Dying in your dream can be a terrifying experience. It is normal to fear death. In our society, death is seldom talked about. People delay making wills or living trusts because they don’t want to die. This natural fear often becomes a chief aspect of your dreams. You may dream that someone you loved dies because you are afraid that it could happen in real life. At a very basic level, dying in your dreams could indicate that you are afraid of what could happen in real life to you.
The meaning can be different for this type of dream depending on the circumstance. If you are euphoric or happy as you die, it may show that you have come to terms with your own mortality. If so, this is a very healthy mental state to be in.
In many cases, you will be terrified as you die in the dream. This could mean that you are not ready to confront your own mortality yet and you still fear death.
Death as a Transformation
In many dreams, death is a sign of a great change or transformation. In the real world, it is the ultimate transformation as your spirit moves on. While it may be a terrifying dream to experience, it is often a sign of something good. You may have a promotion coming up at work or a major test at school. You realize that these things could transform your life, so your subconscious mind used your death to symbolize this transformation. When it occurs because of a change in your life, a dream of dying is nothing to be feared, although it can be scary to experience.
Human beings have tried to interpret dreams for as long as we have recorded history—and most likely, much, much longer than that. More recently, psychologists have started to look at the way that dreams can show what is going on in the subconscious mind. The noted psychologist Sigmund Freud believed that dreams were a road map of the unconscious. It showed the deepest workings of the mind, and he thought it could reveal things that you would never reveal in normal life. To Freud, dreams were the reflection of our darkest secrets, desires and fears.
Freud had many, many detractors during his lifetime and afterward. Many believed that his dream theories were useless or made up. More recently, other psychologists and scientists have developed the activation-synthesis theory of dreams. In this theory, your brain is making a pattern of activity as random electrical impulses. When these impulses send an image or thought into your mind, your mind then struggles to make a meaning from them. The stories that occur inn your dreams are just because your mind is trying to make sense of the random images that flash through your mind.
While this theory is not particularly exciting and reduces humanity to basic biological impulses, there is something that can be gleaned from it. The electrical impulses have a random effect, but there are still some that occur more often than others. By spotting reoccurring patterns in your dreams, you may be able to pick up on the thoughts, people and situation that your subconscious tends to dwell on the most.
Are You Going to Die?
The short answer is yes, but probably not now. If you dreamed that you are dying, you are probably not going to die in the near future. You do have to die some day though, so there is always a possibility that you are one of the unlucky few who dies soon after one of these dreams. I wouldn’t worry about it though because these dreams rarely show that you are going to die.
If we use the Freudian interpretation, then the death dreams just show what is going on in your subconscious mind. Your subconscious is just trying to work out the feelings and thoughts that you have in normal life and make sense of them.
Your dream could be a sign of a transformation or change in your life. It could mean that you are afraid of dying. It could also be your subconscious trying to wake you up to the life you have. Think of it as a “carpe diem” of sorts. While death is inevitable, it also serves as a valuable tool. If you could just live forever, you may never be inspired to ever really do anything. You would have all the time in the world. Death is what drives humans to create a legacy and live life to the fullest.
Your dreams could be trying to tell you to wake up and pay attention to the world around you. Too often, we focus on work or the things we have to do. We ignore our inner selves and the life that takes place all around us. When it comes time to die, you will not regret spending time with your loved ones or taking an amazing hiking trip. You will regret wasting hours of your life at a second job to make money for a car that you will just sell someday. Your dreams may be trying to wake you up to the fact that you need to live life more fully and enjoy every moment of it. To do this, your subconscious chose to use one of the most traumatic tools imaginable by making you dream of your own death.
The Tibetan Book of the Dead
In Tibetan Buddhism, monks often meditate on death. There is an entire type of meditation known as dream yoga. In this type of atmosphere, the monks meditate on their deaths to accept it and to reach a higher level of enlightenment. Dream yoga is a way to develop lucid dreaming, to come to terms with death and to prepare for your next reincarnation.
In Tibetan Buddhism, the moment of death is extremely powerful. When you enter the bardo state, you have a heightened level of potential for achieving a better life in your next incarnation. They believe that you can prepare yourself for this state by preparing for death now. There are even types of meditation like cave meditation where you encounter visions. Physically, the visions occur because your body actually produces DMT when you are away from light for eight or more days. For the Tibetan monks, the visions that arrive are the same ones that you would encounter at death. By dealing with these visions now and learning not to grasp them or feel aversion, you are better able to handle the bardo states of death.