Sunday, March 29, 2009

Déjà Vu

Some friends and I were having a conversation the other day about déjà vu -- what is it, how does it happen? The experience of déjà vu is usually accompanied by a compelling sense of familiarity, and also a sense of eeriness," "strangeness," or "weirdness," The "previous" experience is most frequently attributed to real life, although in some cases there is a firm sense that the experience "genuinely happened" in the past. ... Wikipedia

I know there are scientific explanations for déjà vu, and they're probably right, but they're really not much fun, are they? And then there is the theory from folks who believe in reincarnation, and that episodes of déjà vu are bits of memories from past lives. I'm not sure about that explanation either.

The conclusion that my friends and I arrived at is that bits of memories from our predecessors are stored in our DNA. Well, I know this sounds as silly as the other explanations, but could cellular memory actually be possible?

There is anectodal evidence that people who receive transplanted organs from transplant donors display a strange change in tastes, opinions, cravings, and other mild personality changes. This gives rise to the theory that the donated organ had some part of the donor's memory left within it. A woman named Claire Sylvia, who was a transplant recipient, wrote a book called "A Change of Heart". She had received a donated heart from an 18 year-old boy who had been in a motorcycle accident. Claire suddenly developed a craving for beer, chicken nuggets, and green peppers, all food she didn't enjoy prior to her heart transplant.

The mind and body are all one; they don't exist separate and apart from each other. I believe it is possible that memories are stored in the tissue in other parts of our bodies as well, not just in our brains. It's an interesting thought. If so, it could also be possible that memories are stored in our DNA. Will one of our descendants, years from now, have a déjà vu of something we experienced perhaps this very afternoon? They may be walking along a street you walked along today, and suddenly experience that familiar feeling, "I have done this before..."

35 comments:

scarlethue said...

I have deja vu quite often. Had it just yesterday in fact. I dream things before they happen. I know that sounds absolute silly, but it's true, and I've had it happen enough times to think that maybe there's something to it, that it's not just coincidence. But it's never anything important, and the event never happens right after I dream it. Like yesterday, I was in a jewelry store with my mom, a store I'd never been in, when a necklace I was trying on became tangled. As I was unwinding it, I looked up at my mom and the store display, and I knew I had seen it before in a dream. And that's pretty typical of the kind of deja vu I have.

I think maybe it's something to do with time, like I'm just floating along a time line here, one canoe in the river, when suddenly my brain jumps ahead to another spot on the river but quickly jumps back when I wake up. Or something like that. That or I'm crazy. :)

I like the idea of memories and such being tied to our DNA, I think that's possible. There's a lot we don't understand about the way our bodies and our brains work.

Ruby Isabella said...

I agree with Scarlethue. In spirit, there is no time. So in the spirit world we can glimpse the future, possibly in dreams or at other times as well. But the future isn't determined. This is all making my head spin. I'm just a young dog.

I'm Cassandra said...

I'd never heard about the organ transplant ordeal. That's so interesting and slightly scary.

Thanks for sharing!

Anna Kauz said...

I also agree with scarlethue, 90% of the time, I have deja vu from dreams that I've had. I literally dream the future. And whenever I have deja vu, I think really hard as to where I've seen it before, and almost always trace it back to dreams (I always remember my dreams).

A note on the time thing, my dad has a philosophy that that is how heaven/hell is. Its not really "eternity" but that's the best way it can be described, as we deal with everything in time. Yet, the supernatural world, or whatever, runs differently...

I hope this makes sense, I'm slowly running out of juice, I'm sick and took some Nyquil about 20 minutes ago, ha!

lovelyprism said...

Open your mind and anything is possible!

Mean Mama said...

I had no idea so many other people had the same experience of dreaming the future. It has happened to me often. It can be something simple to something as serious as a natural disaster. I used to feel like a freak. There must be some tie to DNA and memory. Maybe instinct? Dogs are bred to know how to do certain things like guarding, herding and pulling. Why can't we posses the same sort of thing from our ancestors? Very fascinating. Thank you Jo.

