What do people dream about before death?
For many centuries scientists, parapsychologists and esotericists from all over the world have been trying to lift the veil of secrecy and find out what happens to a person at the very moment when life ends and death occurs. Often there are attempts to find omens of imminent death in a person's dreams, perceiving them as transitional state from life to death. So is there a connection between dreams and death? Is it worth being afraid of what is written in the dream book? And is it possible to understand from what one saw in a dream that the last day is near?
What do dreambooks say about dreams predicting death?
People often first of all turn to the dream book after disturbing and scary dreams. Not that everyone believes in what is written, as well as in the ability to interpret dreams in general, but it helps satisfy one’s curiosity or calm oneself.
First of all, the most obvious misconception is that death in a dream portends death in reality. Even in dream books, one's own death in a dream is not seen as an omen of imminent death in real life.
For example, according to Miller's dream book, one's own death in a dream means doubts and hesitations in real life, admission of one's own guilt, fear of an accomplished action or event. According to Freud's dream book, one's own death personifies the fear of losing independence. Vanga believed that a dream of death is a sign of a long and happy life next to a loved one. A similar interpretation was given by Nostradamus and the medium Miss Hasse. Thus, according to the dream books, one's own death in a dream, in no way can be considered an omen of death in real life.
The approaching death is predicted by completely different dreams. For example, a fallen tooth with blood will mark the death of a blood relative. The same meaning has a dream about the arrival of the deceased, whom the person agreed to follow in a dream. Symbols that may be foreshadowing death also include: a heavenly body falling from the sky, crossing over a river in a boat, muddy and musty water, digging a hole, a croaking crow, otherworldly forces, falling into a well or other kind of depth.
But if we turn to more serious arguments, is there any evidence that dreams are in any way connected with death, capable of foretelling it, or just reflect the experiences of real life?
Psychology became interested in the study of the dreams of dying people back in the 19th century. For example, in her book On Dreams and Death the philosopher and psychologist Marie Louise von Franz told how she observed the dreams of terminally ill people, in many of them death appeared as a passage through a tunnel, a dark spot or cloud that expands and threatens the dreamer.
For example, a young woman who suffered from an incurable disease and died on the surgery table, shortly before her death, described her dream as follows: “I am at the edge of the lake with my husband and friends. The lake is very deep, the water is clear, transparent blue. Suddenly, at the depth of the lake, I see a black bird. The bird is dead. I have great sympathy for her, and I want to dive in, find and save her. The thought that it is dead is unbearable to me. My husband intervenes carefully but persistently and asks me not to do this, because, according to him, this is how it should be. I look deep into the lake again and see the eyes of a bird, which appear as brilliant diamonds. After that I wake up. "
In this case Von Franz calls the bird a symbol of the spirit of life depleted in the body. In other dreams, there were images of a black spot, a dark box. According to her observations, beautiful and colorful images are rarely seen in dreams before death.
Another common image is travel. “I packed two suitcases. One of them held my work clothes, and the other held my jewelry, diaries and photographs. The first was for the mainland, and the second one was for America,” one of the patients told about her dream shortly before her death.
Carl Jung, who also studied the dreams of terminally ill people, concluded that shortly before death, people begin to see in their dreams events from the early years of life. In addition, patients often heard beautiful music in their dreams, saw humanoid creatures, motionless figures of people with Mongolian features, as well as wide landscapes and rocks from which voices descend.
But unlike Von Franz, Jung concludes that the closer death is, the more beautiful dreams look. And negative images are seen in dreams when the human body began to get sick. “The closer death is, the more beautiful the dreams become, it seems that some new life begins with these magnificent images: to achieve this life, the human body must perish,” he writes.
The well-known neuropathologist Mikhail Astvatsaturov, while observing dreams, concluded that nightmares before death are most often seen by people suffering from heart diseases, they usually begin in the latency period. The fear of death appears in the dream. Today, it is even generally accepted that in the absence of visible symptoms, frequent nightmares are a reason to see a doctor and have your heart checked.
What is the connection between dreams and death?
Studies show that dreams are secondary in the vast majority of cases. “Dreams are a metaphorical analysis of the most striking events experienced by a person in recent years, and have fallen on the subconscious level of perception. Actually, all the changes take place at a subconscious level, which then manifest themselves in consciousness. For example, a doctor, a person whose words, by definition, immediately get into the patient's subconscious, declares that the situation is difficult and the prognosis is unfavorable. Unfortunately, today, incorrect wording of doctors is common. The patient instantly has a fear of imminent death. ” psychologist and hypnotherapist Vasily Danilov said.
At the same time it turns out in practice that if a person perceives a dream as an omen, then the subconscious mind will begin to work actively to fulfill this very dream. “At this moment the second stage starts. When a dream is taken as an omen. And the subconscious begins to work hard to fulfill it. The process loops, bringing the coming death. Often out of the blue. A similar case was described, for example, by doctor Pavel Buhl in the book The Theory of Medical Hypnosis, - says Danilov.
According to the psychologist, even if such a dream was seen, you need to perceive it not as inevitability, but as an attempt of the subconscious to help.
There is no direct connection between dreams and death, says the somnologist Maxim Mironov. But dreams are able to inform people both about the experience they have had and about future events, connected with this experience. “If we combine these two facts, we get the following picture: a seriously ill person is in a certain state day after day, hour after hour, realizing the inevitability of what is happening. Plunging into sleep, being in its rapid phase, he sees dreams based on information processed by the brain. And, of course, in his situation, his dreams will not be bright, but heavy, predicting a coming passing,” he said.
Dreams foreshadowing death can be seen by people even when a person simply realized the existence of death or was afraid of it.
From the point of view of psychology, and Freud was the first to analyze dreams, if a person was sick or thought about death, then, for sure, he would dream about something. Freud wrote that at such moments there are scenes of parting, moving and some types of transport. But when a person does not know about death, he does not dream of anything. At the same time, Freud said that in any human cell there is information about the entire history of mankind. He described a case when a small child had an idea of being, the structure of a person and ashes in his mind.
Thus, dreams symbolizing death can be seen by a person when he realized that death exists, was afraid of some fact of death. Jung said that dreams are symbols, and symbolism is very individual, therefore, in the minds of each person, death can be perceived by a different spectrum of symbols. At the same time, it was Jung who described the theories of archtypes and methods of archetypical defenses, which, when consciousness collides with frightening images, seek protective symbols. Thus, death in a dream can be personified by the image of an angel, a conversation with God, and going to heaven.