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Deja Vu, or, Remembering Forward

Updated on October 25, 2011

Deja vu, or, remembering forward is that extremely eerie sensation we get when we experience something that we feel we've already known about, exactly. It is as though we remembered the event before it even happened, then when it happens in actual real life--we recall "being here before", at this exact same place, with these exact same people and things, and events are transpiring exactly as we "dreamt" them. That's deja vu.

Early in my life I was very skeptical about things like "deja vu". I felt the people might be deluding themselves, or misinterpreting events.

I was skeptical, until I experienced deja vu, myself..

I've experience deja vu maybe four or five times in my lifetime. The first time, I was maybe ten or eleven years old. I went to sleep on a Friday night, and, just before I went off to Slumberland, I fell into a kind of waking dream, where I thought I was in the kitchen, and Mom had baked some cookies. I asked her could I have one, and she said yes.

"This is the most delicious cookie! Yummy!" I said. (And it was, still warm from the oven.)

"It's a toll house cookie," she said.

"Why do they call it a toll house cookie? It's chocolate chip." I said.

"It's got Nestle's chocolate chips in it, " she said. (Mom did that frequently when she didn't know the answer. She just answered a totally different question that was never asked but she knew the answer.)

I dozed off as I wondered why they called them "toll house cookies". Did the turnpike keepers offer them to weary travelers as the keepers collected their tolls for the road? Hmmm....

I was wakened Saturday morning by Mom yelling up the stairs. Her voice alone was powerful enough to launch us from sleep to the day's sailing. I went downstairs, had breakfast, and, since it was Saturday and it was my turn to do the living room cleaning, started vacuuming the living room. It was my sister Carole's turn to help Mom in the kitchen with the Saturday baking. The vacuum roared away, and Dad decided he had to go and get a haircut. I dusted all around, and neatened everything up, putting stuff away or tidying it. The good smells of baking penetrated the living room and dining room. I ambled into the kitchen.

Some warm cookies, fresh from the oven, were sitting on the cooling rack.

"May I have one?" I asked Mom.

"Yes," she said.

"This is the most delicious cookie! Yummy!" I said.

"They're toll house cookies," Mom said.

"Why do they call them toll house cookies? They're chocolate chip." I said.

And right then I remembered, exactly, what Mom would say next. I knew she would say they were made with Nestle's chocolate chips, instead of answering my question. I recalled exactly experiencing this whole sequence of events, in this exact order, having exactly this conversation, before dropping off to sleep the night before.

"It's got Nestle's chocolate chips in it," Mom said.

This incident was trivial enough. What made it remarkable to me, and the reason I remember it so well, is because it was my very first experience of deja vu. It was a TRULY eerie sensation.

I discovered later on that about 22% of the people on the planet experience deja vu at one time or another in their lives. I also discovered that explanations for this phenomena range from a neurochemical lapse deluding the person into thinking they are experiencing deja vu, or the result of drugs altering the processes of memory. It is also a possible symptom in some schizophrenic patients. In the medical diagnosed circumstances, all of the patients recalled strongly the sensation of deja vu without specifically recalling the incidents themselves, or being able to predict what happened next. So none of those explanations seemed to fit my experience.

Then I discovered something about the nature of time, that altered my thinking forever.

Time is a human construct. It does not exist outside the human frame of reference. We measure time in different ways: the rotation of the earth in relation to the sun; the revolution of the earth around the sun; we can use heartbeats or atoms or pendulums to measure time. There is no time unless a human being is measuring it.

The universe, the other suns and other planets and other moons have, if there was a human being there to measure it, a different time...

The other living things on the earth have their cycles and their seasons, but do not measure time.

Time is much more relative than even Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity would suggest. It is completely relative to the human condition.

A gentleman named Ray Cummings, who wrote science fiction in the early 1920's, once wrote: "Time is what keeps everything from happening all at once." People had to invent time, like we had to invent numbers, in order to impose some order on the world, to make good use of those big, rational brains we have.

