We explain what déjà vu is, what the meaning of this term is, and the types of déjà vu a person can experience.
The Déjà vu experience is usually brief and diluted after a few moments.
¿What is a déjà vu?
Déjà vu (a term taken from the French word meaning “already seen”) is a mild disturbance of the memory (paramnesia of recognition) that produces the sensation that a situation has been lived before.
The term Déjà vu began to be used in this concrete sense following the studies of Émile Boirac (1851-1917), a French psychic who used it for the first time in his book The Future of Psychic Sciences.
He would later be referred to by psychologists such as Edward B. Tichener, who explained it as a quick impression that someone has of a lived situation, which is experienced before the brain can consciously “process” the information, which generates a false sense of familiarity.
Generally speaking, the experience of Déjà vu is usually brief and diluted after a few moments, accompanied by a feeling of strangeness or awe, and it is usually attributed the “previous” experience of what one lives to a dream, which would lead one to think of some kind of premonition.
Scientific approaches, however, contradict the traditional idea that a Déjà vu is part of a prophecy or spiritual message that suddenly becomes conscious, preferring to understand it as an anomaly in the functioning of the psychic machinery of memory.
The experience of Déjà vu is tremendously common: two thirds of the world’s population say they have experienced it, according to formal studies.
It may serve you: Intuition.
Types of déjà vu
According to Arthur Funkhouser (1996), there are three types of Déjà vu:
Déjà vécu. When people talk about Déjà vu, they usually refer to this first type, whose name translates “already lived”. It normally occurs between the ages of 15 and 25 and is usually linked to minimal, banal events, around which a series of sensations are woven, producing the conviction that this had already been experienced before.
Déjà senti. It differs from the first case in that it is something merely sensorial: its name translates “ya sentido”.
It occurs exclusively around mental events and is of an inner nature, ephemeral, because it is not usually communicable or endures in consciousness. It’s very common in epileptic patients.
I visited Déjà. Its name translates “already visited” and obviously implies a reaction to a place that is known for the first time, but one has the feeling of having been there before. Many people therefore link it to the belief of reincarnation and previous lives, if not astral travel during sleep.
The psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung describes a case of Déjà visité in his text “Sobre sincronicidad”, explaining that it can be a defensive resource of the psyche, which induces a sense of familiarity to calm the anguish.