Lorna said...

I saw that movie about the heart transplant; it was an eye opener (mouth fell open too).

I think that cellular memory exists. It does with worms and mice.

As for the thing about someone feeling déjà vu: He would have the DV feeling only if he himself had walked down that cobblestone street, not if YOU walked down it.

However, some old guy 100 years in the future might have some cell from you or some cell that you shared with your mother, and he might have flashes of visions in his head which will make him think, ”Where on earth did that come from?“ but he would not consider it DV unless it flashed back on something that he was actually, eerily doing.


~Lorna

Lorna said...

Do more men or more women believe in déjà vu?


Lorna

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Hmmm. Interesting. I am therefore not really overweight, it's just that my fat cells are remembering the good times during my past life as a decadent senator in ancient Rome.

Seriously though, I think there is some evidence of alteration of DNA in response to environmental challenges which could be a form of cellular memory.

Firefly said...

I often have deja vu. Sometimes something just feels fimiliar while other times it feels like I have dreamt something before. It truely is a strange feeling.

the walking man said...

The last time I had Deja Vu was a rainy night in Newport, Rhode Island. I remember it clearly because As I walked into the shop I was immediately drawn to the butterfly on the wall.

I went in search of a net and found it two doors down from a fifth of Kesslers whiskey.

Three shots and twenty minutes later I was in the chair capturing that butterfly and had the old salt put the words "Deja Vu" above it and "Freedom" below.

I suppose you're right Jo, I will always have a cellular memory of Freedom.

jeannette stgermain said...

How interesting that the woman after the heart transplant of the 18 year old, had a change in likes/tastes!
Have the same as some others: deja vu from dreams.

But, now we're on the subject: deja vu is a French expression, literally translated: "already seen."
Only, most people, especially in the US, who do not speak French pronounce it as "deja vous" (which means: "already you"(you as in a group).

Pretty please, pronounce the vowel in "vu" as in the word "tulle", so that you are really saying, "deja vu!!"
(deja vous does not make any sense to French speaking people, and sounds like gibberish, LOL)

Hilary said...

Haven't I read this blog post before?


;)

Veronica said...

Cellular memory definitely but had never considered the possibility of DNA cellular memory... gosh doesn't that open up a whole new avenue as food for thought!! Good post Jo (as usual) Warm wishes to you, Vxx

Paula Slade said...

I used to have more episodes of deja vu when I was younger. Dr. Deepak Chopra writes about "cell memory" in many of his books and every day the world of physics expands the idea of more and more dimensions. Would it not be possible to travel beyond the three familiar dimensions and in the process have our DNA "stamped" with the memory of the journey? Fascinating stuff - so is the story about the transplant patient. As Chopra would say, "all possibilities."

Pauline said...

The DNA memories make sense to me. I'd much rather think an ancestor of mine inhabited the forested hills of home than some previous incarnation of myself.

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Maureen said...

I have a 20 minute routine of exercises for my hip that I do every morning before coffee or breakfast. Often I get halfway through and not remember doing any of it. But I know I have because 10 minutes have passed and I trust my body knows what to do next. I'm also afraid of heights, a reaction that is completely physical. No amount of mental chat can get my heart and muscles to calm down. Cellular memory, totally.

Miss_Nobody said...

Wow,this is an AMAZING post.And I thought I was the only one who got this feeling like what I'm doing right then,I have done the same thing before,the exact same thing.Eerie,but exciting!!

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I agree with your theory. I have some strong "memories" that aren't mine. I don't think I am reincarnated. I believe in God and the traditional heaven and hell, but...... we may all be surprised at His plan. Along with the traditional religious belief that reincarnation isn't possble, doesn't the Bible teach us that all things are possible with God.

Charles Gramlich said...

Well, I happen to think the scientific explanations are pretty cool. Especially the one involving seizures!

Jelica said...

I like your theory although the one from "Matrix" was also cool, too--remember, every time someone had a deja vu, that meant there was a glitch in the system. Scary stuff :)

It's Just Me said...

