Déjà vu is a French term which means, something that is already seen. It is an overwhelming sense of familiarity with an incident or location with which one could not have been familiar with. The entire experience feels to have happened earlier in time despite being unique. Though it is experienced by more than 70% of the people experts have not been able to reach at a conclusion for the real reasons of déjà vu. There have been research and many conclusions- scientific and spiritual- have been drawn about it, though none can be proved with 100% accuracy.
Brien Weiss, a psychiatrist and author of miracles happen, in his books writes that déjà vu is one of the common signs of past life recollection. He says that déjà vu points at one’s past life which might be connected to the ‘familiar’ person or location. Many karmic groups have a very spiritual theory regarding déjà vu. They believe that if we meet people from our past life we experience déjà vu because of people have consistent behavior throughout their life cycles and we seem to recognize these traits when we meet them. They argue that if an incident/event causes the sensation of déjà vu, it might be because we might have unconsciously become aware of our predestined path of life.
Parapsychologists support the hypothesis that déjà vu is linked with wish fulfillment from the past life into the present life. Another fascinating reason given by spiritualists is the tuning fork phenomenon. This phenomenon suggests that every living or non-living object emits a particular kind of aura into its surrounding. Human beings emits aura through its intellect, ego and mind. This emission and reception of aura becomes more pronounced when a person is meditating. Tuning fork suggests that when the frequencies of two people’s mental aura match, be it in same time and space or from after-life, one feels déjà vu. Our frequencies do not match with everyone but only with 1 in 100 people and that too on some particular instance. This matching of aura frequency need not indicate anything about the concept of soul-mates. Although these theories have been debated over because of the highly debated concept of reincarnation and thus these premises remain to be a matter of faith.
There have been examples of experiences which transcend any scientific explanation such as a woman claimed to have never been to Egypt yet felt déjà vu at many times when she visited Egypt. There is an example of a woman who told that when she first met her present husband she felt that she knew him from before even though they had never met and were from two different countries. Many individuals find these feelings to be creepy while many others consider it a sublime and exhilarating experience. Spiritual thinkers believe it as a form of past life regression. Scientists have their own rational theories though they find analyzing the concept difficult because of it being a split second experience.
Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, believed that a sudden and simultaneous reminder of a subconscious fantasy leads to this feeling of familiarity or Déjà vu. Hermon Sno, an expert in this topic, proposes that human memory is stored in a way similar to holographic images. The smaller the images are, the more unclear and blurry they appear. So, according to Sno, the smaller images in the human memory are shrunk to small blurry sizes. Hence, Déjà vu occurs when the present situation vaguely matches with any of these fuzzy images of past events. Scientist even believe that one can experience Déjà vu if one’s present situation matches with a previous episode very similar to it or with a serious of different past events moderately similar events stored in the memory. For example, say if you were shown photographs of all my family members except mine and then suddenly some day I came in front of you, you would feel as if you are familiar with me. The reason for this familiar feeling is because of the series of images of my family’s photographs. Thus, many instances of Déjà vu could be explained through this trickery of mind. According to neuroscience researches Déjà vu is very similar to our other mental behaviors such as: consciously reliving a moment like the first kiss or recognizing a person yet being unable to recall where we saw them. In scientific terms, “In the memory system prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus mediate conscious recollection whereas the parahippocampal gyrus and its cortical connections mediate feelings of familiarity.” So, Déjà vu could be a result of sudden activation of parahippocampal gyrus during a normal functioning of the memory system in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus i.e. a person feels familiar to a situation yet is unable to consciously recollect the past event. Reports even suggest that Déjà vu is strongly linked with temporal-lobe epilepsy and can occur just prior to the epileptic attack. Though, the fact that déjà vu occurs in individuals with or without any such medical conditions the speculations still remain.
Hence, there are many thesis and theories, both spiritual as well as scientific but no final conclusion has yet been delivered. The basis of déjà vu thus still is a mystery sort to being unraveled through different conjectures.