Déjà Vu - a Psychic or Scientific Phenomenon?

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Posted on April 20, 2021

Déjà vu means “already seen” in French. It is that knowing or remembering of having experienced a situation before, having met someone before or having been to a specific place – even though it is the first time. According to Psychology Today, almost 70% of people experience déjà vu so is quite a common experience, yet not fully understood. Many scientists try to explain this experience as a memory phenomenon and in turn try to disprove the widely-known interpretation that déjà vu is a psychic phenomenon.

I remember having déjà vu experiences as a child, but not really understanding what was happening or having an explanation for it. It wasn’t until my most recent déjà vu experience on a trip to Tulum, that I intuitively understood that there was more to it; it meant something.

It happened one evening at this beautiful, calm and dimly lit restaurant. We had just left a sound bath session and were on a meditative high. After sitting down to order and looking out into the restaurant, I had this very vivid experience – it felt like a glitch in the matrix and this feeling of remembering having been in that exact location and situation before. There is no doubt in my mind that I experienced this so vividly because I was very energetically open after the sound bath healing. I was very much in tune with what I was experiencing and I had this feeling of confirmation – like this is right where I was supposed to be. That recognition that what is happening is important, a knowing of the truth in your gut.

As I reflected on this experience, it made me think of synchronicities and how we find meaning between two otherwise disconnected and random events. Godinallthings.com explained that “synchronicities awaken us to a deeper memory – stimulates a feeling of déjà vu and that déjà vu is critical to the life of faith. Without it, we would mostly stumble along as eternally distracted, forgetful spiritual rookies, unaware of the enormous trust fund of spiritual wisdom we inherited.”

Now this made sense to me. If you ask me, déjà vu experiences are both a memory and a psychic phenomenon. Déjà vu gives us a glimpse into our eternal wisdom, our consciousness. A glimpse into what is always there, but not always accessible to us in our human form. 

It is my believe, that our soul, together with our soul group and our guides, plans out the life that we are mean to live during this incarnation – our Earth curriculum. One psychic theory is that during the planning process we leave ourselves breadcrumbs along the path, like mile markers, reminding us that we are right where we are supposed to be, with whom, and doing exactly what we should be doing – because we planned it that way. Déjà vu is therefore a spiritual cue that everything is unfolding according to plan.

As someone who will forever be a skeptic, I believe that everyone gets to choose the belief or theory that most fits their own spiritual practice and it is no different with déjà vu. There are so may scientific and spiritual theories about these experiences and it is your prerogative to choose which one most fits for your understanding. You even get to choose not to assign any greater meaning it at all and to simply take the experience for what it is worth.

I personally believe though, that there is some guidance or insight to be gleaned from having such a “glitch in the matrix” type of experience. If you feel the same, then you might ask yourself some questions to help you figure out what it means. You might ask yourself:

  • What triggered this experience?
  • How did it make you feel?
  • What was the memory about (if it triggered a specific memory)?
  • How can this experience influence your life in a positive way?

If you are still undecided about what déjà  vu experiences might mean to you, then the list below might be a helpful place to start. I list some of the more common scientific and spiritual theories that I came across but this list certainly isn't exhaustive. 

Scientific Explanation of Déjà vu:

  • Divided attention – our constant multitasking leads to divided attention and therefore limited perception of our environment. In those states of multitasking, our brain might not be consciously aware of what it is perceiving in its surrounding environment but it still creates a feeling of familiarity with your surroundings.
  • Hologram theory – memories are stored in the brain as holograms which means that only a small piece of information is needed to trigger an entire memory. E.g., Scent and taste are heavily linked to memory and can easily trigger a memory but if the memory cannot be fully identified, it leaves us with a feeling of familiarity in an unfamiliar setting.
  • Dominant eye – Everyone has a dominant and a non-dominant eye. When the dominant eye sends information to your brain before your non-dominant eye can recognize what you’ve perceived as a conscious experience, then your brain will think that you have seen it before but won’t be able to recognize that you literally just saw it a nanosecond before.
  • Memory error – Some scientists believe that errors can occur in memory consolidation processes or in confirming a memory. The brain will try to distinguish what you’ve experienced from what you think you might have experienced.
  • Healthy memory theory – Some scientists believe that your brains ability to determine false memories from real ones is a sign that your memory checking system is healthy.
  • Mini seizures – Another theory suggests that mini seizures trigger déjà vu as small seizures affect regions of our brain responsible for memory formation and retrieval.
  • Lack of sleep – Brain becomes foggy when we are sleep deprived. Lack of sleep can cause memory conflict causing an illusion that an event has happened before. 

Psychic Explanation of Déjà vu:

  • Recalling memories from a past life – Many believe that déjà vu experiences might be encounters from a past life. Like with any intuitive hit, it is suggested to pay close attention to these moments and to reflect on them to glean meaning and potential guidance.
  • Messages from your higher self – Déjà vu experiences as intuitive hits reminding you of your path and mission on Earth. Often called “golden nuggets” or breadcrumbs that you have left yourself to help with your awareness of your path and purpose – use them to overcome challenges.
  • Precognitive dreams – The familiarity you experience with a deja vu might be because you dreamt of this situation before. Precognitive dreams show you events that are bound to happen at some point in the future.  
  • Parallel lives – You might have watched this event unfold on a different timeline, meaning that the familiarity felt with déjà vu are due to timeline shifts. You watched an event unfold in a parallel reality, prior to it unfolding in the present.
  • Guidance from guides, angels, and ancestors – Déjà vu as messages guiding you and supporting you through challenging moments in the present.