I decided to go with a Daily Post prompt today and so glad I did. Here’s the prompt:
Have you ever truly felt déjà vu, the sensation that you’ve already had the experience you’re currently having?
I have deja vu a lot, but it’s really freaky because sometimes the deja vu comes from my dreams, like I already dreamed about the experience I’m having. Is that dream-ja vu?
I’ve even had dreams where I recall old dreams in the new dreams. It really makes me wish I could control them, like they do in Inception. I’ve heard you can get a bit more lucid in your dreams, but it takes some serious effort and training. Well, not as hard-core as I’m making it sound. But essentially you’ve got to first start remembering your dreams which means writing them down right after you wake—even if it’s in the middle of the night. That’s problem A for me as when I’m half asleep it’s hard for me to do anything but go back to sleep.
Once you remember your dreams well, then you have to start somehow willing yourself into them, figuring out that they are a dream. Does that make the dream collapse? Who knows? I have been semi-lucid in my dreams before, however, so I know it’s possible. I knew it was a dream and decided to take the scene in a different direction. I’ve done this more than once, but it’s still quite rare.
But anyway, we’re still talking about deja vu and I brought up dreams because I think sometimes our subconscious is tapped into the space time continuum more than we think. Some of you remember this:
So Jae’s big theory of deja vu is tied in with time being a big ball of stuff. In fact, before Doctor Who there was Quantum Leap and Sam Beckett saying you could take the linear progression of time and crunch it up into a ball and wherever the points touched you could time travel through.
So what if some of that is true? What if when we dream we sometimes tap into time? What if the past is happening simultaneously with the present and the future all at once?
Which made me think of something else. Did you hear about that quantum physics professor at Columbia who stripped down to his undies and had crazy videos and music playing (I think even smashing puppets on stage) to explain quantum mechanics? The reason some who understand a little (and a little is a lot when it comes to this stuff) postulate that he made that presentation was because it really illustrates a point about quantum mechanics. Those who know more can correct me or add to what I’m saying, but as I understand it, the idea behind quantum mechanics is that things behave differently when they’re not being observed. (How they came to see that is beyond me, but let’s roll with it.) So us observing something changes its behavior. Think Weeping Angels as a starting point if you know Doctor Who.
The professor’s point is speculated to have been that he’s doing all these crazy things because somewhere in the universe he’s doing a boring lecture. Somewhere in the universe he’s doing a lecture that makes more sense. And somehow that’s the approach to quantum mechanics, perhaps to do with the observer effect.
I’m no scientist, so my grasping on the whole matter is quite thin, though I still find it fascinating all the same. And to bring it back to writing, sometimes even things we don’t quite understand or think are likely beyond our comprehension can still inspire us with story. I wonder if the observer effect wasn’t in part what inspired the weeping angels.
And see how writing about deja vu pulled all of this out of me? The world is certainly a fascinating place and I think we writers can help to make sense of it by creating story. We may not be entirely accurate in our depictions or understanding, but I think there is still value in taking these little details of the world and showing our best interpretation of them. It certainly helps as a point for understanding if anything else.
I’m probably going to hammer in the point about exposing yourself to all kinds of new information on a daily basis as being helpful in creating story until I feel like it’s perfectly stuck in my brain—and hopefully all of yours. And in the meantime, try not to blink. 😉
What do you think about deja vu? Any personal theories? Are you ever lucid in your dreams? Have you heard of quantum mechanics? Anything you would add to the discussion? Did you gain any further inspiration hearing about these things? Let us know below.