On déjà-vu and the prescience phenomenon

"Doesn't it look familiar?"
A publication by Steven Wolf

Italy, 15th December 2018

Summary

1 – Introduction
2 – Historiographic mentions
3 – The Psychological approach

  • Neurological theories
  • Gloor’s dual processing theory
  • Brown’s inattentional theory
  • Mnemonic theories

4 – The Metaphysical approach

  • Premonitory dreams theory
  • Holographic universe theory
  • Parallel universes theory
  • “Glitch” theory
  • Reincarnation theory

5 – Dialogue on prescience
6 – A new theory?
7 – Conclusions

1 – Introduction

With this research, I want to bring back to light a phenomenon of which it has been said a lot in the past, but that, on my point of view, it has been faced in a very superficial way. From my studies on this topic, I could notice how all theories on the déjà-vu phenomenon could be reduced to two categories: on the one side there are the sceptical psychologists that try to analyse the phenomenon with explanations connected with mental phenomena (I will refer to these theories under the name of “Psychological approach”); on the other side there are the spiritualists that try to show, sometimes exaggerating, how this phenomenon is the proof of other more “pseudoscientific” theories (with this term I don’t mean to express any groundlessness on these theories, instead I want to underline how they are lacking any experimentation possibility and scientific demonstration; I will refer to this group of theories under the name of “Metaphysical approach”).

I will show below the ramification of the two different approaches:

 

Psychological approachMetaphysical approach

· Neurological theories

· Gloor’s dual processing theory

· Brown’s inattentional theory

· Mnemonic theories

· Premonitory dreams theory

· Holographic universe theory

· Parallel universes theory

· “Glitch” theory

· Reincarnation theory

In this research I will set the mentioned theories out, dwelling on where it will be necessary. The 5th paragraph is dedicated to an excursus about the prescience phenomenon; I consider this topic to be transversal to the déjà-vu cases and that it can come to the rescue to let us develop a more methodical idea on the phenomenon in his complex. However, if the reader will consider it appropriate, he could skip the 5th paragraph; this won’t result in any loss of information in order to understand the following paragraphs. I will develop my own theory dusting off Doctor Jung’s researches[1] and draw conclusions in an aporetic way. Indeed, my purpose isn’t to steer the reader towards a theory rather than another one; instead, I want to collect, in the most impartial way possible, everything we know about the phenomenon, sure that the reader will be capable of developing, at a later stage, his own idea about it.

I want to clarify that the term déjà-vu that I will use is a set of phenomena, sometimes distinguished one another:

  • • The Presque vu (already have seen something);
  • • The Déjà rêvé (already have dreamt something):
  • • The Déjà entendu (already have heard something):
  • • And other phenomena strictly similar.

Instead, I won’t debate the Jamais vu (not recognizing something that in reality it has already been seen), neither the Capgras’ syndrome (recognizing well-known people as impostors) nor the Fregoli’s syndrome (the opposite of the previous syndrome), since I don’t believe them to be simply attributable to a phenomenon similar to the déjà-vu (except in a strictly neurological sense; always assuming that one believes in the Psychological approach).

[1] I will refer in particular to the theories on the collective unconscious.

2 – Historiographic mentions

It seems that description of similar phenomena to the déjà-vu are already found in Plato, Aristotle and in ancient Pythagoreans. I am referring in particular to the Platonic anamnesis, to the Aristotelian theories exposed on the “On memory and reminiscence” and to the references present on the Pythagoreans scripts about metempsychosis. Taking a little of a chance, I like to already see in Plato and in the Pythagorean precursors of the metaphysical approach and in Aristotle the equivalent for the psychological approach.

The term déjà-vu was introduced for the first time from the parapsychological French Émile Boirac[1] on his last book (published just after his death) “The Psychology of The Future”[2] of 1917. Embracing the Metaphysical approach, he attributed the phenomenon to a particular psychic faculty called “metagnomy” that, from his description, seems to come closer to the modern concept of clairvoyance.

