The Deja Vu Experiment
Short and sweet, The Déjà vu Experiment is an interesting exercise into how the human mind works. I call it an exercise, because rather than acting as a voice of pure spiritual guidance, the author provides the groundwork for a new perspective on how to experience the déjà vu gap, as it’s referred to, through the narration of John Galt. In The Déjà vu Experiment Galt returns post-Atlas Shrugged with a transformed mentality of how the world works and what he was fighting for in a reexamination of the time old question “Who is John Galt?” But understanding the text and enjoying the story is not contingent on having read Atlas Shrugged, so this book can be for anyone, whether or not readers are familiar with John Galt.
I think readers’ opinions will be polarized; they will either really enjoy the style in which this book is written, or they will be disappointed by what expectations were set at the start. It was very different than what I thought it would be, though I ultimately found it really enjoyable. The Déjà vu Experiment is a gentle clash of fiction and inspirational self-help. The point of view is from that of a fictional character, but it alternates between fictional narrative and non-fiction advice in the way that it reads. This book does not tell us how we should view reality, but suggests an alternative way of thinking about our universe were we not to ignore those pockets of discrepancy, also known as déjà vu. Galt also narrates us through Einstein and Newton’s theories in physics, string theory, and superstring theory, the religious constructs of Heaven and Nirvana, as well as the concept of free will and the body versus the soul. What I enjoyed about this book was that it planted the seeds that made me want to research and learn further. I found myself revisiting passages often and doing more of my own reading about the variety of topics covered.
I found a couple points where the text was hard to follow; because to understand Galt’s transformation as a thinker is to understand John Galt as he was in Atlas Shrugged, which I did not. I also think that to understand the differentiation between the ubiquitous “little” déjà vu and the “big” déjà vu is to have experienced a “big” déjà vu moment the same way Galt did in this book, which I feel like I have yet to do. Even so, the conclusions drawn in this book are interesting. It postulates that the reality we know and live is a veil, perpetuated by our imagination and explains how the déjà vu experience fits into the understanding of our universe the way contemporary physicists see it.
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