Last week I was talking to an old friend on face book when the conversation turned to karma. He was worried that karma was, in a way, biting him in the butt for mistakes he had made in his past. I explained to him while I may love the idea of karma roaring it’s angry head, serving justice to a few folks who I consider not the nicest of people. I can’t accept karma or believe in it. After ending our conversation my brain kept churning away at the philosophy/idea of karma. Maybe I had too much coffee that day or watched one too many episodes of LOST. My brain not only began thinking about karma, it began to debate within itself the concepts of déjà vu, the butterfly effect, parallel lives/universe and reincarnation. To me, they all seem to be, some how connected.
Who hasn’t had a déjà vu moment or had a dream that contained people we knew from our past who were suddenly in our present or future? Waking up, feeling a bit lost and confused? Even though I hold strong in my beliefs, I must confess there are times when I find myself wondering, well…what if? So I thought over the next week I would post my wonderings, informal debate within myself on these subjects. Today I thought I would begin the debate with my thoughts, questions on déjà vu and parallel lives/universe.
Déjà vu means already seen. It is the feeling that one has previously met a person, been to a place or done an act when in reality it is the first time it has happened to them. Most people have had a moment where they have felt like they are reliving an experience. Have you ever met someone for the first time, the conversation flowed easily, it feels like you have known each other your entire lives? Some experts believe this is another aspect of déjà vu. Yes I found it hard to believe there are actually experts in déjà vu. Their profession is to study déjà vu. Most experts believe we will continue to live our lives over and over until we make all the right choices, meet the correct people and live what has been determined to be our correct path. In their realm, when one experiences déjà vu, it is a lesson or person that was previously missed. When you experience déjà vu it is important to pay attention to the feeling, follow your instincts so the same mistake is not made and the experience/moment never needs to be relived. The more correct decisions one makes allows them to become one step closer to fulfilling their destiny and finally moving on to heaven.
There are scientists who believe déjà vu is easy to explain. It happens when a person's brain is out of sync. One side of the brain sees the imagine, experiences the moment before the other. The brain sees the imagine twice creating the déjà vu feeling. I can only recall two déjà vu moments in my life. One I will not share because of it’s extremely personal nature and happened very recently. The other occurred in January 1999 when I was vacationing in Oahu for the first time. As soon as I landed in Hawaii I felt very at ease, very similar to the feeling one has when one returns home. The next day my daughter and I headed to Waikiki beach, as I sat there looking out over the pacific, it felt like I had been there before with someone else. Something about the air, the beach, the sunlight, everything about that moment was very familiar and at the same time different and strange. So now I wonder, was it really déjà vu or was my brain tapping into the me in my parallel life?
In 1954, Hugh Everett III came up with a theory that there are parallel universes. These universes are just like ours with the same people but with different lives. Call it our life with an alternate ending. Everett called his theory the many worlds interpretation in quantum physics or his relative state formulation. At the time he developed his theory he was ridiculed by his peers. They concluded what he believed was nothing more than science fiction, the ramblings of a crazy man. The rejection of his peers drove him to leave the field of physics and no longer speak on his theory. Many years later, leading physicists believe that yes indeed there are many parallel universes. Some physicists believe our parallel universes are populated not with people but with extinct species and plants. While others believe that we are living duel, even triple lives all at the same time just millimeters in front of us, yet we can’t see or have knowledge of our parallel self. In this theory, in one life you may be sitting at home watching television, the you in the next universe over may have a different spouse and children and out shopping. Another parallel universe theory, when a person comes to a cross road in their life, when they have to decide which direction to take in their life, they create another universe. If they go right, another parallel universe is created where they go left. No matter what theory a physicists may believe, they all agree, the laws of physics keep us locked in our current universe unable to travel to our parallel life. Many physicists believe that when we dream, when we see ourselves with a different spouse, job, child, we are actually “in tune” with our parallel self. We are not dreaming how we wished our life had gone but rather we are seeing what our other self is doing/living in our parallel life. Our bodies might not be able to cross the laws of physics but our brain can. Our brain and our soul are always in sync with our other self if we allow them to be.
So if this theory is true, do we have to be asleep to see our parallel self? While on vacation this past summer, Cole was having trouble falling asleep. I turned on music and began to slowly dance with him, hoping to rock him to sleep. As I held him next to me, I closed my eyes. When I did I saw me when I was younger, in a room I had never been before. "Watching myself" I knew I was holding a baby boy, my son. A son I never had in this life. As I danced with him, I saw a familiar man standing in the doorway watching the two of us. He was smiling with pride as I held our son. I could see his eyes light up when we made eye contact. I heard my daughter Kathryn yell “Daddy’s home” as she jumped into his arms. He caught her, as he held her close he asked how her day at kindergarten had been? I knew what I was seeing was not possible but for those few moments, while my eyes were closed, what I was watching felt real. Was what I saw/felt simply a day dream or was I able for those few moments to somehow connect with my parallel life where I had taken a different path in my life.
Fans of LOST spent the last two seasons tracking the parallel lives of Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hugo and the rest of the survivors of Oceanic flight 815. They traveled between life on the island after the plane crash and the life they had if/when the plane safely landed in California. Many of us watched week after week, anxiously waiting for the two worlds to collide, for the final resolution. Watching the show I am sure countless fans wondered if we all have some sort of parallel life? The show made me wonder, what if we do have a parallel life, but not as the leading physicists think. What if our parallel life is actually spiritual? As I interpret the show LOST, the writers I believe suggest, we are all in fact living parallel lives, one here on earth, another in purgatory, eventually one in heaven or hell, depending on the choices we make. The character of Desmond was able to tap into his parallel life and take action in this universe to change the outcome of his other universe enabling him to make his final journey to heaven. The two characters who portrayed my thoughts on realizing heaven are Sun and Jin. They die in a sub off the island while their parallel selves continue to live in the other universe. Many episodes later, as Sun is having a sonogram, the two are 'awakened' to their dual lives. They are suddenly aware they have already had their child, they have a daughter. They have seen the “light”, they know in the other life they went on to heaven together. They are no longer worried about life and it's eventual outcome. They are at peace. Sun and Jin understand and are prepared to move to the next phase of their life together, heaven, eternity. Sun and Jin make me wonder if the creators of LOST believe when we are awakened to our dual lives, the other part of us, we are ready to relinquish our self, merge together and move on to the next phase of life, heaven?
Is it possible when people say they see their life flash before their eyes before they die, they are actually seeing their parallel lives merge? The calm peaceful feeling they experience is the acceptance of our split selves finally joining? Is it really possible that there are multiple universes. multiple us? Or are people just using crazy ideas to justify insane dreams and wishful thinking?
I must ask is déjà vu real? Have you ever experienced it? Do you believe in a parallel life/universe? Any LOST fans out there? Did you read the writers theories/beliefs differently?