I will report other descriptions of the phenomenon from famous psychologists of the first half of the XX century[3]

[1] According to Sno (1994), Neppe (1983a, 1983e) and Funkhouser (1983). Against Berrios (1995) and Findler (1998) who, on the other hand, attribute the first use of the neologism to Arnaud (1896)

[2] To consult the text in English, see: https://archive.org/details/psychologyoffutu00boiruoft

[3] The tab is taken from Brown (2003) “A Review of the Dèjà Vu Experience” p.395

It can be noticed how they, given that they are psychologists, have all embraced the Psychological approach.

Notice moreover that Titchner already in 1928 referred to the phenomenon with the term “paramnesia of wrong recognition”, reducing even back then the déjà-vu phenomenon to a simple underclass of those mnemonic disorders catalogued as paramnesias. Other authors that referred to the phenomenon describing it as something extremely common and universal were: Maudsley, 1889; MacCurdy, 1925; Wilson, 1929; Carrington, 1931; Conklin, 1935; Chapman & Mensh, 1951; Murphy, 1951; M. A. Harper, 1969 and Critchley, 1989.

It is imperative to me mention the founders of the modern Psychological approach: Sno & Linszen, 1990; Berrio; Neppe, 1983; Brown, 2003 and Wild, 2005. All their studies took us to the modern definition of déjà-vu (“whatever subjective inappropriate impression of familiarity of a present experience with an undefined past”).

Furthermore, I want to underline how all these psychologists embrace the Psychological approach. I obviously believe that the context and the profession have deeply influenced their studies.

But then where does the Metaphysical approach come from?

It seems that it has formed in parallel as aversion towards the Psychologist approach and that it has entered in the common mentality. Some studies show the percentages of people who seem to believe in the metaphysical approach[1].

I highly recommend to the more interested readers to deepen the Psychological approach reading “The Déjà Vu Experience” of Alan S. Brown (ISBN: 978-1138006010) and the “Déjà-Vu trilogy” of Vernon Neppe [2]. Instead, for what concerns the historiographic of the phenomenon in analysis I recommend reading the “Piramidi di tempo. Storie e teorie del déjà vu”[3] of Remo Bodei (ISBN: 978-8815240156).

In the end, I conclude this paragraph with a data that demonstrate, on my point of view, the increasing rootedness in the common population of beliefs inherent to the Metaphysical approach[4]:

[1] Green, 1966; Greyson, 1977; Palmer, 1979; Kohr, 1980; McClenon, 1988; Gallup & Newport, 1991; Ross & Joshi, 1992; Gaynard, 1992

[2] Books nowhere to be found if it wasn’t for the PNI institute that sells them in eBook format: http://www.brainvoyage.com/shop/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=22&products_id=37. Note moreover Neppe’s reference from CIA, in a document released to the public only the 15/08/2000: https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP96-00792R000700810001-1.pdf

[3] For an extract of the book: http://www.bnnonline.it/index.php?it/162/libri-e-letture/27/piramidi-di-tempo-storia-e-teoria-del-dj-vu&printPdf=1&stripImages=1

[4] The tab is taken from https://news.gallup.com/poll/4483/americans-belief-psychic-paranormal-phenomena-over-last-decade.aspx

Age (in years)

18-29

30-49

50+

Percentage of believers in clairvoyance

42

33

26

 

Combining the data of the two tabs it results clear that the last generations of young people are extremely more open to the Metaphysical approach, more than in the past.

Has it come the payback time of the Metaphysical approach?

3 -The Psychological approach

  • Neurological theories

This set of theories affirms that the déjà-vu phenomenon is caused from an epilepsy of a particular circumscribed zone of the brain. However, there are conflicting opinions regarding which cerebral zone. Still, it seems that many doctors agree with the identification of that zone with the temporal lobe[1] (hence, the cause behind the déjà-vu is the so-called TLE, Temporal Lobe Epilepsy). In particular, the Austrian doctor Josef Spatt believes the problem to reside right in the parahippocampal cortex [2].

