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Metaphysics & Psychology

The Many Forms of Déjà Vu And Possible Scientific Explanations

That eerie feeling of déjà vu is very common, though scientific explanation has far to go before it is able to fully explain this aspect of the human consciousness

Most people, at one point or another, have experienced a feeling of deja vu (French for “already seen”). Whether or not they even realized it at the time, or cared to give it a label, the situation is common: you recognize as familiar something which you know you’ve never seen before. An object, a person,a place, a scene, an event… it is a fairly common experience.

Perhaps in the minds of some people there is something seemingly “supernatural” or sinister and overly thought-provoking about the phenomenon of déjà vu. From a scientific perspective, however, this doesn’t seem to be the case.

Different Types of Déjà Vu

Scientists who study mental phenomenon such as déjà vu have taken it upon themselves (as scientists so often do) to also classify some subcategories of the phenomenon. So, when you are experiencing déjà vu, you may actually be experiencing one of three varieties: Déjà vecu, déjà senti, or déjà visite.

Déjà vecu (“already lived through”), the most common form, occurs when there is a feeling involved in an experience – sort of an “I know that I’ve been here before” feeling.

Déjà senti (“already felt”) is fully mental, without the reliance on the visual aspect of deja vu. The idea of having thoughts that you’ve already had before.

Déjà visite (“already visited”) is perhaps the creepiest of them all. This is the one that gives little children nightmares – it is the uncanny knowledge of a person or place which has been previously unknown to the person. It is walking into a new building and knowing right where the bathroom is. Completely unexplainable, and rather rare. This is the one that is most often attributed to spiritual encounters, out of body experiences or ESP.

Possible Explanations for Déjà Vu

Most explanations agree that there is nothing strange happening in your brain when it plays these sorts of “tricks” on you, nor is there something physically wrong with you (at least nothing too important). It is just a feeling. It is your mind playing tricks on you.

This being said, there are a variety of explanations for déjà vu which do seem to be rather interesting (despite the fact that they avoid “conspiracy theories” and ESP and such things).

For instance, it has been shown that there is a link between one’s mental health and the occurrence of déjà vu. People with mental disorders often see the world a little bit differently, and are prone to such mental abnormalities as the perception of déjà vu.

In addition, certain intoxicating substances also tend to lead to heightened déjà vu awareness, though this assertion doesn’t seem particularly groundbreaking.

More interesting theories are those which deal with real, physical defects in the brain that might lead to déjà vu. Some have suggested (though with little evidence to back it up) that déjà vu might be caused by a delayed firing of neurons somewhere in the brain, inhibiting the message (or at least part of the message) for just a fraction of a second, causing the brain to process the same thought twice in quick succession.

For instance, if your two eyes both saw the same event, but for some reason the message took just a fraction longer to reach your brain from your left eye than it does from your right, there is a chance that your brain may process the same event twice, making you feel like you’ve already seen it, even if it was only a thousandth of a second earlier.

The Opposite of Deja Vu

Most people probably don’t realize that Deja vu (in all of its forms) has an opposite as well. This is called Jamais Vu (“never seen”), and it is quite interesting as well. This is that odd experience wherein you walk into a place you are very familiar with, but have a momentary feeling that you have never been there before.

It is most often suffered by those with amnesia or mental deficiencies, but every once in a while it happens to the average Joe as well. There is a moment of near panic – and then you probably realize that you were just suffering from a momentary lapse of mental functions.

And so, those are the basics of deja vu. It is a phenomenon about which scientists still have much to learn, but which will hopefully be able to offer great insights into just how the complex mechanisms of the human brain truly work.

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Metaphysics & Psychology

Some scientists believe that death does not exist. But why?

Each of us will sooner or later face death. But what happens at the moment of dying and after it? Throughout its history, humanity has been looking for answers to these questions. 

Christianity and other Abrahamic religions offer eternal life in heaven or hell, but Buddhism looks at the process of life and death somewhat differently, offering reincarnation. 

The gods of ancient Egypt, Scandinavian folklore, the myths of Ancient Greece – all these stories are somehow connected with death and attempts to cope with loss. But what if you look at death differently? What if death is not really the end, and your consciousness just loads and appears in another space-time?

Groundhog Day

Remember the 2014 film Edge of Tomorrow and 1993 Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray? These movies are similar, as the protagonists get stuck in a time loop and live the same day over and over and over and over again. 

The heroes of Murray and Cruz die many times, but they wake up again in the same place and at the same time. In fact, the time loop hypothesis is extremely popular among science fiction writers and screenwriters all over the world, so you can easily remember a dozen more similar films and stories.

But if you approach the story about Groundhog Day from a slightly different angle, then the question of whether it may turn out that death does not actually exist does not sound so stupid. Moreover, more and more questions arise – what if we just start life anew every time in a different space-time or return to that moment in time where death was avoided?

