While sitting at the church lunch tables on Sunday, my father started telling Lydia a story about his college days, his major, his trombone and low brass courses, and receiving an A from his professor. As much as Lydia HAD to be amused by the extremely interesting tale, someone else at the table was much more keenly aware of what Piano Man was saying. That listener was Brother Alan.
Now, those of you who know Piano Man are well aware of the fact that he's known for telling a story and repeating it and and then repeating it again - ensuring that everyone in the surrounding area has been able to fully appreciate the humor or interesting point of the story (if there is one.) However, that tendency still can't explain why Brother Alan felt the oddest sense of déjà vu while listening to Dad reminisce about his classes. Dad has never spoken to Alan about his college days. And, believe it or not, I don't think even I have witnessed the telling of that particular college memory. But, Alan - after reporting to work on Monday evening - still had goose bumps when remembering the Sunday event and told me he could have asked Dad to stop and taken over telling the story because the details were that clear in his "memory."
Since then, déjà vu (a.k.a. paramnesia) has been on my mind (when not thinking about heteronyms, that is.) And, I wonder if the preoccupation with the subject has caused me to fool myself because last night, when entering my house to prepare for the trick-or-treaters, I experienced the same type of chills that Alan experienced two days prior. (I almost always enter my house in the same way...but it was the feeling that I was entering in the EXACT SAME WAY...with the same purpose, with the same thoughts, with the same items on my steps, with the same items in my hands.)
I've discovered that the term "déjà vu" was coined by French psychic researcher Émile Boirac in his book, The Future of Psychic Sciences. It's translated as 'already seen', and it's that strange and eerie feeling that you've seen the exact same picture or situation before. And, scientific studies show that a little over 70% of the population have experienced it. (What's more fascinating is that almost 30% have not...or that many have experienced it only once!!)
Little did I know that there are three specific types of déjà vu:
Déjà vécu (translated 'already lived through'): the experience of déjà vu with more senses than mere sight, sensing great amounts of matching details from a "previous experience" (This is what most of us describe as deja vu.)
Déjà senti (translated 'already felt'): the experience of déjà vu as primarily a mental happening with very little memory or recognition of it afterward, with a trigger that will bring a recollection of familiarity to an individual
Déjà visité (translated 'already visited'): the less common experience of knowing a new place while knowing that there should be no prior geographical or spatial knowledge (This might happen when you are on vacation and have the feeling that you'll surely find a small church down the road on the left hand side.)
Here are a few other related terms that I thought were fascinating:
Jamais vu (translated 'never seen'): the experience of being in a situation that one rationally knows she or he has been in before while eerily sensing being in the situation for the first time
Presque vu (translated 'almost seen'): the sensation of being on the brink of an epiphany, often feeling like something is "on the tip of one's tongue."
L'esprit de l'escalier or l'esprit des escaliers (translated 'staircase wit', as in what you think of while on the stairs leaving a party): remembering something when it's too late, such as a clever come-back to a rude remark. (It seems I experience this even more often than déjà vécu!) :)
Have you had any occurrences with these phenomena that are still memorable to this day?