[1] See Haerer, A.F., 1992, “The Neurological Exam” and https://www.epilepsybehavior.com/article/S1525-5050(08)00273-4/fulltext (unfortunately you need to pay to read the article)

[2] Spatt, J. (2002) “Déjà Vu: Possible Parahippocampal Mechanisms” in: The Journal of Neuropsychiatry & Clinical Neurosciences

It is very interesting to see the correlations between the TLE and the “Neuroscience of religion”. Indeed, the American neuroscientist Michael Persinger has discovered that, stimulating the temporal lobe, one can induce in patients mystical experiences and, sometimes, even déjà-vu[1].

Another interesting neurological theory is the one proposed by Osborn already in 1884 and resumed by O’Connor & Moulin in 2006. I refer to the optical pathway delay theory: the information arrives to an eye a few instants later than to the other one, generating a strange feeling of familiarity. However, you must notice that this kind of theory would attribute to phenomena like the déjà rêvé or the déjà entendu neurological characters completely different from the ones of the déjà-vu.

[1] See “NeuroTheology: Brain, Science, Spirituality, Religious Experience” ISBN: 978-0971644588

  • Gloor’s dual processing theory

This theory carries the name of Pierre Gloor since he brought back to light in the 90s[1] Robert Efron’s theories[2] comparing them with the experimental data of patients affected by TLE.

The central core of this theory is that the déjà-vu is the result of the temporary desynchronization of two cognitive processes which are normally elaborated in parallel[3]. Gloor identifies these two processes as the familiarity process and the retrieving one. . In particular, the déjà-vu would take place when the familiarity process is stimulated, but without any effective recovery of past memories (the reverse process could be the cause for the jamais-vu).

[1] Gloor, P. (1990) “Experiential Phenomena of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy“ in: Brain, Vol. 113

[2] Efron R (1963). “Temporal perception, aphasia and déjà vu” in: Brain: A Journal of Neurology. Vol. 86

[3] O’Connor & Moulin, 2006; Brown, 2004

 

Unlike Gloor, de Nayer proposed in 1979, in substitution to the familiarity process, the encoding process; this way de Nayer explained the déjà-vu as a circumstance in which the two cognitive processes, that usually take place at different times, synchronized themselves, letting us record again a memory we already had. In reality, de Nayer never gave any interpretation about how such a phenomenon, like the one he described, could take place, he just restricted himself to suppose its existence; that is why nowadays the dual processing theory is attributed to Gloor.

To summarise:

Gloorde Nayer
Normal conditionsFamiliarity and retrieving synchronizedRetrieving and encoding working at different times
Déjà vuOnly familiarity works (otherwise there is the jamais vu)Retrieving and encoding synchronized

In addition, there are two less famous dual processing theories:

  • Bergson affirms that the déjà-vu is caused by a desynchronization between perception and memory [1]
  • Hughlings and Jackson (1888) affirm that humans possess two tips of conscience: the normal conscience, which process information coming from the outside world, and the parasitic conscience, which controls the thoughts of the mental world. When the activity of the normal conscience decreases, the familiarity process is controlled in a superficial way by the parasitic conscience that would deliver us, as a consequence of its mistakes, the feeling of familiarity.[2]

[1] The theory was resumed by Carrington (1931) and by Tulving (1968)

[2] Wigan (1844) proposed a similar concept but referring to the two cerebral hemispheres

  • Brown’s inattentional theory

Alan Brown, Southern Methodist University’s professor, has collaborated in 2009 with the psychologist Elizabeth Marsh from Duke University for an experiment that would involve the students from both universities. The students were quickly shown some images and, after three weeks, they were shown again the same images mixed with others they had never seen. The result was the following one: half of the participants to the experiment had a feeling of déjà-vu for those images that in reality they had never seen before [1]. On both professors’ point of view, this little experiment would suggest the truthfulness of Brown’s theory.

Brown, resuming Mack & Rock’s 1998 studies on selective attention, affirms that sometimes people look at something twice; with a first superficial glance one would record the information on the subconscious, instead, the second glance would let one record the information at a conscious level. The déjà-vu would be caused or from an unknown Perceptual Occlusion that slows the conscious acquisition of the information or from an Inattentional Blindness that would let the subconscious process take place two consecutive times, with the second one perceives that strange feeling of familiarity typical of the déjà-vu.

