Can we experience death in a dream?

Profile photo of Almeida Almeida (@xetado) 3 years, 11 months ago

Just saw this quote on the web: “You wake up when you die in a dream because you don’t know what happens next.”
And I thought to myself “as one can’t experience death (you can’t be conscious of being unconscious), what happens if I die in a imaginary world?”
I’d like to know what HEthens think about that.

December 25, 2013 at 2:39 pm
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Bianca A (101) (@biancavila) 3 years, 11 months ago ago

How can one die in any type of “world” if they don’t know what death is? The idea that one is dying or dead can exist, but the actual act cannot happen because they do not yet have any experience of it. How is one able to classify an act as dying if they have no idea what the act, for them, is like? You could only guess that what is happening in an imaginary world is dying, but is that what it really is, even?

Hmmmmm. Is death is the only event that happens where one is not able to communicate to others how it is or what it is?

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Almeida (304) (@xetado) 3 years, 11 months ago ago

@biancavila, The dream “world” is based on the real world, however its aspects are prone to be distorted. Also, if there isn’t any kind of consciousness after death, I think we can still experioence death in a dream through a “false” idea of death itself, created by what we ‘think’ it really is. That being said, maybe dying in a dream is a subjective event that won’t ever reach what death itself is?

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i4c1m2b (70) (@i4CiM2B) 3 years, 11 months ago ago

For the most part, dreams are metaphorical or symbolic interpretations of events occurring in our lives during the hours that we are awake. Think about all the other dreams you’ve had and the kind of things that happen or objects you interact with. Look for the possible symbolic meaning that the event or object might have, unique to you. In dreams the the death experience is often symbolic of a new beginning of some sort. The word death or dead or dying is often used in when speaking of something that has nothing to do with the end of life. You may have heard expressions like: “this relationship is dead”, “I’m in a dead end job”, “I have no life”, “I’m dead if I don’t get this finished by tomorrow” , “she’ll kill me if I don’t show up “. “I’d rather be dead than to have to ever …”, I’ll kill myself before giving in to…”, “you’re dead to me now”, “Without funding, this project is dead”. “I’ve changed, the old me is dead”, ” I’ve been reborn”, “I have a “new life” now”. Do you interpret everything that happens in a dream in the literal sense. Just because you experience flying in dreams doesn’t mean you’ll be sprouting wings anytime soon. Flying in dreams is often symbolic of feeling successful, having overcome great difficulties “my career has finally taken off” I’m soaring to new heights” etc. Realize that you are the writer, director, producer and play the lead role in each of your dreams. You weave your own dreams for your own reasons. They serve to help you to learn something, resolve something, support an idea or decision, give you confirmation. Dreams are a part of your inner guidance system, try to interpret them from that perspective and see what you come up with,

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Star Gates (0) (@Star2016) 1 year, 1 month ago ago

The mystics tell us that we (as an entity – soul linked with mind) have experienced death countless time!! We have to make an effort to remember this process, (under proper guidance). They even teach a method of “dying while living”.

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Alex (63) (@alexsabus) 3 years, 11 months ago ago

Tibetan Buddhism says the experience of death is like a dream. Only a thousand times more confusing and out of control.

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Almeida (304) (@xetado) 3 years, 11 months ago ago

@alexsabus, Could you explain it better? Which kind of dream they think it is?

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Mike (42) (@DLLRE) 3 years, 11 months ago ago

I believe I experienced death in a dream. I was shot in the head making a pacifist move in a military school. It was intense. There was loudness, then ringing, then nothing. Just black. And then colors. A yellow-orange like you’d find in a sunset making sweeping strokes. I neither felt nor thought. Only sensed. It didn’t last very long, maybe a few seconds (if it was seconds). I had no clue what was going on, and I woke up as soon as I had thought that.

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Almeida (304) (@xetado) 3 years, 11 months ago ago

@dllre, Did you sense anything at all? Like tension or relief?

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Mike (42) (@DLLRE) 3 years, 11 months ago ago

I’d have to say that I felt more relief than tension. But it was short-lived.

