Two Old Codgers

How the World strikes us

Bill and I have often talked about the brain and the mind. It would be good if we were educated and had a clearer understanding of what the words actually mean. We think, in our dim witted way, they are quite separate but work hand in hand. (Can a brain and a mind hold hands!?).

For me, déjà vu is when you walk into a strange room and you feel you have been there before, or in a conversation with someone they say something and you feel you have heard them say it before. This is when I digress - again!.

The mind or brain processes taking place every time we see, hear or smell anything are so complex they are staggering. Take a look at this picture.
First it is compared with everything else you have seen. There are lots of things in your memory banks that are similar so you could verbalise it as a picture of lakes and mountains in a gilt frame hanging on a wall but unless you have been in my living room you will not recognise this particular picture.

Imagine the process with an image such as the one below. Every face has to be scanned against all the people in your memory. As your eyes flick across the faces, they will pause at one that looks familiar, in an instant you will know that you have seen them before or pass on to the next.

Think of the sights, sounds and smells that pour into your brain/mind on your journey to work or to the supermarket - road signs, traffic, people, car radio all pouring into your poor old head.

The information has to go somewhere and much of it will be stored so that you can find your way around on future journeys.

So what might be happening when you experience déjà vu (It's French for 'already seen')?. Could it be that our mental processes get their wires crossed? The image or sound goes into our memory bank a nanosecond before the comparison process starts so we think "I've seen that before!":"I knew he/she was going to say that!":"I've been here before!".

I have a feeling most of you will, by now, have switched off. Déjà vu won't have kicked in but the thought "What's the silly old sod on about now?" probably will.

Television channels

Comment from David
The other thing akin to deja vu is what happened to me yesterday. I was on one of my regular walks in the local countryside and the image of another old fella came into my mind who I used to regularly see whilst out on an early morning ramble (that's the walk, not what's going on in my head). It occurred to me that I hadn't seen him for a long, long time. It was just a fleeting thought.

You know what's coming, don't you? Within ten minutes I see this figure in the distance coming towards me and we exchange pleasantries as we pass - of course, it's him. Why did he come into my mind at that particular time I wonder?

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