Martin: You’ve felt it before. It feels strangely familiar even though it’s completely new to you. That’s called deja vu. Its literal meaning is “already seen”, originating from Frace. Accounts of deja vu have been recorded for thousands of years, but it was only introduced in the scientific community in 1896 by F.L. Arnaud. Despite its long history, deja vu still remains a mystery. Scientists find it hard to study due to how short lived the experience is, but it has been linked to memory. Though some have theories, no one knows quite what deja vu is.
My name is Zadie Martin and today I’ll be interviewing Arden Lillemo, Andrea Moerer and Delaney Devine to see their experiences with deja vu.
My first guest is Andrea Moerer.
How do you describe deja vu?
Moerer: I described deja vu as a kind of a, kind of like when you swing on a swing and your tummy gives a little flip when I have deja vu. I feel it sort of physically first because I think my body is like whoa, wait a minute, this is really weird. I think this has happened before so I actually kind of feel a little weird. Like a flip or tickle in my tummy and then it’s this, I vividly feel like whatever it is, I thought or am experiencing has happened exactly that way in the past at some point.
Martin: And do you experience deja vu frequently?
Moerer: I would say a few times a year. I don’t know if that’s frequent or not. Seems frequent in terms of like, just some of us who are older than others, like, that feels pretty frequent.
Martin: And how long do they last? Like 10 seconds spurts? minutes long? hours long?
Moerer: No, I think it’s more, like, kind of like a spurt like maybe 15-20 seconds and then the realization that it is Deja Vu is probably a couple minutes at least, maybe five minutes. Thinking about it when it had happened last oh my gosh, is this possible? How could that have ever happened before? that kind of thing.
Martin: And what is the most vivid example of deja vu you’ve ever experienced?
Moerer: A specific example, I might have to get back to you on that. But they seem quite vivid. So, like there’ll be odd things. This isn’t a particular example, but it’ll be things like I had that outfit on and I was doing that activity and that exact same thing happened. Right? Like, whatever it is. It’s usually not super meaningful events. But more just like the eerie sense that everything happened exactly how it’s happening in the past.
Martin: So do you think that Deja Vu is a good or bad experience for you?
Moerer: I love it. I love ideas of sort of consciousness and cognition and time and space and the sort of things that make us question if we really do know what we think we know. I have a book at home right now that I’m going to send you the citation on. It’s a little short book but it is sort of like this idea of, like physics and time and sort of consciousness and that’s what deja vu sort of reminds me of and I think it’s good. I mean, I was trained as an artist for my undergraduate and did some work in art and this idea of like, philosophy and psychology. So what one thinks in the way we think and the way we act and how that interacts with what we know and then how we represent that I think Deja Vu and dreams and things have a lot of that in them.
Martin: So do you think that deja vu is more of a psychological or a spiritual thing for you?
Moerer: I’d say psychological. I don’t think it’s spiritual. I think it’s interesting in a spiritual way, in the sense that like, maybe there’s a cyclicalness of time that we might not perceive or we might not be aware of but I think it’s much more a kind of a psychological sort of a way of knowing the world for me.
Martin: My second guest is Delaney Devine.
How do you define deja vu?
Devine: So deja vu basically is like seeing something that already happened in the past. So, like seeing the future.
Martin: And do you experience deja vu frequently?
Martin: When was the last time you felt deja vu?
Devine: Um, I’m not sure the last time I felt it but I do feel it quite a bit. It’s kind of odd. It’s like I’m psychic and can see the future.
Martin: Well, what is the most vivid example of deja vu you’ve experienced?
Devine: Um, I guess weirdly enough, my most like vivid example of deja vu was when I passed my permit test. It was like, I was there and it like, felt like it already had happened. And it was like really weird.
Martin: So how do you feel about deja vu. Is it a feeling that you like or feeling that you dislike?
Devine: I actually really like deja vu. It makes me feel kind of cool. It makes me a little like, uneasy. Sometimes it’s like, whoa,I feel like I’ve been here before, but it’s like, cool.
Martin: Do you think that Deja Vu is more a psychological or spiritual thing for you?
Devine: Um, for me, personally, I think I can be like both. I kind of like to think of it more as a spiritual thing because like, thinking I’m like a psychic. I’m like, you know, I’m a witch, all that kind of fun stuff. But yeah.
Martin: What do you experience when you have deja vu? Tell me, walk me through what you feel.
Devine: I’m like, wait, and then I usually get like, kind of like, blurry and a headache. And it’s like, I feel like I’ve been here before and I feel like I’m, like repeating the same day. And it’s, like kind of weird.
Martin: Do you experience them for long periods of time or just short bursts?
Devine: It’s usually short bursts.
Martin: My third and final guest is Arden Lillemo.
How do you explain deja vu?
Lillemo: It’s, you know, it’s like when you’re something happen, like your mind just whapoom. And then it’s like it relates you to a different time from like, could be like a year ago or like a minute ago. And they’re like, shoot, man, that was crazy.
Martin: Do you experience deja vu frequently?
Lillemo: Enough to freak me out.
Martin: When was the last time you felt deja vu
Lillemo: uh, one month, two weeks, 74 seconds.
Martin: What was the most vivid example of deja vu you’ve ever experienced?
Lillemo: One time I saw my, so my sister said something stupid, like usual, and then I was eating like I think it was I think I was eating ramen. But you know, the crazy part was that I hadn’t had ramen before then or like many times before then. So I was probably eating pasta. Yeah.
Martin: How do you feel about deja vu? Is iit something that you like or dislike?
Lillemo: I am against it. I think, I think I want out of my country. I want it I want it out of my system and honestly, it just disgusts me. I hope I never see it again.
Martin: Do you think Deja Vu is a psychological or spiritual thing for you?
Lillemo: I mean, psychological. Your brain does it. I’m not a very spiritual person. So I would say my brain is psychological.
Martin: Even after listening to peoples experiences, deja vu still remains a mystery. Thank you all for listening!