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MonkeyZazu (1,866)M (@monkeyzazu) 3 years, 11 months ago ago

I’ve had a couple dreams where I have died before, but I always wake back up inside the dream. The most recent one I had was when I was in a samurai fight :D I lost and he chopped off my arms, then my head. No pain was felt. Every time I died though, I would just come back to life, as though it was a video game or something. When he chopped off my head, that was like the 4th time we fought. Every time I died, everything just went black.

The time before that was when I was lucid dreaming. I was flying in the sky over a city and wanted to land, so I started to go to the ground. I was coming in way too fast though and completely collided with the pavement. The weird thing was I didn’t feel any pain what so ever. The only thing I felt was the pressure of the impact.

The dream I’ll always remember is when I got shot at point-blank in the head during a robbery. It was so weird. When I got shot, everything went black. I woke up, inside the dream, in the same place I had gotten shot at. Everything was dark. I thought to myself “am I dead?”. The only thing that wasn’t black/dark was the window. When you looked out the window, the trees were this really vibrant green hue, and had golden rays of sun shinning on them. It was really beautiful. Somehow I came back to life in that dream too. I was able to take a different course of action. Instead of staying in line and getting shot again, I just left the place.

So from what I’ve experienced, everything goes black and I just respawn in another or the same dream. When I was little though, I would always wake up from the dream when ever I was falling to death.

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@dansation (0) (@Danny-Romero) 1 year, 2 months ago ago

I experience death in a dream often. I never wake up and instead just lay there for bit still conscious, Then I heal and get up and continue in the dream/story that’s taking place. I.E. I was with some friends in a truck and were driving up to a store to park and some thugs were hanging in the lot and the store owner warned us that they were charging “tolls” and then a friend said he wasn’t having that and pulled a gun to scare them off away. then they came back with guns and riddled us with bullets point blank. My mind created the imitated feeling and I fell to ground, then I layed there mad, dead, thinking to myself “this is some BS”, waited for them to leave and then I stood up with wounds healed and scarred. I was livid about what happened and called friends so we can find them. I went to shower, etc, got in the truck and then the dream just transcended into a different scene/story. 

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Animator (79) (@dadachicken) 3 years, 11 months ago ago

Well, dreaming is linked to death, it known that dreaming is actually the “cousin” of death. I like to put it as the “son” or the “offspring”.

If you do some research, you’ll learn that when you dream, the chemical that is being released into you’re brain is DMT, which is a chemical that exists in all living things. It creates hallucinations and experiences that one is unable to really control because they dwell in your subconscious. DMT also happens to be the chemical that is released into your brain when you are born and when you die.
The way I see it, when we go to sleep and dream we are “dieing”, and when we wake up after dreaming we are being “reborn”. I mean, the Sun and the Moon both die and are reborn everyday too, are they not? It explains the significance of dreaming and connecting it with the Moon’s patterns.

If one is to die while experiencing death, then maybe when you die while dieing, we are being born? It is the way I see it at least. I’ve had a dream when I died in the dream as well, except all that happened was silence. Pitch black and deafening silence. I feel as if this experience is rebirth and death being crossed over, or it is the unknowing subconscious’ illusion of death? Who knows.

Some questions are better left unanswered, that way they build up our prism of life.

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Tom (188) (@scott3600) 3 years, 11 months ago ago

You experience what death would be like when you are sleeping and don’t have a dream. You know that blackness and the total loss of thought, well that is exactly what death is like. Nothing at all happens but we don’t know nothing is happening as we are gone. We have all experienced what death is like before we were even born, we have all experienced nothingness.

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Anonymous (16) (@) 3 years, 11 months ago ago

Whenever I’ve been about to die in a dream, as far as I can recall, I’ve always woken up the instant it was going to happen. In that context, to me, it sort of suggests that life and death or sort of circular–dying in my dream waking up to be “reborn.” Sort of like the transition of seasons ‘n’ such.

