Deja Vu | Deja Vu Meaning
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What hide our sensations of "already seen"?

I have already come here, I have already experienced this moment, I have already seen this person ... We all experienced this strange sensation. Game of memory, of the unconscious or of our emotions: how to explain these passing impressions?

Sylvain Michelet
What hide our sensations of "already seen"?
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8 37 Jat B

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An object of fascination worrying
A repressed memory
An uncontrolled skid of the brain
To read
Sometimes it's just the daily that is shifting a bit. A meal among friends, and suddenly arises the feeling of having already experienced this scene at close detail - to the point that for a few moments, it seems almost predictable. But what to say when this "already seen" arrives in a foreign city, or in an encounter with strangers? Nothing, then, that can recall the past. And yet, again, place, people, events, everything seems familiar. A strange sensation, mixed with surprise, incredulity, anxiety, curiosity! A desire for magic slips in, a brief passage from "the other side of the mirror", the fleeting awakening of a paranormal gift that allows us to get out of time, to see the future, to relive the past. And then everything fades away. In a few seconds the past becomes known again, the uncertain present and the future, always as mysterious - even if the last discoveries on the brain begin to lift the veil.

An object of fascination worrying
But this feeling of déjà vu, which 60 to 70% of people say they have experienced at least once in their life, can not easily be forgotten. It poses too many questions, about our perception of time, our consciousness and even our unconscious, as the Italian philosopher Remo Bodei testifies in a recent book. If the phrase "déjà vu" will be forged in 1876 (by Emile Boirac, in Philosophical Review France and abroad , "Vol I, 1876, t .. I, p. 430), the phenomenon , Shows Bodei, intrigue since Antiquity. The Platonic and Pythagorean philosophers saw in him the memory of an earlier life, the Stoics argued for "the eternal return of the same". Aristotle, famous for his practicality, tried in vain to put things in place by defending the idea of ​​a simple psychic disorder, nothing was done, the already seen kept his magic. To such an extent that St. Augustine, in the fourth century, became uneasy. Like the Church after him, he distrusted this strange impression, which he attributed to the demon coming to tempt us with ideas of prior life or reincarnation.

Such a source of inspiration could not leave indifferent artists, writers or poets. "No, Time, you will not boast that I change! "Exclaims Shakespeare," for all is only "a spectacle already seen." In the nineteenth century, the phenomenon became unavoidable in literature, from Dickens or Chateaubriand who was obsessed with it, to Baudelaire and then to Proust of course, for whom "the sensation seemed to say:" Take me by the way if you have the strength, And try to solve the enigma of happiness that I propose to you. " '(In On the Search of Lost Time , Volume II (Gallimard, 1987)

A repressed memory
Freud himself does not resist this call, and finds already seen a place in his grid of reading. But it is nothing else in his eyes but the incomplete rise of a repressed memory, concealing a trauma or an unacceptable desire for the superego. "With regard to the few rare and rapid sensations of déjà vu that I experienced myself," adds Freud, "each time it was the awakening of conceptions and imaginary projects (unknown and unconscious) that corresponded , To my desire to improve my situation. "(In The Psychopathology of Everyday Life , ch 12 - Payot, 1975)

Like the dream, the already seen would be an expression of our secret desires? "This is the reason for her" disturbing strangeness ", says the psychoanalyst Nelly Jolivet: this confrontation between familiarity and surprise signals that one touches of the forbidden. Jung, meanwhile, evoked an experience already experienced during a trip to Kenya, as he crossed an old man - the wise man's face - and linked this impression to the awakening of an archetype.

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