I believe it is visions of the plans we made for ourselves before we came to this great life. When you have a deja vu moment you are being shown that you are on the right track - remembering what was set in place for you....

But, that is just me.

Arley said...

I like this post. I have experienced Deja Vu many times but have never really put any thought into why I had that experience. I have never had a transplant of any kind, but the thought of reliving a moment a past family member might have had is intriguing.

Usually my experience with Deja Vu is something I personally did, but had forgotten about. I might have done the exact same thing years eariler. It's also fun to have that memory and try to figure out when and where I did it!

Mclndesm said...

I agree that we have memories stored in other parts of our body besides the brain. We have muscle memory, pain memory, touch memory. I also believe that we store acient memories. I used to dream in another language and I haven't the faintest idea what it was. I would open my eyes and still be dreaming/thinking in that "mysterious" language.

Mclndesm said...

And of course there is always a "Parallel Universe"

XUP said...

Oh, I like the heart transplant story. That’s cool. And I could totally see how some “sense” memory could be stored in our DNA. However, a lot of déjà vu experiences are so mundane – a conversation about toilet roll and you know what the other person is going to say next?? THIS is what our DNA remembers? For one thing the experiences are often too anachronistic to have been stored from an ancestor. Perhaps things like an odd fondness for the food or culture of another country; or being drawn to a certain person; or love of a type of music – these could be explained by DNA memory. My favourite explanation for the mundane déjà vu experiences though is that at that time there’s a short circuit in your brain and it processes information much quicker than usual, so that you are hearing things at the exact instant the other person is saying them instead of experiencing the usual delay. This makes you think you are hearing them before they actually say them.

EA Monroe said...

Josie, there are theories about DNA memory -- ancestral memory. Some also explain Deja vu as a "parallel universe." And, there are millions x 10 to infinity of parallel universes for every thought we have and how sometimes, like bubbles, the parallel universes might touch each other in time and space. I love thinking about this stuff! ~Liz

Donnetta Lee said...

Josie: Yes, I've heard that story before. Seems as if some mechanism is at work here. I think eventually scientists will begin to figure this out, but it might be a long time coming. Meantime, I'll continue to have deja vu and wonder where it is coming from-past ancestor or past life. Oooooooo. D

Mona said...

i believe that it is probably combination of both explanations and probably more (:

i've had a strong deja vu experience that has convinced me of reincarnation and past lives...

life is so interesting, isn't it?!

Lover of Life said...

We accept the fact that we learn, and that learning is passed on in the form of evolution - why not genetic memory?

Jo said...

♦ Scarlethue, oh, gosh, no it's not coincidence at all. And it is very common. I believe there is an explanation for it that we may not be aware of yet.

♦ Ruby, you're pretty smart for a young dog. :-)

♦ Cassandra, yes, it is a bit creepy, isn't it?

♦ I think your Dad's philosophy is quite accurate. Well ... that and the Nyquil. *heh*

♦ Lovelyprism, oh yes!

♦ MeanMama, definitely, yes. I do think certain traits have evolved in us, and this may be on of them.

♦ Lorna, yes, that I what I meant. I once visited an uncle here in Vancouver. I had never been to his place before, but it was familiar. My dad had played there as a child.

♦ LGS, yes, I have read that we can actually alter the DNA in our genes, and pass that alteration to our offspring.

♦ Firefly, I think deja vu is a very common occurence to everyone. That's what makes me think it is not just an anomaly.

♦ Mark, what a great story...! (I've always wanted to get a tattoo.)

♦ Jeanette, interesting! I think we pronounce it correctly in Canada, but I'm not sure...

♦ Hilary, *heh, heh*

♦ Veronica, yes, I was thinking about DNA cellular memory, and how perhaps our memories could be pass down to our descendants.

♦ Paula, "Would it not be possible to travel beyond the three familiar dimensions and in the process have our DNA "stamped" with the memory of the journey?" Omigosh, what a concept!