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josephm (772) (@josephm) 3 years, 11 months ago ago

it think it depends on how the conscious mind reads subconscious forms of storing hallucinations

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josephm (772) (@josephm) 3 years, 11 months ago ago

i

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Zach (5) (@zach840) 3 years, 11 months ago ago

Well I had a dream once were I had 5 weeks to live and i spent those weeks going to Alaska but just outside the border I sat on a bench, cried and then died shortly before waking up. When I did wake up, i had never been so relaxed. That was the closest thing to inner peace i’ve ever experienced.

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Undeviginti (2) (@AnteCebum) 3 years, 11 months ago ago

I guess during REM sleep, if you die in a dream you’ll just continue unconsciously dreaming just like any other dreams. I guess what happens next when you die in your dream will still depends on your brain (maybe also dependent on your own current thoughts, feelings, behavior, and motives as a person during or before you sleep). I also have friends dreamed that they died in their dream but fortunately they lived and told me their tale of dying in their dreams ( :] ). What happened after they died varied, FRIEND1 said that she woke up just after a few moments when she died in her dream (She’s emotional when she told me about it actually through the phone XD). FRIEND2 said after he died in his dream he remains conscious about his surrounding (although he said that he can no longer move his body…maybe like a soul remaining in his dead physical body) and watched the people around him, brought him in the hospital, watched the people do the funeral practices. etc. (he said it’s quite blurry; places and situations skip fast; and when he is telling me about the story he said he can no longer remember everything.)…

But if it is “Sudden Unexpected Death Syndrome”, I guess the probability of fatality in the real world is high primarily due to causes like Acute pancreatitis and/or Brugada Syndrome… In the Philippines it is called “Bangungot”, in a “Bangungot” you’ll dreaming but your conscious that you are dreaming. You’ll dream as if you are awake, you are lying in a position just like the position before you sleep. Your eyes are close, you can see nothing but darkness. You can hear sounds around you but somewhat muffled. You can feel your whole body. You’ll experience difficulty in breathing. You’ll notice that you cannot move any muscles in your body (i mean you cannot move any body part) except muscles for breathing… when panic and fear arise heart beat increases and the heart becomes painful, difficulty of breathing becomes more intense…you wan’t to shout but no sound will come out from you voicebox… feeling of hopelessness…so creepy…

For Lucid dreaming, I guess when you die in a conscious dream that will be amazing.. maybe you’ll be able feel being a spirit or to meet the creator or maybe you’ll be able to directly talk to you own self or your subconsciousness..or to experience reincarnation and to experience rebirth ( or maybe reborn as another organism or maybe reborn in another planet! That will be greeeeeaaaaat!) or to become a ghost and scare the people around you (that’ll be very very nice XD) …but also maybe there will be a state of being nil or having the experience of the void… that there will be the realization that death is the end of all, the end of you, the end of every living thing, that we are just a collection of atoms without any spirituality… (But still, what’s amazing is that you’re conscious while dreaming :] )

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CRG (5) (@ganeshcr) 3 years, 4 months ago ago

I have experienced ‘observing’ being dead in a dream once and it is just a mishmash of emotions, denial and confusion. It was inconclusive and had no meaning. There were a few identifiable vibes throughout and if you can hold onto one of them, you may find coherence.

It is quite difficult to grasp since the dream state itself is not an elaborate or detailed construct, therefore you have to rely entirely on your emotions at that moment.

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Almeida (304) (@xetado) 3 years, 4 months ago ago

So, the experience of dying in a dream is quite an irrational one, right? In the sense that you feel a lot of emotions and confusion, without any meaning.

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CRG (5) (@ganeshcr) 3 years, 4 months ago ago

Yes, it is quite irrational but like I said, there will be a few identifiable vibes throughout i.e. the connecting factors to the dream wherein the transition occurs from one part of it to another. The fast transition is what creates the confusion.

If someone learns lucid dreaming, they might be able to make sense of it but what I have observed is that people tend to go towards positive motivations in them, which is justified, since dreaming is an activity related to the subconscious and any negative imprinting might be counterproductive.

I am sorry for the lengthy answer, but yes, it is quite irrational especially if you don’t know lucid dreaming or don’t have symbolic triggers.