Bill Murray and the Groundhog are flying to meet the next day (still from the movie Groundhog Day)

Robert Lanza is the head of Astellas Global Regenerative Medicine, an institute for regenerative medicine that develops stem cell therapies with a focus on diseases that cause blindness. Let us remind you that stem cells are the precursors of all cells and tissues of the human body. These cells are able to maintain their numbers through division and have the ability to “transform” into different types of cells. With age, the number of stem cells in the human body decreases.

According to the British Express.co, according to Dr. Lanz, death is not the end, but simply a quantum reboot that moves consciousness to another place in an alternative space-time. The scientist believes that our consciousness simply creates what we perceive as the Universe, and without an individual, nothing exists at all.

The new theory also suggests that time and space cannot be measured, but are simply concepts created by our minds to help us store information. Moreover, Lanza is convinced that consciousness exists thanks to the energy that is contained in our bodies and is released as soon as physical bodies stop the process, which he calls “biocentrism.” It is noteworthy that Lanza put forward this theory back in 2012. My colleague Ramis Ganiev wrote a fascinating article on this topic, I recommend reading it.

Biocentrism is an irregular ideology or scientific approach to environmental protection. The main thing in biocentrism is the interests of living nature in the form in which they appear to man.

Long Live Quantum Physics Albert Einstein

It is important to understand that when we talk about the theory of biocentrism, we are at the same time talking about Albert Einstein. It was he who first suggested what Lanz later voiced: when our physical bodies die, the energy of consciousness is conserved and can continue to exist at the quantum level. Remember the famous words of Albert Einstein:

Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only transform from one form to another.

Reflecting on Einstein’s words, Lanza suggested that reincarnation is real because consciousness is contained in the universe itself. 

In his blog for the Huffington Post, Dr. Lanza writes:

“It was actually Einstein’s theory of relativity that showed that space and time are indeed relative to the observer.” He adds: “If the world is created by an observer, we should not be surprised that it collapses along with the death of each of us. Space and time disappear, and with them all Newtonian concepts of order and prediction disappear.” 

The scientist points to Einstein’s belief that space and time are interrelated concepts and one cannot exist without the other.

Pictured is Dr. Robert Lanza. He believes that time is an exclusively human construction.

Consciousness and time

Let’s say Lanza is right and the time for a deceased person is really rebooted and consciousness appears at another point in space-time. However, there is something, without which neither one nor the other can exist – this is the observer. This means that consciousness simply reappears at another point in space-time after death.

“We think the past is the past and the future is the future. But as Einstein realized, it just isn’t true. Without consciousness, space and time are nothing; in fact, you can accept any time – past or future – as your new frame of reference. Death is a reboot that leads to new opportunities. “

Robert Lanza, Head of Astellas Global Regenerative Medicine

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Metaphysics & Psychology

‘The Matrix’ turned out to be a metaphor for transgender people and gender identity

Director Lilly Wachowski has confirmed fan theory that the Matrix trilogy is about transgender people and gender identity. Interviews with the filmmaker, in which she reveals the meaning and metaphors of films, published on YouTube -channel, the Netflix Film Club.

“I’m glad people talk about The Matrix films through a transgender lens. I like that these movies turned out to be close to trans people who come up to me and talk about how these films saved their lives,” she admitted.

Wachowski emphasized that she is happy that the original idea of ​​the film has surfaced in fan theories:

“It was our original concept, but the world – I mean the film company – was not yet ready for this.”

The Matrix is ​​a trilogy of sci-fi films from 1999 to 2003. It tells about the struggle of surviving people with intelligent machines after the death of human civilization. 

The trilogy has grossed $ 1.6 billion worldwide. The directors were brothers Lawrence and Andrew Wachowski, who then changed sex and became Lana and Lilly Wachowski.

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Metaphysics & Psychology

Cell migration: is there another personality inside you?

Perhaps you believe that your body and mind are yours alone. In fact, you are a fusion of many organisms – possibly including another person, says BBC Future.

Once upon a time there was a very simple description for human origins: a man and a woman met, had fun, and then – relatively quickly – a tiny fertilized egg turned into a screaming newborn baby.

Everything was very clear: the man was half father, half mother, but 100% owned by himself.

However, this simple story has become quite complicated over the past decades. As it turned out, in addition to the genes passed on to us by our parents, we are home to an extensive set of viruses, bacteria and even, possibly, other personalities.

Moreover, if you have a twin, particles of it are likely to be present in your body (including your brain). And they are not just present, but, possibly, capable of influencing your behavior.

A monster named toxoplasma

“People are not individuals, but superorganisms,” says Peter Kramer of the University of Padua. “A huge variety of organisms are constantly fighting for power over our body.”

Co-authored with Paola Bressan, Dr. Kramer recently published an article in the scientific journal Perspectives in Psychological Science that urges psychologists and psychiatrists to consider the possible impact of this factor on human behavior.

For some, this will be alarming news, but scientists have long known that the human body is a jumble of different organisms.

Gut microbes are capable of producing neurotransmitters that alter our mood ; some researchers even speculate that microbes can influence a person’s appetite, forcing us to consume their preferred food.