  • Mnemonic theories

In a 2012 article on the international magazine “Consciousness and Cognition”[2] the professor Anne M. Cleary, along with other colleagues (between whom the already mentioned professor Brown) performed the following experiment: some people looked at different scenarios in sequence with the help of the VR (virtual reality). Later, other scenarios, in some ways similar to the first ones, were added and the participants were asked if they remembered those places. Most of the experimenters, when they were in a scenario similar to the one already seen, swore that they had already seen it the same as they saw it now.

The experiment should confirm that the cases of déjà-vu are provoked by a mistake in our retrieving process that, taking a past memory similar to one that it is processing right now, modifies it to make it more relevant to the present experience, making us perceive the familiarity.

Another possibility, mentioned by the American psychologist William James, is the one of connecting the déjà-vu phenomenon to the one of cryptomnesia. In practice, our brain would unite a present experience to a past memory “blurred enough” so that it makes us perceive the feeling of familiarity.[3]

In order to better understand these positions, I will now refer to the cognitive pragmatics.

According to the New Zealander linguist Robyn Carston[4], there are two tips of words:

  • Words that codify in a logic form full-fledged concepts like for example the word “cat”
  • Words that codify pointers like for example the verb “to cut”

You may notice how, while the first kind of words refers to “uniquely identified Universals”, the second one adapts itself to the context; the brain makes it take, from time to time, different semantic meanings (like for example “cut the bread” or “cut someone off”). The same way the brain, in cases of déjà-vu, it makes past memories “fit” with each other re-elaborating them depending on the context. This way, similar memories become identical memories, giving us the feeling of familiarity.

But why would the brain do so?

Embracing the Defaultness Hypothesis by the professor Rachel Giora[5] , according to whom the brain classifies meanings in terms of frequency and familiarity with a contextual modulation on encyclopaedic knowledge, it seems that, in case of déjà-vu, it “would come in handy” to modify in our mind a “familiar” event so that it would be easier to categorize. In other words, in particular conditions, “it comes in handy” for memory to invent a past memory to which tie the present experience, rather than generate a “mental space” completely ex novo.

[1] “Psychonomic Bulletin & Review”, 2009

[2] “Familiarity from the configuration of objects in 3-dimensional space and its relation to déjà vu: A virtual reality investigation”

[3] For insights into mnemonic theories, look at Reed (1974) and Osborn (1884).

[4] Carston (2002)

[5] Watch Giora (2007)

Video of a mysterious case of déjà-vu

“I have already seen that place”

4 – The Metaphysical approach

  • Premonitory dreams theory

In David Lohff’s book “Dream Directory”[1], it is stated that during the sleep some scenarios rebuilt by the mind are saved in a “blurry” way in the temporal lobe and that, finding ourselves in front of elements that make us resurface to a conscious level those dreamt scenarios, we could come to believe to have already lived that experience.

From this rather scientific theory, there are later evolved other theories that leverage on philosophic bases more or less esoteric. In particular, I refer to the 1918 TSA president (Theosophical Society of America) Louis William Rogers, that in his book “Dreams and Premonitions”[2] addresses in a deepened way the topic. Professor Roger affirms that déjà-vu phenomena would be connected to premonitory dreams based on memories of voyages in the astral dimension, in which it could be possible to fool the usual temporal linearity “peeking” in the future.

  • Holographic universe theory

Starting from David Bohm’s physic theories on the holographic universe[3] and from the foundation of the holonomic model of the brain by Karl Pribram there are evolved a whole set of theories on gnosiology which addresses the holographic universe.

The memories, being the result of interfering wave patterns, could come even from “linearly not present” times given the temporal singularity in the quantum micro-world. Déjà-vu would then be cases in which “future” memories are brought to a conscious level.