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JonH (1,137)C (@IJesusChrist) 3 years, 4 months ago ago

Short answer: No.
Long Answer: Yeah, I have – I’ve died multiple times in dreams. I’ve gone to heaven, talked to god, went to “nothingness”, became a spirit, etc. I’ve died around 5 or 6 times in dreams. PRobably 2 of them it just goes black and game over. The other ones were more imaginative.

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Alexandraya (0) (@Alexandraya) 2 years, 5 months ago ago

Past month I’ve been having this reoccurring dream where a tornado comes and I try to hang on to the house or a tree so I don’t get pulled away. Last week In my dream I got pulled out and wasnt able to hold on and I was sucked into the tornado and while I was going round and round in the tornado I got I impaled by a tree branch or a pole and I actually died in the dream. Now I’ve had dreams where I almost die and I wake up in a cold sweat but this one I actually died and hen I died I remember the pain as I suffered and slowly faded away and then I remember black nothingness.. Just black space. So yes I believe you can actually die in dreams

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Almeida (304) (@xetado) 2 years, 3 months ago ago

That’s a nice experience! I think that the whole scenario created by our minds in this moment points out a significant representation of what we believe is going to really happen. I’d go even further: it’s maybe our feelings on the day we’re dreaming the ones who are behind the whole thing. The day I created this thread I felt like dying, not in a dramatic, depressive way, just ceasing to exist, out of boredom… and my death was just like that in the dream.

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Charlie (10) (@charlie7400) 2 years, 5 months ago ago

I have so many times before; i’ve ieven dreamnt of being in heaven and even hell. your dreams can feel so much more real than your own reality

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Bryan (104) (@Substratum) 2 years, 5 months ago ago

I once had an experience which I assume was a dream since I was in bed sleeping…but there was no story. It was more like a sleep paralysis moment where I was conscious of being in bed and suddenly felt myself “slipping” away and somehow “knew” that I was “slipping” away from life…that I was dying. When I woke up later I remembered the dream and it seemed to me that I knew exactly what it’s like to die. The analogy that came to mind was to a lightbulb losing power. First it’s on, then the electricity flow is cut off, and it goes out. That was all I experienced was the fading of my awareness and then nothing.

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Anonymous (4) (@curiousdude) 2 years, 5 months ago ago

Good analogy. What happened after that? Do you see your fellow beings differently?

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Bryan (104) (@Substratum) 2 years, 5 months ago ago

After my dream about dying I didn’t view other people differently…I did however feel more relaxed about the idea of death. It left me with an awareness of death as having no meaning other than what it clearly is…the end point of my experiencing life. Death isn’t a thing in itself…it is actually a part of life…it’s the last experience we have of living…so it is just as true as any other interpretation to say that death is what makes life complete or whole

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Anonymous (4) (@curiousdude) 2 years, 5 months ago ago

@Almeida –Good Post! It made me thinking. 

Your death in the dream is dangerous. Brain of ours is beyond to many people’s understanding. Does it have its self-destruct trigger?

Your body will be in shock and cannot move any of limbs, but your eyes panicky looked at anything to rationalize its existence after experiencing horrible dream. Experienced a death in dream can wake you up? In my theory, it depends on how did you get killed in the dream. You, unconsciously, enjoying the dream, walking by the cliff, and fell into the ground. Right before the slam, at the brink of death, and you wake up with heavy dosage of consciousness. Your body can be paralyzed.

Now…
This one is my five cent on it. Lucid dreaming is pretty amazing concept. If you are conscious of yourself being in dream, yet got killed by uncontrollable thought inside of your dream. You might died in this realm as well. Your mind will be very confused and lost the control of the dream. If you actually went past the “slam” and your brain might will believes its death and simply shut down everything. Humanity will write you off with heart attack, or any overlapped organ failure. None of one know its true possibility, but it is just a guess from me. 

To clarify with my definition with death.“Death” is a grim reaper that removes you from human experience as this universe. Your consciousness vanishes and left the body to feed ecosystem.

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