Monday 16 June 2008

Déjà vu

Five years ago, I climbed the beautiful Kanchenjunga Mountain, situated in south central Asia, in the Himalaya, on the frontier between Nepal and Sikkim, India.
I lived with a Tibetan family (who catered to the tourists) and became very close to them. It was here that I experienced the sense of de ja vu. This place has a magnetic pull where one involuntarily becomes alert and full of awareness. My hosts were deeply religious, they performed rituals everyday, burnt incense sticks and their home had a mystic resonance which I have never been able to explain nor understand completely. It was here that I learnt about the variations in Buddhism.I was a eager student.
(The head of the family was an elderly woman, and she had prophesized that I would meet the Dalai Lama. At that time, I thought, there was no way that I would meet the great leader who lived in exile, at Dharmashala India. But you can imagine my astonishment, when, after exactly 2 years, I was invited for a conference of inter-faith dialogue at the cultural center of the college where I work. And I was able to meet with the Dalai Lama, who was one of the speakers and had come to inaugurate the centre for Buddhist studies. This incident has strengthened my belief in consciousness and the power of the self……)
Tibet is traditionally the stronghold of Lamaism, a unique and highly developed form of esoteric Buddhism, not very different from Tantric Buddhism.
Tantra (Sanskrit, “web” or “warp”), is a body of esoteric Hindu and Buddhist religious texts and rituals. The Hindu Tantra were written after the Puranas, in the medieval period, and are usually set in the form of a dialogue between the god Shiva and his consort Parvati, in which he explains to her the philosophy and myths underlying the Tantric ritual. This ritual involves reversals of normal Hindu social practices (for instance, incestuous sexual acts) and reversals of normal physiological processes (for instance, the drawing up of the semen out of the woman and into the body of the man). It also reverses the orthodox Hindu “five products of the cow”, or panchagavya (milk, butter, curds, urine, and faeces) used for purification; in Tantra, these become the “five m's”: maithuna (“intercourse”), matsya (“fish”), mansa (“flesh”), mudra (“parched grain”), and mada (“wine”). Tantric adepts learn, from a guru, how to raise their psychosexual energy—the curled serpent power (Kundalini) that lies at the base of the spine—through successive focal points (chakras), until it reaches the highest chakra, at the top of the skull, and the adept experiences, within, the union of the god and the goddess. This process (sadhana) begins with a systematic visualization of the deity, limb by limb, who materializes through the use of visual diagrams (yantras) and through the use of magic incantations (mantras).

Buddhist Tantra is an aspect of the third stage of Buddhism, the Thunderbolt Vehicle or Diamond Vehicle (Vajrayana) that developed out of Mahayana Buddhism; it was perfected in Tibet. Vijnanavada (Consciousness Vehicle), school of Mahayana Buddhism, is sometimes known as Yogacara, or Faxiang in China and Hosso in Japan. It developed in India, in the 4th century. Its doctrines were derived from the Lankavatara Sutra and related works, holding that only consciousness (vijnana) is real; the outside world is an illusion. Experience of an external world is the consequence of seeds stored in a store-consciousness and engendered by karma. As part of the karmic process, a false split develops between the mind and the objects which its imagination creates. By purging karmic residues through meditation, the devotee can return to the state of pure consciousness which is Buddha hood.
The threefold structure of reality as imaginary fictions, provisionally true things and perfect consciousness were held to correspond to Mahayana doctrine regarding the transformation-body, enjoyment-body, and essence-body of the Buddha.
Its most influential formulation, however, was that there is an eternal, mutually sustaining dialectic though things are false and void in absolute terms; they are true and real in relative terms. “Form is emptiness; emptiness is form”.

My question to fellow bloggers;
I’ve never felt the sense of de ja vu ever again. I have often wondered if the reason for feeling like that on the Kanchenjunga Mountain was because of the strong ritualistic, compelling, mystic atmosphere. What do you think?


Karl Le Marcs said...

Roshni: Hi Rosh, thanks for posting this personal story.

To answer your question: Yes, I certainly think your experience was partly as a result of your environment and a heightened state of consciousness.