♦ Pauline, yes, and how much do we know about what our ancestors have passed down to us as "memories"? Intersting thought!

♦ William, thank you. (You look an awful lot like Donald Trump...)

♦ Maureen, oh, gosh yes! I think our autonomic nervous system does have a memory. Definitely!

♦ Miss Nobody, oh, gosh no! Everyone gets it. It is a very, very common occurrence.

♦ Kathy, well, I think all things are possible, yes, and there is still so much yet that we don't know about. So much!

♦ Charles, I actually think the scientific explanations are interesting too. I also think there is so much we don't know yet -- but science will find out eventually.

♦ Jelica, yes, the Matrix was a strange movie with an intersting concept. Anything is possible...

♦ It's Just Me, gosh, that is exactly what I thought at one time too. I also thought that perhaps the universe expands and collapses, expands and collapses, and we have done it all before.

♦ Arley, yes, and sometimes we have a deja vu of something we have never done before, but we have a very strong memory of it, in fact, we have a certainty of it. Interesting!

♦ McIndesm, oooh, parallel universe! I like that idea! We may have a doppleganger somewhere who has deja vu of things we do. Amazing!

♦ XUP, I like your theory, and it is probably the closest to the truth. It is sort of a brain hiccup somehow. But at the time it is happening, it feels so real...!

♦ Liz, okay, I think your theory is my favorite. "And, there are millions x 10 to infinity of parallel universes for every thought we have and how sometimes, like bubbles, the parallel universes might touch each other in time and space." What a wonderful idea!

♦ Donnetta, I used to have deja vu occasionally as a child, but I haven't for a long time now. And yes, I do think scientists will figure it out one day.

♦ Mona, I have had deja vu that have convinced me of a past life too, and they were not just fleeting experiences. Interesting, isn't it?

Jo said...

♦ LoverOfLife, of course! Genetic memory. Until scientists discover the mechanism for it, we can only speculate. But it makes sense, doesn't it?

Edward Yablonsky said...

The conclusion that my friends and I arrived at is that bits of memories from our predecessors are stored in our DNA. Well, I know this sounds as silly as the other explanations, but could cellular memory actually be possible?

There is anectodal evidence that people who receive transplanted organs from transplant donors display a strange change in tastes, opinions, cravings, and other mild personality changes. This gives rise to the theory that the donated organ had some part of the donor's memory left within it. A woman named Claire Sylvia, who was a transplant recipient, wrote a book called "A Change of Heart". She had received a donated heart from an 18 year-old boy who had been in a motorcycle accident. Claire suddenly developed a craving for beer, chicken nuggets, and green peppers, all food she didn't enjoy prior to her heart transplant.

The mind and body are all one; they don't exist separate and apart from each other. I believe it is possible that memories are stored in the tissue in other parts of our bodies as well, not just in our brains. It's an interesting thought. If so, it could also be possible that memories are stored in our DNA. Will one of our descendants, years from now, have a déjà vu of something we experienced perhaps this very afternoon? They may be walking along a street you walked along today, and suddenly experience that familiar feeling, "I have done this before..."

There are many theories of de ja vu and they each contain an element of truth.The explanation of the rishis of the East that there is soul travel and reincarnation and that of Isaac Luria concerning the reasons for soul attachment from other worlds (IBBUR HA GILGULIM) are compelling. We each have a piece of the cosmic truth and as we evolve we will learn more.Of this I am convinced.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I have episodes of deja vu often, but strangely, they are nearly always moments that are notably undramatic, never those incidents that seem life-changing, and I have always wondered what causes them.

I believe in reincarnation and cellular memory. Perhaps we have out of body experiences while sleeping and do a kind of test run on the day ahead, which we don't remember upon waking.

I really enjoy the phenomenon, and I also dream often of things which occur later. Edgar Cayce said that time is a river and there is no absolute sequence of events; we just arrange them in a linear fashion so we can process and try to understand them.

I've read the book you mention. It would take a heart transplant for me to like beer.