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Thursday, June 25, 2009


Dèjá vu (also called paramnesia) is a French word which means "already seen". It is the experience of feeling sure that one has witnessed or experienced a new situation previously (an individual feels as if an event has already happened or has happened in the near past), although the exact circumstances of the previous encounter are uncertain. The term was coined by a French psychic researcher, Émile Boirac (1851–1917) in his book "L'Avenir des sciences psychiques" ("The Future of Psychic Sciences"). The experience of déjà vu is usually accompanied by a sense of familiarity and also a sense of "eeriness," "strangeness," or "weirdness." The "previous" experience is most frequently attributed to a dream, although in some cases there is a firm sense that the experience "genuinely happened" in the past.

The experience of déjà vu seems to be quite common among adults and children alike. References to the experience of déjà vu are also found in literature of the past, indicating it is not a new phenomenon. Recently, researchers have found ways to recreate this sensation using hypnosis.

Note 1: It can be written dèjá vu, deja vu or dejavu.

The British rock band Iron Maiden has a song called Deja vu and its lyrics gives us a good definition of what this phenomenon is:

When you see familiar faces,
But you don't remember where they're from,
Could you be wrong?

When you've been particular places,
That you know you've never been before,
Can you be sure?

'Cause you know this has happened before,
And you know that this moment in time is for real,
And you know when you feel Deja vu.

Feel like I've been here before,
Feel like I've been here before.
Feel like I've been here before,
Feel like I've been here before.

Ever had a conversation,
That you realize you've had before,
Isn't it strange?

Have you ever talked to someone,
And you feel you know what's coming next?
It feels pre-arranged.

'Cause you know that you've heard it before,
And you feel that this moment in time is surreal,
'Cause you know when you feel Deja vu.

Note 2: And you? Have you ever had a feeling of déjà vu?

Initial text from Adapted by Milton França.
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