I’m currently sitting in the NYU computer lab and I’ve been struck by an overwhelming sense of deja vu. I was writing my story for my creative writing class when I suddenly realized that I had read the sentence that I had just wrote before – where had I seen it? I couldn’t have written that before: it was so specific to the story that I was writing now. I turned to my left and looked at the person sitting next to me. I had seen this person before. I recognized his thick beard and glasses, the way he sat, lounging in his chair as he clicked away. I noticed that there was a thin carton of Tropicana orange juice just next to his mouse, such a strange thing to have at a computer lounge, but I seemed to recall it with almost frightening clarity – I had most definitely been here before.
I suddenly was filled with the idea that I had dreamt of this scene once before. I must have dreamt it – there’s no way I could have been in this same situation before. Not just the objects and people were the same, but even that strange, highly surreal feeling that I was currently experiencing seemed all too familiar.
This wasn’t the first time I had felt this way either. Many times in my life I’ve had this strange creeping feeling that I had dreamed of my experiences prior to having them. Perhaps I’m clairvoyant? Perhaps I was just lucky, that my dreams were somehow realizing themselves through the incomprehensible weaves of causality that drive the universe forward. From the lens of a human, the universe is an ocean of random happenings all coinciding in strange ways. But from a higher, more removed lens, perhaps there is a destiny playing out in front of all of us, the universe pushing us and the world around us to some eventual place, some inevitable outcome. I couldn’t say – my lens is confined by the same restrictions that are imposed on everyone else, that is, the physical straight jacket that is our material existence.