I think we need to be directing such "Déjà vu" experiences towards one of a more accurate term, as described by a frequent visitor to this blog (but one from whom Tony and I would massively welcome more input), the esteemed Art Funkhouser in his paper Three Types Of Déjà vu; and especially separating Déjà vu (already seen) with Déjà vécu (already lived), because it is hugely difficult to argue, within Déjà vu, against the Efron Thesis (Temporal Perception, Aphasia and Déjà vu (1963)) that Déjà vu is a temporal time delay to consciousness. BUT, it is reasonably easy to argue against in Déjà vécu (and by extension, to Déjà senti and Déjà visité - see Art's paper and/or the wikipedia link I have included above)

I have included below some links to a selection of the many previous posts on Déjà vu that you may be interested in reading, where several of the ideas I briefly mention above have been discussed:

Virgin Life – Déjà vu [by Hurlyburly]

Dr. Alan Roberts on Déjà vu [by Tony]

Déjà vu: How Far Ahead Can It Happen [by Seraph]

Déjà vu And Getting Older [by Tony]

Déjà vu And Song Lyrics [by Tony]

Temporal Lobe Epilepsy, Déjà vu & The Daemon [by Daza Vu]

Déjà vu And Life Replay [by Carenza Waters]

Déjà vu [by Wendywoo]

Time-Lapse-Prediction-Deja-Vu-Kinda-Thing [by Hurlyburly]

Self-Fulfilling Prophesis [by Tony]

Groundhog Christmas [by Baphomet]

A Stunning New Look At Déjà vu [by Karl L Le Marcs]

Palingenesia [by Tony]

Rosh said...

Karl,yes, i did read about de ja vu in the wiki link before i posted my story.. once to know its proper pronunciation and then again to know more about it.....but i was not satisfied with the explanation nor the was too limiting....
i think our mind/self is too powerful to just limit the sense of de ja vu( im using this word for want of a better word)
into just three types.

Karl Le Marcs said...

Roshni: No, you misunderstand me. I would like us to be moving away from just the one term "Deja Vu" and into at least the three terms (Vecu, Senti and Visite) because if we term everything as Deja Vu then the Efron Thesis is difficult to argue against as an explanation for it.

Within Deja Vecu, ITLAD/CTF and the Daemon-Eidolon Dyad become powerful arguements.

Rosh said...

yes...i now understand...i should have written, Déjà visité, to be specific...because thats what it seems.....but underlying the tantras and the mantras the rituals,the chanting,its not only about geography and spatial relations as defined in wiki about
Déjà visité.....that is why i included the information aboout tantric buddhism.

Karl Le Marcs said...

Roshni: Yes, I agree. Which is why in my original comment I began by saying: "I certainly think your experience was partly as a result of your environment and a heightened state of consciousness." as the chanting, rituals and mantras would all have elevated your consciousness level, as is taught in many esoteric circles.

Rosh said...

yes u did!
but then u also mentioned three types of de ja vu...which really confused me...!and asked me to read wiki......according to me wiki is not all that perfect!

Karl Le Marcs said...

Roshni: I gave the link in order to try and help people with the terminology. Wikipedia at least makes these esoteric terms accessible. Have you also read the Funkhouser paper and all the blog posts I directed you towards? These I gave as further depth to the subject. And if you want some really deep analysis into Deja Sentience then I am happy to oblige.

Rosh said...

deep analysis? no thank u!...i think i will be happy with these links!:-)

Karl Le Marcs said...

Roshni: That's precisely why I tried to keep my initial reply as relatively straight-forward (and linked for reference) as I did!

Enjoy reading the links, and especially Art Funkhouser's paper.

Rosh said...

Hes the one on wiki TOO!

Karl Le Marcs said...

Roshni: Yes, I know. And he's a member of this blog!

Shiva said...

Roshni, I agree with Karl that your experience was partly as a result of your environment and a heightened state of consciousness.
I was thrilled to read your explanation about Vajra Yoga! Thank you for that !!

I have had intense experiences in the presence of a Guru ( GuruMayi Chidvilasanda), and I would like to share one of them with you, if I may.

It was during a break at a weekend Intensive. I was thirsty for knowledge on Kundalini, which had just recently been explained to me, and I picked up a book in the bookstore. I found a reference to Kundalini and thumbed to the page.

As I opened the appropriate page and BEFORE I HAD A CHANCE TO READ IT, I was hit by shakti which came from the page. From the bottom of my spine, a thin spiral of smokey energy shot up my back and exploded at the top of my head. My legs buckled and I dropped the book as I grabbed for the table to stop my fall.

After the experience ended, I went back to the page in the book and read this :

The Goddess Kundalini is always waiting for an opportunity to free one of her followers from the cycle of birth and death...

Rosh said...

SHIVA:Thank you for sharing your experience.Ive been fascinated with Buddhism, esp.the mystic kind.The Dalai Lama is one of the most calm and peaceful man on this earth.Yes, and your right!"The Goddess Kundalini is always waiting for an opportunity to free one of her followers from the cycle of birth and death..." the only prerequisite is an open and compassionate heart.