This concept was brought to me by reading a book by Immanuel Kant, a philosopher whose name might be well known to you. I was completely gobsmacked by this concept, and am still trying to get my whole head around it. I'm still stuck in the Newtonian universe in many ways, even after quantum mechanics and quantum physics are established scientific facts.

It is, however, a more than adequate explanation for deja vu, or remembering forward.

Have you ever experienced deja vu?

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    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 

      4 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      This is great! Remembering forward. I love it. I learned so much from this, and it is so true, been there, done that, fascinating.

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks so much for the comment, and even more for the moral support. So many people are extremely skeptical of things like this.

    • Enlydia Listener profile image

      Enlydia Listener 

      6 years ago from trailer in the country

      Paradise, I really enjoyed reading this...fascinating...I also love the way you write.

      I am going back to read more.

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks for the comment, Aceblogs.

    • Aceblogs profile image


      7 years ago from India

      Experienced dejavu lot of times and many a times it happens like as if i had been in this state before but it would be all together a new place or situation for me in real !

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks for the comment, Gypsy Rose. I've also experience deja vu in a house, the home of a friend who I hadn't visited before. I knew where everything was, including the bathroom, without ever having been there before to my certain knowledge. I knew what a room in that house would look like before I entered it. Very strange.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      7 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Thanks for the hub. I have experienced some deja vu in my life and when I lived in the states I remember two houses which I had never seen before seem to beckon to me as if I had lived there at one time. One is somewhere just beyond Kingston and one is in Ellenville.

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks for the comment, Nell. Yes, I agree with you that deja vu involves precognition and is one specific form of precognition; the difference being that we can also be precognant of events that occur later but we are not there when they happen. The thing with deja vu is, you're there and you feel you've been exactly there before and know what's going to happen next.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      7 years ago from England

      Hi, fascinating subject, and yes I have experienced it loads of times, its called precognition, maybe scientists will be able to capture something on film one of these days, of someone experiencing it, then they will have definite proof, great hub! cheers nell

    • epigramman profile image


      7 years ago

      ..gee I hope you truly get better and feel better too - you have been a good and special person in my life here at the Hub.

      lake erie time ontario canada 4:51pm

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image


      7 years ago

      I have experienced Deja Vu a lot of times. So much so that I couldn't possibly tell you the first time I experienced it.

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Hey epi! My main man. Weather is wild and wet and windy, and it suits my mood today.

      Still not too well, but working on getting better. I seem to have some kind of persistent infection that has settled in my lungs, making me tire very easily and not feel too ambitious. My doc measured my lung capacity at 30% right now; if it gets any worse she would put me in hospital, so I'm determined not to let it get any worse. I take my medicine like a good girl, you better believe it!

      I'm still upright and taking nourishment, so all is well.

      How goes with you, epi, my man? Still those sleepless nights, I noticed. Rest easy, my friend. All has been done that needs doing. You are safe (and warm, now that the furnace is back on!)

    • epigramman profile image


      7 years ago

      ..funny you talk about deja vu - I was just at your other hub about modern art, perhaps getting uglier, through the years , and I thought this hub looked familiar although it's a classic and I enjoyed once again - then I realized I was here before and had left a comment previously. Well I've missed you and sincerely hope all is well with you at the moment - always love your hub subjects and this one in particular is provocative and intriguing - well just like that fine mind of yours ..... lake erie time ontario canada 3:20pm how is the weather for you these days - here it is a wind swept lake with colder temperatures and the furnance heat is coming back on

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks for the comment, Dr. I'll have to check that out, and finally find out how toll house cookies got their name.

      I think your movie deja vu might qualify as deja vu, if you can predict the exact words. Even the stalest of plots has slightly different dialog each time, or somebody would get sued for plagarism, one would think.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      7 years ago from south Florida

      Sometimes I experience a form of deja vu ('I've seen it before') when I watch a new film and can pedict exactly what the actor will say. Not sure if that is actual deja vu or just the same old plots with the same old dialogue.

      Funny though that you mentioned Toll House chocolate chip cookies in your dream. I wrote a hub that explains how those cookies got the Toll House name. "Chocolate Chip Cookies - Seven Scrumptious Recipes."


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