almost an 'out of human' thing. Once we've experienced pain, we know what it's
like; like laughter, or embarrassment or other 'normal' feelings. And others express pain, joy, embarrassment often enough for us to accept such
emotions as part and parcel of everyday life. But deja vu, though brief in duration (usually) tends to isolate us: lock us in a bubble of mental
confusion during which Time seems to stand still or do a loop.
I imagine people who're experiencing deja vu must look momentarily stunned or dazed. But we'll probably never be able to recognise the signs of
deja vu in others, because people tend not to mention it, unless we know them very intimately. My daughter has occasionally said to me: ' Oh, for a
second there, I felt as if this had all happened before'. But I hadn't noticed the signs on her face. Maybe we just appear 'thoughtful' to
others, or respond in distracted manner, while we're experiencing it.
I used to press my father for an explanation, when I was a child. I wanted to know what the deja vu 'feeling' WAS. I wondered if everyone had it
and what caused it. We tend to seek reassurance, because there's no doubt about it; it's a powerful experience that leads to much pondering.
My father basically didn't want me to dwell on it, I suspect. Maybe he'd had similar questions to my own, based in his own deja vu experiences.
Finally though -- to shut me up and turn my mind to more ordinary matters -- he informed me that deja vu was caused when the mind registered a
situation, but instead of processing and storing it in the usual manner, the mind has a blip, and replays it again. All of this supposedly occurs in
micro-seconds, leaving us with the odd experience that we've done or seen all this before.
In later years, I read a very similar explanation for deja vu. It sounds feasible and may account for the 'double perspective' aspect of deja vu,
which could be caused by the mind's attempting to PROCESS an experience at the very SAME time as it's replaying it.