Have you ever been to a city that you know you’ve never been to before, but felt an immense sense of familiarity? Have you ever met someone for the first time but felt that you knew that person from long ago? Have you ever, amidst a conversation felt that you have had the same conversation before? These were just a few examples of a well-known mysterious phenomenon known as “déjà vu”.
The term “déjà vu” was first used by French psychic researcher, Émile Boirac. The literal translation of the French phrase means “already seen.” I have had my share of experiences and know some people, including hardcore atheists who have experienced the phenomenon. Research shows that about 60 percent of the people have experienced déjà vu. Déjà vu hardly lasts a few seconds and can be triggered through any of the five senses. While déjà vu has been documented in studies as early as the 1800s, it remains a paranormal mystery.
Many attribute déjà vu to past life experiences. While there has not been any scientific conclusion to this phenomenon, the explanation of a past life certainly does not explain déjà vu in most of the cases. For example, there have been many instances when during a conversation I have had a sense of what the person is going to say next. Not just a sense, I know the exact words the person is going to say to me next.
Past life experiences alone cannot explain this since it is highly improbable that the same person would have told me the exact same words before. Past life research has shown that souls often change their ethnicity, gender etc. in each of its lives on earth. Thus, the probability of two souls having spoken the same language and same words in another life seems very low.
In this article, I present another possible explanation for déjà vu. My explanation is that déjà vu happens because past, present and future are happening simultaneously. Einstein has told us that the distinction between past, present and future is only but a stubbornly persistent illusion. There is no “now” in the universe. Einstein’s field equations depict that space-time may be a circle such that the future leads to the present and then the past which leads to the future, thereby creating multiple futures and pasts and which allows information from the future to affect the present. In addition to this, quantum entanglement experiments have shown us that he choices made in the future influence the measurements made in the present. I would like to quote the following paragraph from the article “The Time Machine of Consciousness” by Rhawn Gabriel Joseph.
“In quantum mechanics, where reality and the quantum continuum are a unity, time is also a unity such that the future, present and past are a continuum which are linked and the same could be said of consciousness which exists in the future and in the present and past. If considered as a “world line” and in space-like instead of time-like intervals, then consciousness from birth to death would be linked as a basic unity extending not in time but in space and the same could be said of time. Time-space and consciousness are also linked and interact via the wave function and as demonstrated by entanglement and the Uncertainty Principle.
Evidence from space-time contraction, atomic clocks and the twin paradox as functions of gravity and acceleration also demonstrate that the future already exists before it is experienced by consciousness in the present. Likewise, under conditions of accelerated consciousness (such as in reaction to terror) and dream states where various brain structures are in a heightened state of activity, space-time may also contract, such that time may slow down and consciousness may be given glimpses of the future in advance of other conscious minds thereby providing again for experiences such as precognition, premonitions, and déjà vu.”
Quantum mechanics has shown us that the experience of time and the distinctions between the past, present and future are affected by distance, gravity, acceleration, consciousness and emotions. When two observers with different inertial frames of reference experience time, it may be slow for one and fast for the other. Usually during dream states or in a fear induced environment, time may speed up or slow down.
In the same article by Joseph, he further tells us that when time-space contracts, more time is compacted into smaller spaces and it takes less time to reach the future which is squeezed closer to the present, whereas from the perspective of a dissociated consciousness, time may appear to slow down, thus paralleling some of the paradoxes of time travel: the time traveling consciousness experiences the future more quickly, and in less time, thereby providing the foundations of deja vu, premonitions, anticipation, and the ability to make accurate predictions and to plan for the future.
The future, past, present, and consciousness are intertwined within the quantum continuum. Thus, the future already exists in the now which lets us tap into it at times. This gives rise to the phenomena such as déjà vu, precognitions, premonitions etc. Déjà vu has been reported by people usually when they are in an altered state of consciousness or heightened brain activity. These are typically associated with an increase in brain activity. Also, accelerated states are associated with the contraction of space-time such that the future arrives quickly for the observer. When there is an increase in brain activity, neurons fire faster and process more information.
In other words, “Just as a time traveler will come closer to the future as he accelerates toward light speed, when brain activity accelerates the future may also come closer such that the leading edge of a future event is experienced by this accelerated state of consciousness just before the event happens in the present.”
Time and consciousness are a quantum continuum and the distinctions between past present and future are illusions. We as humans have the ability to get glimpses of the future when we reach a heightened state of awareness.
We can see that explanation of déjà vu with respect to the nature of time can be backed by the many theories of quantum physics. This presents us with an exciting opportunity to finally give a scientific explanation for the unexplained phenomena such as déjà vu, precognition, premonition and various types of psychic abilities.
It is easy to get caught up with day to day affairs of our lives and forget how magnificent our universe is.
Next time we experience a déjà vu, let us remember that we are experiencing an amazing phenomenon which shows how time and space are just illusions.
1. Einstein, A. (1915b). On the General Theory of Relativity, Preussische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Sitzungsberichte, 1915 (part 2), 778–786, 799–801.
2. Joseph, R. (2014a) Paradoxes of Time Travel: The Uncertainty Principle, Wave Function, Probability, Entanglement, and Multiple Worlds, Cosmology, 18, 282-302.
3. Joseph, R. (2014a) The Time Machine of Consciousness, Cosmology, 18, In press.