  • Parallel universes theory

Putting as the basis the multiverse concept [4] formulated by Hugh Everett III in 1957[5], the déjà-vu would be explainable in two ways:

  • As our own capacity of jumping from a universe to another
  • As a temporary syntonization from different universe temporarily out-of-sync

As deepening of the multiverse theory, I suggest Brian Greene’s book “The Hidden Reality. Parallel universes and the deep law of the cosmos” (ISBN: 978-0307278128)

  • “Glitch” theory

I suggest a subdivision of the theories based on the “glitch” nature:

  • Ontological nature: “A déjà-vu is an imperfection of Matrix, it happens when we change something”; this is the explanation that Trinity gives to Neo after the second crossing of a black cat, in the cult movie of 1999. The set of these theories is based on the common belief of reality similar to the one presented in the movie Matrix; a programmed reality which is not exempt from mistakes. One of those temporary mistakes of the “ontological system of reality” is perceived by us with the déjà-vu.
  • Psychological nature: (concerning more the Psychological approach; it is present here just because it mentions a “glitch”): following Akira O’Connor’s researches published in 2016[6], it seems that the déjà-vu would a signal sent by our brain to communicate the discovery of a mistake.

  • Reincarnation theory

This theory, basing itself on religious or spiritual beliefs in reincarnation, affirms that the déjà-vu does not have anything different from a “normal” memory; simply in the first case, we remember places or events that we have experienced in past lives. The brain would thus be able to bring back to the conscious level the memories stored in the “soul”.

[1] 2004, ISBN: 978-0762419623

[2] It can be partially consulted at the following link: https://www.forgottenbooks.com/en/readbook/DreamsandPremonitions_10065909#0

[3] For insights I suggest to read “The Holographic Universe” by Michael Talbot (1991), ISBN: 978-0586091715; and to read “The Cosmic Hologram: In-formation at the Center of Creation” di Jude Currivan (2017), ISBN: 978-1620556603

[4] The term was in reality coined in 1895 by the already mentioned American psychologist William James “The Will to Believe”

[5] I remember that a similar philosophical theory was already introduced by Giordano Bruno

[6] https://www.newscientist.com/article/2101089-mystery-of-deja-vu-explained-its-how-we-check-our-memories/

