For as long as man has existed, we have always looked to the future to give us a glimpse of how the present will play out. From using tarot cards and diving the future with crystal balls, to looking towards the stars to help calculate where we are in the world and where we are supposed to be. Out of all the methods of seeing the future, Precognition and Deja Vu are easily two of the most identifiable and popular ways people have used to see what is to come.
From Hollywood to stories of family members predicting death or illness, it has touched all of our lives and become a staple for Hollywood plot devices. Indeed, simply looking at shows like Charmed, The Harry Potter stories, The Magicians have shown that since the dawn of the silver screen Hollywood has loved putting witches and physic abilities together. But in reality, what is precognition? How does Deja Vu work? And more importantly, does it even exist?
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary describes Precognition and Clairvoyance as relating to an event or state not yet experienced (Source). So honestly, what the hell does that even mean? It means having knowledge of future events and situations. Precognition has been claimed by many people around the world since the dawn of time (where do you think all those Doomsday prophecies come from?) yet it has never been successfully tested, as such it does fall under the category of a pseudoscience (Source) which means that it is not considered a valid science or field of study.
Most people who have clairvoyance and precognition claim that they can see events far into the future, specific details of things yet to come, and the ability to accurately give descriptions of these events, down to small details.
So we have all experienced Deja Vu. That feeling that you are experiencing something that has already happened. A feeling that you know is so strong that you have to inadvertently tell everyone around you “omg I just got the biggest sense of Deja Vu” (Source). This will happen over the course of your life, with little to no warning.
The main difference between Deja Vu and Precognition is that Precognition happens prior to the events actually happening. Deja Vu on the other hand tends to most often occur as a situation is playing out, or just after something happens. Now you might be asking how are these two things related? And how does it seem to happen randomly to random people and at random times?
The Virtual Existence of the Subconscious Mind
So as we all know, our brain and computing power is almost limitless. They say in reality that we only perceive a very small fraction of the actual world going on around us at any time (only 50 bites out of 11 million bites of information a second) (Source). All that extra data is taken into our brain and processed by our subconscious mind. This is the reason we are able to process information in a split second for our own safety.
Take for example a person throws a baseball at your face, within a fraction of a second your brain processes all the information and you will take this information and either try to catch the ball or try to avoid it (this is also known as the Fight or Flight response) (Source)
Now what does your brain do with all the information that you didn’t consciously process? I mean you take in 10,999,950 bites of information in your subconscious PER SECOND. That is a literal ton of information. Well if the subconscious is anything, it is a puzzle master. It loves puzzles and pieces and simulating the word around us. Now normally this is addressed within dreams, as your brain takes all of this information and processes, getting it out of the temporary buffer of your brain and removing all the excess information it doesn’t need. However, this process is happening at all times, not just when you sleep.
The human experience has survival rooted into its DNA. The entire story of humanity is rooted around survival and procreation, as such our entire brain is wired around those things, as such our subconscious likes to help our lives by making what I call “virtual simulations” of the real world existence. Our brain will take all the data we receive throughout the day and put these pieces of data through simulations, putting them into real world situations to see what is the most likely outcome of any potential situation, this way it can help protect us and our loved ones from any danger.
Now precognition comes into this when our subconscious shows us one of these “simulations” based on the most likely course of actions and it actually comes true. This tends to usually happen in dreams as that is the easiest and most common way for our subconscious to provide us with information, however as we know dreams can come sporadically and not always when you need it, which is where divination comes into play. Divination is the act of reading the future using various mediums (i.e, scrying, tarot, crystal balls, etc.). So how does this work? In my belief, the power of divination doesn’t actually come from the cards or the crystal ball or the dark mirror, instead it comes from your subconscious. All of these various items only help you to make sense and connect with your subconscious mind. The best tarot readers in the world don’t actually read the booklets that come with the tarot, instead they rely on their intuition (see subconscious) to tell them what the future means.
Now Deja Vu is similar but different in the sense that while precognition seeks to show you the most likely course of events, Deja Vu is the after effect. Deja Vu happens when your subconscious has already run a simulation of events, and was proven right. So when you feel Deja Vu, that is your subconscious congratulating itself for accurately predicting the events that are currently transpiring. The more it is correct, the more likely you are to get that feeling of Deja Vu as your subconscious will get better and better at making these predictions.
So what is actually going to happen in the future?
Well that is the fun part, no one really knows! While everyone has flashes of precognition and deja vu through their life, the future is immutable and constantly changing, which is why our ability to see the future is very difficult, and often wrong. The more factors that we add in to this puzzle, the more chances for things to go wrong and the harder it is to predict. Sometimes, mostly not, we get things right and that little bit is just enough for us to be hopeful.
”In 900 years of time and space, I’ve never meant anyone who wasn’t important”
– The Doctor
***The entirety of this document is my own beliefs and research, everyone’s practice is their own and everyone is entitled to their beliefs***