Could the feeling of deja-vu be connected to my dreams?
A common scientific explanation for deja-vu is that it stems from a small malfunction of the brain. Some piece of information, like the look
of a particular place that you haven't been to before, gets from short-term into long-term memory in a fraction of a second via some sort
of "shortcut" rather than by the “usual” longer, more time-consuming pathway. (Note though that science has little or no understanding
of how memories are formed). It’s suggested that our brain then tries to match what it’s currently experiencing to similar patterns in its
long term memory store, and Aha!! there it is, the exact same pattern. So your neurochemistry fools you into thinking that you’ve been in
this place or situation before.
This could well be a valid explanation of deja-vu, but just as valid could be the fact that you dreamed about the place or situation
beforehand. This could be coincidence but the possibility of the mind “travelling into the future” during sleep can not be dismissed.
Dreams that appear to foretell the future are far more common than most people believe and anyone who has kept a long term Dream
Journal will have numerous anecdotal examples of apparently precognitive dreams.
Deja-vu, it seems, does not just happen in waking life. Here’s a dream I had back in 1998:
I was meeting someone outside a public house – a pub that I didn’t know in my everyday life. I arrived first and got chatting to another
girl who was waiting to meet someone. I had a sudden flash of insight - I realised I was dreaming and knew I’d been to this pub before,
in a dream. I seemed to think that the day after the last dream, my eldest son had become ill and, in some way, a dream of this
particular pub was a forewarning of him being ill again.
Of course, if you’re a regular Dream Journaller and this happens to you in your waking life, you'll exclaim “Oh, wow, I dreamt about this
last night,” rather than, “Gosh, I’m confused. I feel like I’ve been here before”.