5 – Dialogue on prescience

  • Wolf Socrates[1]Dear Echecrates of Phlius tell me now what do you think of this research coming from the XXIth century.
  • Wolf Echecrates: Oh Socrates, son of Sophroniscus, I must admit that I am rather confused.
  • Wolf Socrates: What does confuse you, Echecrates?
  • Wolf Echecrates: At first, the two completely different approaches and then the numerous resemblances between the theories in their inside.
  • Wolf Socrates: Explain yourself better.
  • Wolf Echecrates: Basically, look at the Psychological and the Metaphysical approach. The first has historiographic roots and experimental data that support it; to the second are dedicated just a few pages of the research with even scarce sources of reference.
  • Wolf Socrates: And to what conclusion do you come from this?
  • Wolf Echecrates: I don’t know, my dear friend. I believe that the author, even if he admitted his wish to remain impartial, has dedicated far too much space to the Psychological approach. Almost as if unconsciously he wanted to demonstrate the far greater scientificity of this approach.
  • Wolf Socrates: Then, do you believe that Wolf Stefano has unconsciously shown his preference to the approach you have mentioned?
  • Wolf Echecrates: Yes, I believe so.
  • Wolf Socrates: Well, you left out the researches from the Gallup agency.
  • Wolf Echecrates: What about it?
  • Wolf Socrates: You see, at the end of the paragraph on the introduction there are shown the tabs with the data from the Gallup on the beliefs of American people.
  • Wolf Echecrates: Now I remember.
  • Wolf Socrates: Right there it is underlined how, even if it is a fresh phenomenon, the beliefs comparable to the Psychological approach are catching on more and more.
  • Wolf Echecrates: You are right.
  • Wolf Socrates: I believe then it to be obvious that the sources of this approach are much fewer and that it has been dedicated far less space in the research.
  • Wolf Echecrates: You talk well, Socrates. But is it not preferable believe in an approach that has a solid historiography in its back?
  • Wolf Socrates: It is not always true what you claim. Some ancient populations believed in the utility of human sacrifices. There is a deep historiography in that. Does this mean then that it is preferable to believe in the benefits offered by this atrocious custom?
  • Wolf Echecrates: I guess not.
  • Wolf Socrates: You guess well, Echecrates. Don’t forget, moreover, that the metaphysical approach is far nearer to our ontological theories.
  • Wolf Echecrates: You say?
  • Wolf Socrates: I say so. Think about your mental doctrine, probably the metempsychosis carries around memories of past lives. Then think about my doctrine on ideas, it is possible that by getting closer to them our soul is able to perceive events out of the temporal linearity.
  • Wolf Echecrates: Now that you make me think about it, it seems that even the Metaphysical approach has deep historical roots.
  • Wolf Socrates: It would appear so. But explain it to me then what do you mean when you complain about the resemblance between the approaches.
  • Wolf Echecrates: I mean that it is really difficult to choose, for example, between a theory purely neurological and one mnemonic.
  • Wolf Socrates: I admit this difficulty.
  • Wolf Echecrates: Some theories, on the other hand, seem to be in some way compatible, actually it seems that they even reconnect each other.
  • Wolf Socrates: Give me an example.
  • Wolf Echecrates: Think about all neurological theories that base themselves on the TLE, in fact a temporary epilepsy of the temporal lobe could cause a perceptive occlusion; furthermore, if that epilepsy would involve the parahippocampal zone we would reunite in a single process three theories straight: the Spatt’s one, the Persinger’s one and the Brown’s one!
  • Wolf Socrates: Wonderful reflection. Indeed, the theories do not exclude one another. What about the Metaphysical approach?
  • Wolf Echecrates: Even here I feel like there is a phenomenon that unites the theories of this approach.
  • Wolf Socrates: What are you referring to, my friend?
  • Wolf Echecrates: I refer to the prescience phenomenon. It seems that it has at least to be mentioned in order to complete the overall picture.
  • Wolf Socrates: Do you want to speak about this phenomenon?
  • Wolf Echecrates: I think it is essential to do so.
  • Wolf Socrates: In effect, your suppositions are founded.
  • Wolf Echecrates: Tell me then about what you know about it.
  • Wolf Socrates: It comes to my mind a lesson on the free will that I made with a professor of theoretical philosophy [2] about the prescience topic.
  • Wolf Echecrates: Then share your memory with me too!
  • Wolf Socrates: For many centuries, prescience has been attributed to a certain divinity, since it is believed that a god, being it out of time, has the capacity to foresee what will happen.
  • Wolf Echecrates: I recall that some ancient philosophers affirmed that such an ability was given by the fact that a god, having created the reality all in once and being the temporality just something that belongs to our dimension, incorporates in itself already all the times, past, present and future Looking at our future for such a divinity would be like our remembering the past. Am I right?
  • Wolf Socrates: Yeah, you are. Do not forget the theories on the Leibnizian synchronicity! He affirms “Like my science doesn’t let past or present things exist, the same way, my prescience won’t make exist future things”[3].
  • Wolf Echecrates: He believed then that prescience would not determine the future events. . It is not because I foresee that in the exact moment “T” I sit down, that so will happen.
  • Wolf Socrates: But, if you foresee it, could you somehow avoid that the exact “T” that you sit down.
  • Wolf Echecrates: That sound impossible. I foresee that so will happen, I cannot modify what will happen.
  • Wolf Socrates: Be careful not to fall in fatalism! Are you perhaps affirming that everything is already written?[4]
  • Wolf Echecrates: If I affirmed so, I would deprive myself from any sort of freedom! On the contrary I believe that with a power of prescience I could simply give a look to that future built by all my free choices.
  • Wolf Socrates: Therefore, you do not believe that prescience could undermine free will?
  • Wolf Echecrates: A madman probably, foreseeing that at the exact moment “T” that he sits, he could try to not let that event happen, but I believe that that event somehow will happen necessarily and that it will take in consideration the free will of the madman.
  • Wolf Socrates: From what you affirm, we come to the conclusions that I remember we have treated in the lesson about theoretical philosophy: “The thesis of predictability implies that if a subject S has in his hands a prophecy sufficiently accurate whose content is that S will execute voluntary a certain action, very simple (A), even if S has the intention to falsify the prophecy, S will change idea before putting into action his purpose.” It appears then that an intention of this kind is an intention that a human being can’t have for a long time.[5].
  • Wolf Echecrates: The alternative is to refuse the thesis of predictiveness: it is not possible to foresee our own future behaviour[6].
  • Wolf Socrates: Maybe the human being, exactly because he is free, is unpredictable even by himself.[7] Just a divinity that can not interfere in our reality could logically have the power of prescience.
  • Wolf Echecrates: And what about the déjà-vu phenomenon then?
  • Wolf Socrates: If we want to suppose truths at least logically possible we must affirm or that it is not possible for us to foresee the future or that, if we foresee it, we cannot act so that it would different.
  • Wolf Echecrates: If we believe in the Metaphysical approach we must necessarily believe in the second possibility.
  • Wolf Socrates: Maybe, my dear Echecrates, the truth on purely metaphysical[8] déjà-vu and their short duration is another of the laws of nature.
  • Wolf Echecrates: What do you mean?
  • Wolf Socrates: I mean that probably, if they exist déjà-vu with causes that fall back on the Metaphysical approach, they are structured so that they cannot modify what it has been foreseen.
  • Wolf Echecrates: Will it be then that Mother Nature has generated this phenomenon in such a mysterious way? So that it cannot be fully understood with rationality, and so that it can avoid paradoxical cases like with the thesis of predictability?
  • Wolf Socrates: Who knows, my dear friend. Who knows.To the future generations the arduous sentence.

