Thursday, 14 August 2008

Evidence of "Future Memory"?

(Comment also posted on the FORUM)

Sometimes the strangest things take place in my life ... things that really reinforce the whole itladian theory. But sometimes these events are so self-referential that it is as if fate (The Daemon?) is amusing itself by leaving clues all over the place.

The day before yesterday I was travelling through London en-route to a business meeting in Kent. I stopped off at Euston and walked down to Foyle's Bookshop in Tottenham Court Road (probably my favourite bookshop). Foyle's is always a great place to find the more obscure and specialist books. In the psychology section I found two or three books that I hoped to find together with another that I had never heard of It is called The Uncanny and was written by Nicholas Royle, professor of English at the University of Sussex. It was published in 2003. What attracted me to it was that it was a review of the implications of Sigmund Freud's 1919 essay "Das Unheimlich" - the Uncanny - in regard to contemporary thinking in literature, film, psychoanalysis etc. Although quite expensive I decided to add to the pile.

This morning, on my way to work, I began reading it. I Immediately spotted something that I had not seen when I picked it up two days before .... there was a chapter on Deja Vu. I decided to read this chapter first and what I read stunned me!

But a bit of background first. Way back in 2000 I wrote the first version of Is There Life After Death - The Extraordinary Science of What Happens When You Die (ITLAD). Some sections of this original version ended up being edited out of the version that appeared in the bookshops in 2007. However one section that did stay was a particular description of the frustrations (and circularity) that I found in trying to isolate a dictionary definition of paramnesia. On page 276 of ITLAD I describe this. I wrote:

'An attempt to gain a definition from elsewhere was also cyclical; if one looks up the word (deja vu) in the Oxford Concise English Dictionary one will find a reference but no definition. Indeed it refers directly to another entry; that entry being for deja vu! So it seems that having a deja vu is, by definition, an example of paramnesia, which is, by definition, an example of deja vu.'

My frustration is only thinly disguised. I clearly remember the irritation I felt on that day back in 2000 even now. However even at the time I thought it was odd that I felt it necessary to place this descriptive narrative in the book itself. There were lots of similar issues at the time but something (my Daemon?) insisted that this be recorded for posterity.

Why this was so became clear this morning when I read the following (page 173) observations by Royle with regard to the frustrations he encountered when trying to find a dictionary definition for deja vu:

'Both the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) and Chambers (Dictionary) see to it that "deja vu" be defined as 'an illusion' or 'illusory' and both delegate the authority for such a definition to the discipline of psychology and in particular to the psychological concept of paramnesia. Thus in Chambers we read: 'deja vu: a form of memory disorder paramnesia. If we then look in Chambers for a definition of 'paramnesia' we discover with seemingly unremarkable irony: ' a memory disorder in which words are remembered but not in their proper meaning .... the dictionary itself seems subject to some form of paramnesia'

Note the startlingly similarities between my last sentence and that of Royle.

Now could this be evidence of "Future Memory" on my part? That I 'remembered' reading this in 2008 during my last Life re-run was so taken by how Royle illustrates his frustrations with regard to the definitions of deja vu/paramnesia that during my next life (i.e. this one) I wrote it in my own book before I experienced it in this one?

Of course to be "significant" a coincidance has to be self-referential. How self-referential can be that both Royle and myself are writing about Deja Vu ... a phenomenon that implies "Future Memory" or precognition?

Really, really weird!


SM Kovalinsky said...

Tony: That is a fascinating tale, and very telling, and involves a sort of future cryptonesia. These clues abound, it seems, with you, and with those you draw around you. No matter that they can not be explained with exactness: they remain bold and edifying clues. Slightly off topic, but not extremely: I always felt that your dyad was a sort of missing link in biographical literary analysis, and also in cinematic critiques. The other day on my own blog site, I posted about Heath Ledger's last role before his death, as the Joker in Dark Knight, and using your dyad, and making reference to Peake, I wrote an analysis, and linked this role to his life and death. Someone on an American film forum with over 500 members - dedicated to Ledger and Gyllenhall's Brokeback Mountain - emailed me, and then posted the link to my analysis on several sections of their forum, which was something I had thought I might attempt on my own in the future, and had imagined doing so. Now someone has done it for me.

Anthony Peake said...

Susan Marie,
That is really great news with regard to the Brokeback Mountain Blogsite. As our most active USA based itladian you are in a very special position with regard to spreading this message. As you have written many times it is America that in the end will make or break itlad as a world-wide phenomenon.

SM Kovalinsky said...

I am glad you understand this, as I think it is the truth, and I trust that you do know how hard I have tried, and will continue to try, in all areas. My blog, in terms of having connections to Barack Obama's campaign, and to the American blogosphere, and to Provincetown, and American academia, is a pretty good venue, if you ask me. I simply need to keep building it, and it helps me as a writer as well. And as a philosopher, and an Itladian.

Karl Le Marcs said...

Tony: I love these synchrondipities that you find yourself in.

Now, surely Foyle's is on Charing Cross Road! (which runs on from Tottenham Court Road after it intersects with Oxford Street)

Indeed it is opposite Blackwell's (another fine shop for locating the somewhat more obscure books and somesuch) and only a short amble from the now legendary 84 Charing Cross Road second-hand bookshop (the basement of which I have spent many an hour of considerable rummaging)

I am very aware of Freud's Das Unheimlich (not the reverse of the Heimlich), but I've also never heard of The Uncanny (which is delightfully ironic in itself) and the parallels between the descriptions you quoted is, I agree, startling.

Ah, Schopenhauer's Library Angel is working again.

Anthony Peake said...

I lived in London for fifteen years ... what a basic geographical error to make! Of course Foyles is in Charing Cross Road.

It is strange that it is always that area of London thta I gravitate to. I go into some kind of book-lovers trance when I get there and I go from bookshop to bookshop. I agree with you with regard to Blackwell's as well.

I must venture into some of the second-hand shops as well but I worry that my finances may become even more depleted if I did!

Karl Le Marcs said...

Tony: A co-bibliophile tip!

Get yourself to the Book Market-Fayre underneath Waterloo Bridge on a Sunday Morning on the South Bank (near the National Theatre)

For any lovers of Books and Culture there is surely no more romantic a place to browse and soak in the atmosphere and the sheer beauty.

*sighs and straightens crushed purple cravat*

Aloha Gary said...

Thank you Karl, *doffs hat* I had assumed that Foyle's had either moved or opened another branch!

And leaving Foyle's and turning right down Charing Cross Road and crossing over the road you pass the (help again Karl) ......Theatre, and turn left into Diagon Alley, oops, I mean Cecil Court, where you will find...

a dark den of esoteric ecstasy and very much a place where one's finances become depleted as you struggle out under the weight of many unique and fascinating authors and even topics, salivating at the prospect of finding a roaring fire in a suitable ale-house to devour your valuable horde!

Such is the wicked mystery of Watkin's Books who I would assume are sure-fire stockists of all things ITLADian?


Karl Le Marcs said...

Aloha Gary: You're welcome Gary!

Ah! Watkins Books, indeed. And if you amble a bit further towards Bloomsbury and turn left into Museum Street you will pass the now sadly missed Atlantis Occult Bookshop often frequented by the now legendary Aleister Crowley (for not always un-nefarious purposes), and around where there still exists a small door to those who know of these things, the secret knocking on which would open up your minds to even greater realities than we chat about here.


Good to have you back Gary.