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Déjà Vu Trilogy
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Innovative Psychopharmacotherapy |
Déjà Vu Revisited |
Déjà Vu: Second Look |
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When is Déjà Vu Déjà Vu?
Everyone is familiar with the expression déjà vu, a French term that translates literally as “already seen”. No psychological phenomenon has been explained in so many different ways and none infringes on so many scientific disciplines. And no phenomenon known to psychology and psychiatry has been so misunderstood. With this book, we hope to shed some light on the subject and reveal what the sciences of psychiatry and neurology have learned about this extraordinary experience.
It is fascinating that this French term—deriving out of the speculative milieu of the ‘sensation du déjà vu’ or ‘sentiment du déjà vu’ of Boirac, Arnaud, Ferenezi, Gilles, Kindberg, and Méré—has survived as the one most familiar to us…
Just what is déjà vu and how is it experienced? Déjà vu can be regarded as an ‘as if’ phenomenon. People who experience the sensation—for instance, while traveling to an unfamiliar country during a vacation—usually react to the sensation by saying, “It was as if I had been there before.” So we can define déjà vu as the subjective impression that the present experience has occurred before, even though it has not.
Consequently, déjà vu is not something in which you believe or disbelieve—in the way you believe in a supreme being, or in good and evil. It is primarily a personal experience, and just as non-objectifiable as subjectively perceiving a voice inside your head or of having spontaneous but unprovable intuitive impressions during everyday life. It can be poetically described as the “present turning into the past.” But no matter how we conceive the experience, we cannot really prove it is occurring, since only the person experiencing the sensation knows it is happening. Déjà vu exists solely within the percipient’s inner reality.
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