What Really Is Deja Vu?

by The Runaway Guide on October 9, 2012

having deja vu while travelingWe have all experienced Deja Vu. Those times when you’re on the pot and you turn your head just so and you are suddenly hit with an overwhelming feeling as though you’ve done it before. Ok, admittedly that wasn’t a very good example, but when I get Deja Vu, it often happens on the porcelain throne.

Aside from Deja Poo, real Deja Vu seems to happen to me most frequently when I am traveling for long periods of time. Sometimes it is so powerful that I become incapacitated for a good two or three minutes, confounded by the idea that I had lived this part of the journey before.

Although I am still not sure what Deja Vu really is, I do have some compelling theories as to why it happens.

My first theory is as simple as Deja Poo. That being that Deja Vu occurs when the emotional, atmospheric and other conditions I will not mention, align perfectly with a poo of the past. (Ok, moving on from the toilette humor)

While this argument is compelling in its realism, it still doesn’t properly explain those intense Déjà vu’s. Those times when you find yourself in a place and situation that you know has never happened before, not even in the slightest, yet you feel as though you had already seen(literal translation in French).

A Déjà Vu of this magnitude happened to me once while walking the docks looking for boat work in Eilat, Israel. A few days past and I had landed a job on a charter boat, but I still hadn’t forgotten that powerful Déjà vu. Wanting to know the meaning, I decided to ask my co-worker, a 75 year old legendary Irish backpacker.

His response was as enigmatic and profound as the wrinkles on his face. He said in a thick Irish accent,” We all know the path boy, all we have to do is shovel aside the shite to see it.” A bit taken aback by these words of wisdom, all I could respond with was, “shite??” I turned my head towards the boards of the dock in thought. When I looked back up, the Irishman had disappeared.

And so my second theory on Déjà vu is that we are all, if only a little bit, physic. The path the Irishman referred to is fate. And it is a fate that we already somewhat know.

The shite are all the distractions of the present. We become blinded by it and prevents us from knowing where our true fate will lead us.

And so, I think when we feel Déjà vu, we recall those brief moments in the past when we could see through the shite.

However, at the same time, I don’t think our fate is 100% determined, or at least I don’t want to think it is. And so I believe that the shite shovel represents the variable of free will. In other words, it is ultimately up to us to decide which direction we shovel the shite.

Looking back on all my journeys it now seems obvious that I chose certain pre ordained paths. A train would bring me to a city where I would meet a girl who would recommend a coastal village where I would meet a group of backpackers who would tell me about a music festival where I would hitchhike to and meet a local with strong views about president bush and on and on it went. Like pieces of a puzzle, everything fit together in just the way it was supposed to.

So I guess that Deja Vu is ultimately a way of reminding us that we’re on the right track. But I’m still unsure.

What do you think Deja Vu is?

 

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