Deja Vu & Jamais Vu
"There is another experience worth mentioning; jamais vu. Its the opposite of deja vu. Instead of feeling extra familiar, thing seem totally unfamiliar. In this case there is too little connection between long-term memory and perceptions from the present. When a person is in this state, nothing they experience seems to have anything to do with the past. They might be talking to a person they know well and suddenly they person seems totally unfamiliar. Their sense of knowing the person, and knowing how to relate to them simply vanishes. A room in which they spend a lot of time suddenly becomes totally novel; everything seems new. Details they will have seen a thousand times suddenly become engaging."
--from "Deja Vu in Spiritual and Scientific Views," (3a)
Many of my epileptic seizures have involved the experience of jamais vu. It wipes my perspective clear so that everything is completely new. I have no sense of relations -- how anything or anyone relates to me. Sometimes this sensation has been overwhelming; other times it has been magical and refreshing. Jamais vu can be liberating, since the information that my senses pick up are free from logical ties to stored memories. It sometimes feels like I'm stepping into someone else's mind. Understandably, the temporal lobe is the place in the brain for long-term memory storage, among many other important things (3b). Some of my seizures have felt like dreams. Time doesn't exist, or at least not at the usual pace. I can't necessarily remember afterwards what might have seemed so clear at another point. Familiarity and nonfamiliarity get flipped around. Thus I have often had deja vu experiences during seizures. I feel like I'm re-living the moment, as it has total familiarity. The voices in my head sometimes tell me that I already know what is happening and what is going to happen.
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