the art of vuja de

23 vuja de

Vuja de, as the opposite of deja vu, is “the strange feeling that, somehow, none of this has happened before.”*

Comedian George Carlin developed his comedy around observing the ordinary in a new way.  IDEO‘s Tom Kelley offers, vuja de is being able to “see what’s always been there but gone unnoticed.”**  Future-people see and understand what exists now in ways others don’t.

At the age of sixty seven, Thomas Edison saw things differently.  He was watching all his work go up in flames, as a fire destroyed his buildings.  He sent his son to bring his wife and her friends, to watch the green and yellow flames, saying, “They’ll never see a fire like this again.”^  But Edison saw something else others failed to see – it wasn’t him and his passion being burnt to a crisp – and within weeks his business was up and running again.

In another example, the Dalai Lama counsels, “Learn and obey the rules very well, so you will know how to break them properly.”^^

The art of vuja de is the ability to live in the same world as everyone else yet see it in a different way.  This outlook is so different, it’s often seen as futuristic, opening up the second half of life I’ve been thinking about recently, so:

‘How can I honour the legitimate needs of the first half of life, while creating space, vision, time, and grace for the second?’*^

We all can learn the art of vuja de, though it is not easy.

We will have to be more observant than we are.  In our downloading and rushing existence, we are more conscious of the “bottom lines” of life.

So we slow down, step back, and forget what we know, so we might what we cannot see and we do not know, and make the invisible, visible.

(George Carlin, quoted in Warren Berger’s A More Beautiful Question.)
(Quoted in Warren Berger’s A More Beautiful Question.)
(^From Ryan Holiday’s The Obstacle is the Way.)
(^^Quoted in Richard Rohr’s Falling Upward.)

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