[1] The two characters of the fictional dialogue are taken from the Platonic Phaedo, since I needed someone to support the Metaphysical approach and that, at the same time, had a certain open-mindedness, my choice could not fell but on Echecrates that is defined by Aristoxenus as the “last of Pythagoreans”.

[2] Obviously here is the author who speaks. I am referring to https://sites.google.com/site/andreaguardo26/introduction-to-metaphysics

[3] Leibniz (1710), p. 514

[4] Theory that in philosophy takes the name of Nomic determinism

[5] See Leibniz (1710), § 408

[6] see, Scriven (1965), pp. 414-415 and Cuypers and Rummens (2010); whose evidence don’t seem conclusive though Similar theory supported by the Scottish philosopher Thomas Reid.

[7] Similar theory supported by the Scottish philosopher Thomas Reid.

[8] Socrates here wants to affirm the possibility that not every case of déjà-vu is caused by the same phenomenon.

6 – A new theory?

I would like to make the reader focus on a theory that connects the Psychological approach and the Metaphysical one. If we give for granted the collective unconscious theory by Jung, this could come in help for the cases of déjà-vu. . According to my interpretation, the collective unconscious would be an ontological place in which, beyond a certain amount of information, there would be conserved the experiences lived by the mind in the form of undulating codification. The peculiarity of this place is double:

  • • On the one hand, having his data an undulating nature, it seems possible that they don’t follow the temporary linearity. This could allow to store events that, in our conscious mental reality, still haven’t happened.
  • • On the other hand, there is a close connection between the phenomenal level of our mind and this ontological locus. This means that we can access to this information “stored” with a certain “phenomenal will” that is not purely reducible to the neurological cerebral phenomena. It will exist a phenomenal mental level that draws on all this information and that sometimes will take them to a conscious level.

The déjà-vu would be explained with a temporary surfacing of this information of events, for us, “linearly future to a conscious level”.

The metaphysical aspect here is clear: It’s about the hypothesis of an ontological place that we cannot prove scientifically.

The psychological aspect resides in the possible correlation between the cerebral neurology and the “phenomenal mental level”. In particular, I do not exclude that a possible TLE could stimulate the phenomenal level and make far more information surface from the collective unconscious.

Mine does not want to by any means be a conclusive theory on the déjà-vu. I want, on the contrary, share a “bridge” position between the two approaches.

