For me, I can go decades between déjà vu (French for “already seen”) experiences. Last month, I had a striking case of it while in downtown Reno’s Methodist Church. It was the first time I’ve had this sense of precognition since 2007 when I accompanied the KTVN news team to Goldfield. As that experience was a precursor to a transformative event for me, I wonder what this latest instance might mean for me spiritually.
How science explains déjà vu
A Smithsonian.com article by Marina Korin states that scientists have been pondering this mysterious feeling since the 1880s, when it was observed that epileptics tended to have more frequent episodes of foresight. Some scientists now believe this is caused by a neural misfiring.
Another scientific explanation is that we’ve seen something similar before but in a different context. Colorado State University researcher Anne Cleary used this example: A man visits Paris for the first time and spies the Louvre’s glass pyramid. His brain tells him he’s been there before. The connection is that he saw the outside of the Louvre weeks earlier when he watched The da Vinci Code.
Cleary also says that while one scene may be different from another, if the two share nearly identical configurations, people would get déjà vu. Her example: Someone enters a restaurant modeled after a different establishment (one that person had been to before), resulting in him feeling a familiarity with that place.
My déjà vu experiences don’t seem to fit those theories.
Yes, when I’d experienced a strong case of déjà vu in the KTVN parking lot, I was suffering from a neurological disease. But prior to that morning, I probably hadn’t had déjà vu in decades—so I don’t believe a brain misfire was the cause.
When this insight occurred, it was accompanied by a strong emotional response: one of belonging, of being in the right place. I also had the sensation that I had dreamed about this meeting well before the time it happened.
Some of you may recall Charlotte, the telepath, from my book, A Reluctant Spirit. She believes déjà vu is an indication that we are following the spiritual path that was meant for us.
Paolo Coehlo writes in Aleph that déjà vu shows us moments we’ve lived in past lives. I don’t think this explains my experience, unless I am living a concurrent life in a parallel universe.
My most recent flash happened while I sat in a pew at the Methodist church. As the emcee introduced a panel of speakers sitting in chairs, déjà vu showed me standing to the front right of the sanctuary where I waited to be introduced. The configuration of the present moment with four chairs facing the audience was gone. In that brief instance, I felt excitement as if I was going to say something important.
So, if this experience had been due to a similar configuration of setting (as researcher Cleary theorized), wouldn’t I have had this flash sooner in the day? And, why would my vision contain a different setup (no chairs and no people in the front)?
I don’t have the answers. But I will say this latest instance of déjà vu instilled enthusiasm for my future and a certainty that “yes, I’m on the right spiritual path.”