"Several psychoanalysts attribute déjà vu to simple fantasy or wish fulfillment, while some psychiatrists ascribe it to a mismatching in the brain that causes the brain to mistake the present for the past. Many parapsychologists believe it is related to a past-life experience. Obviously, there is more investigation to be done." (http://www.howstuffworks.com/question657.htm)
The term déjà vu is French and means "already seen" and is sometimes called paramnesia (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C3%A9j%C3%A0_vu). It is the feeling of familiarity with something that shouldn't be familiar at all. The "previous" experience is usually attributed to a dream but sometimes experience fells like it actually happened in the past.
I am one of the 'lucky' people who experiences déjà vu occasionally no way as much as I used to when I was younger. In at least one case I could attribute the feeling to a sort of 'out of body' dream/experience I had many years earlier. In that case, I was looking of a photograph of an old colonial house in India - where I have never been to physically but have been to in my mind! I had a lot of those 'out of body' experiences in my adolescence and early teenage years but that is a subject of another post. Most of my experiences, I can point to dreams as the source but occasionally, I can't even remember what caused the 'previous' experience.
Recently something that has never happened before with my déjà vu episodes. I met an old friend in another city and we did a bit of shopping, had lunch and had a great walkabout the city with a few 're-fueling' stops on the way, 14 years is a long time to catch up on. Normally, I would have visited many more establishments but my friend is not much of a drinker. I am quite happy finding a nice spot to view the world go by and sip on cold beers for a whole afternoon. So by the evening, I was tired, just wanted to find somewhere to sit, have something to eat and we were still walking round in circles.
Anyway, I slipped into MacDonald's to use the facilities and as I was in there, I had the great sense of having been in this situation, in this place, before, in a dream not a month old, before I knew I was going to meet up with this friend. But now get this, I also knew that if I did not change my mood and handle the situation delicately, I might hurt my friendship. Needless to say, I walked out and gently we steered ourselves to an eating establishment where I had my beer and I bought him dinner. The jet-lag had kicked in so we called it a day with my dear friendship intact.
It made me wonder about dreams and déjà vu and I am still wondering.
May you find the balance.
[First published on my Talking2Myself blog on specified date]