7 – Conclusions

I don’t know which conclusion can be drawn by an analysis of the different position on a certain phenomenon. Surely, I hope that the reader didn’t stay “super partes” and that, on the basis of his own personal experiences, he has reflected himself even more in a theory than with an another one. I will not express my own personal opinion to not influence the reader’s judgement. Every reader has to feel free to embrace a position. The initial aim to write down a complete research on the déjà-vu phenomenon has been reached, on my opinion. We passed from a short historiography of the phenomenon to the analysis of the two principal approaches; we then got to the fictional dialogue between two funny characters out of the historical context in order to analyse deeper the question on prescience and we asked ourselves, in the end, whether there could exist a certain position halfway between the two mentioned approaches. I have put much attention on the cure of the notes and the suggested readings, so that the investigation of the reader won’t stop to the simple reading of my research. I will be very pleased to answer to any question about something that you didn’t find clear enough (I admit that sometimes I used a scientific or philosophic language far from being easily understandable). Furthermore, obviously if you want, I would like to know your position on the phenomenon discussed. The comment section is all yours!

Then it only remains for me to wish you a good journey in continuing this path towards the “Truth”.

Stephen Wolf

Coming soon from Steven Wolf

On the monopoly of emotions and on the chains of will
Leaf through the footprints

Dal mondo del pensiero

“Lasciate cadere ciò che vuole cadere; se lo trattenete, vi trascinerà con sé” Carl Gustav Jung

Poesia senza titolo per un amore non corrisposto

L’amore a volte strappa il titolo perfino ad una poesia. Ed essa rimane lì, inerte, sperando di essere riportata in vita da un lettore ignoto. Scopri l’emozione e resuscita l’amore perduto.

Il Foglio Bianco

Abbiamo cambiato il foglio di carta con un foglio digitale. Pronto ad essere spento in un attimo e perduto per sempre.

The day in which the man contradicted himself

Our perception is based on duality: something is or isn’t. Aristotle named this logical principle “principle of non-contradiction” and we humans have put it as the foundation for our building of knowledge. We shiver, then, because the duality, as we logically conceive it, has come to its extinction. A short juvenile essay written for a contest of the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa that gives a sparkle of light on a scientific theory on the concept of “soul”.

Jesus: the first modern coach in the history of mankind

The figure of the coach seems to have become a trend, but where does it arise from? What are the parallelisms with the Socratic method? And again: is there any connection between Socrates and Jesus? Did the last one really exist?

Perché scrivere?

Quante volte hai sentito la necessità di buttare fuori in qualche modo quel groviglio di emozioni e stimoli che ti tieni dentro?
Ognuno di noi ha bisogno di dar sfogo al proprio impulso creativo, ma in che modo farlo?
Vale davvero la pena condividere con gli altri quello che abbiamo “creato”?

Sull’ontogenesi della persona

“Da dove veniamo” è una delle domande che qualunque essere umano si è posto almeno una volta nella vita. Cosa succede se questa domanda viene rivolta a ciò che siamo? Da dove proviene la persona che siamo? è conseguenza di un’anima, di uno spirito, di una mente o di una convenzione? Nella seguente pubblicazione si tenterà di tracciare, grazie alle ultime scoperte della fenomenologia, un percorso che, dal nulla, arrivi a toccare ciò che siamo.

La Sirena e il Pescatore

Tra due figure si stabilisce un incontro illuminante dagli esiti inediti..

I think

I feel that our soul is something so marvelously complex.
Beware of the attempt to understand it, it can be a complex and exciting voyage already on its own. Love and hate, black and white that coexist in the entity of the man.

Sull’identità personale

Chi sono realmente? Qual è l’essenza che mi caratterizza e mi distingue dagli altri? Dall’arcaico “Conosci te stesso” quest’ossessione per l’identità personale non è mai venuta meno. Oggi, con secolari studi alle nostre spalle, possiamo forse dare qualche risposta a riguardo; ciò non solo al caso dell’identità personale ma dell’essenza dell’essere umano in generale.

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