And infection with a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii can kill you in some cases. By infecting a rat or mouse, this microbe changes the consciousness of the host in such a way that he ceases to be afraid of cats and even reaches out to their habitats – for reproduction, Toxoplasma certainly needs to get into the cat’s body.

However, Toxoplasma can also infect a person in the same way, as a result of gaining control over human behavior: some of those infected become prone to unnecessary risks, while others are more likely to develop schizophrenia or suicidal depression.

Meanwhile, despite the potentially dangerous consequences of infection for humans, about a third of all meat sold in Britain is infected with this parasite . “We need to end this,” says Kramer.

Twins are closer together than they might seem

Thus, it becomes clear that we are not necessarily entirely responsible for our own behavior.

This alone is enough to make a person doubt the usual perception of their own identity, but the thought that our brain is inhabited not only by tiny microbes, but also by other human beings, becomes really uncomfortable.

Siamese twins, who share a common brain for two bodies, are the most graphic illustration of this, Kramer says. However, even ordinary, non-fused twins may have common organs that they are not even aware of.

During early embryonic development, cells of twins or triplets are able to migrate from one embryo to another.

Previously, scientists believed that this happens very rarely, but it turned out that such a scenario is very common. So, about 8% of non-identical twins and 21% of non-identical triplets have one, but two blood groups: the blood of one group is produced by their own cells, and the blood of the other is produced by cells migrated from the twins.

In other words, they are “chimeric” or hybrid organisms. Moreover, the matter is not limited to blood – a similar situation is observed with cells of various organs, including the brain.

This hybridity in relation to the brain can have very serious consequences.

For example, it is known that the relative position of different parts of the brain is very important for its normal functioning.

The presence of foreign tissue in the brain, for the development of which foreign genes are responsible, can disrupt its architecture.

This can explain, for example, the fact that twins are very often left-handed – it is believed that the distribution of motor functions between the right and left sides of the body depends precisely on the organization of the right and left hemispheres of the brain. Perhaps it is hybridity that upsets this balance.

Even if you have never had a twin in your life, it is possible that your body still contains cells from another human being.

It so happens that two embryos fuse into a single whole at the stage of early development. As a result, the cells of one embryo enter the tissues of another and, at first glance, develop without deviations. However, they carry the genetic information of another person.

“You may feel like you are one, while there are foreign cells in your body – so there were two of you since birth,” says Kramer.

There was even a case when a genetic study found that a woman is not the biological mother of her two children.

The opposite also happens – the cells of the older child remain in the mother’s body and, after the conception of the younger child, move into the embryo.

Whichever way this happens, it’s entirely possible that another person’s cells can cause the brain to develop in completely unexpected ways, says Lee Nelson of the University of Washington. She is studying the possibility of the mother’s cells entering the baby’s brain.

“Depending on the number and type of cells, as well as in what period of embryo growth they migrate, there are different scenarios for the deviation of the child’s brain from normal development,” says Nelson.

As it turned out, even adults are not immune to the penetration of other people’s cells into their body.

A man is in a woman

Several years ago, Nelson and William Chen of the University of Alberta, Canada, decoded genomes taken from female brain slices. They looked for signs of a male Y chromosome.

In about 63% of the samples studied, the researchers found male cells. “We didn’t just find male DNA in the female medulla – it was present in several parts of the brain at once,” says Chen.

In other words, women’s brains were stuffed with male cells. According to scientists, the stem cells of a male child somehow overcome the placenta barrier and enter the mother’s brain.

Interestingly, according to some reports, the presence of male cells in the brain of women reduces the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease in the latter – although exactly why this happens remains a mystery.

Some researchers are even starting to wonder if the baby’s cells may affect the mother’s mood during pregnancy.

Our knowledge of the human “superorganism” is still very fragmentary, and many of the implications of such a symbiosis are now discussed only in the form of theoretical calculations.

The purpose of Cramer and Bressan’s paper was not to provide clear answers to the questions at hand, but to educate other psychologists and psychiatrists about the many organisms that make us who we are.

“We are not able to fully understand human behavior, considering a person as only one individual, – notes Kramer. “It is necessary to consider it as a collection of organisms in order to understand why we behave in one way or another.”

For example, scientists often use the study of twins to get closer to understanding human behavior.

However, the fact that even non-identical twins could exchange fragments of brain tissue at the stage of early development casts doubt on the purity of such experiments.

Caution must be exercised when using the findings of twin studies to study diseases such as schizophrenia, which can be caused by inappropriate brain architecture, warn Bressan and Kramer.

However, do not worry about foreign organisms in our own. After all, it is they who make us who we are.

“For better or worse, we’re going to have to share the body with these ‘immigrants,’” Nelson says. “And I think the pros of this cohabitation outweigh the cons.”

By David Robson

Source BBC com

PS: The phenomenon of subpersonalities has long been studied in the psychological literature. Now classical science has come close to this question.

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