Karl's Opinion Page

Personal Metaphysics

Written 10/18/98

Okay, this isn't really an opinion so much as an monologue about an amazingly large and open topic, and one very small corner of it as it relates to me. The big topic is Unexplained Phenomenon and the Nature of the Universe, and the small topic is Deja Vu.

Now, there are many things out there that fall under the Unexplained Phenomenon banner; ESP, life after death (a particular interest of mine), fate, etc. etc. Space Aliens are slightly different, as they are a more 'could exist but do they' sort of thing. On these topics, I tend to fall, as i think most people do, in the 'probably not, but maybe' area of belief. There are many hard-core skeptics out there, and just as many die-hard believers, and of the two I tend to agree with the skeptics. But.

I'd really like to believe in life after death, or magic, or even telepathy or telekinesis or any of that stuff. I don't, but I will stubbornly hang on to the idea that it 'may' be possible, accepting proof that people attempting to display such things have been bunko artists while still maintaining the possiblity that such things could be true. I'd like for there to be a little mystery in the world.

Which brings me to deja vu. Most people have it; there have been several explanations for it which sound logical to me, from the 'mind slipped a beat and thus says 'wait - i was here before' to time being periodic like a wave and it somehow being possible to see from one peak to another. Generally it's considered a minor mental phenomenon which really has no relation to reality other than that the person gets deja vu, i.e. they aren't really seeing something they have seen before.

I get deja vu, and it's different. (I'm writing this today because it happened again today.) I don't just get a strange 'i've been here before' feeling - I also get the memory of the time/place I was there before. To be more precise, when I get deja vu it's just like a sudden memory flash, including the original time I am remembering, which is always totally unrelated to the time I have the deja vu. Mostly it's being in bed in the early morning, having these disconnected scenes (not visions - they involve all my senses), and then months or years later having that exact situation occur.

My first example involves a burrito place. Wednesday lunchtimes for a few years now, I have walked to purchase comics from my local comic book store with my friend Jason. One fall, as we were walking to the store, I had a sudden flash of myself walking to the store with Jason, telling him about a new burrito place that had just moved in across the street. In the flash, the sun was a certain warmth on my back, the leaves were coming out on the trees, the breeze was blowing lightly towards us. Like always, it was an infinitely small section of future time presented to me - it wasn't a film of me speaking to Jason, it was me in myself with the thoughts of speaking to Jason of this new burrito place in my mind; one infinite section of time.

I told Jason this, and then we both forgot it. That spring, as we were walking to get comics, it happened. We were walking past the new pepper trees, and I was talking about the new Planet Fresh Burrito across the street, when the deja vu hit. Stopped me in my tracks, the way it usually does.

So today, while watching the film Practical Magic, there was a moment when the evil spirit has been vanquished and turns into dust, and the witches (having brooms) are exhorted by one of their number 'time to clean house, girls' or something similar. Boom. I had, one morning about a year ago, told my girlfriend of my particular type of deja vu, as I had just had one of the premonition parts. In the premonition, I was watching a film (sat just so, with the air just such a temperature and a person on my left but not my right), and the protagonists had just vanquished an evil spirit, and one of them was saying 'time to clean house' while holding a broom, because somehow the evil spirit was dust... needless to say, it didn't make much sense at the time. They usually don't.

It was exactly the moment in the film. Afterwards, I was telling her about it, not really remembering the moment I first saw it, when she suddenly gasped and told me that I had told her about it, in just that particular way, about a year ago. It's nice to have some proof, even if it's just a witness.

I suppose I am claiming some psychic ability. I guess. I can see into the future, in a limited and pretty largely useless sense. Right now I can think of several places I will at some point be, though I don't know when, or where they are, or anything useful. There's a classroom, a largish one, with a low ceiling and old wood and metal fram chair/desks arranged on a few shallowly descending tiers in a semicircular fashion around the lectern, chalkboards behind it. It's not some place i've ever been, and when I see it it will be the first time I will have seen it (well, second); it's empty, other than for me. There's also a movie, that's just starting - the opening title is being displayed. It's in red lettering on a black background, in a sort of 'torn at the edges paper' font, which is flying in bits and pieces onto the screen from the edges accompanied to the rasping metal sound of scissors. I don't know anything else about the film.

It's a useless talent, really. I can't see what I want, and most times I forget about the prescient part until I get the accompanying deja vu. But I find it comforting that nothing I have learned rationalizes it, and were I to try to approach the general community about it, they would disbelieve me. Because if this is real, and I at least know it is, then why not Heaven? Or magic?