Barry, an 88-year-old patient in a hospice in upstate New York, had an extremely vivid dream one night in which he was driving somewhere unknown. While dreaming, he heard the voice of his deceased mother saying to him: ‘‘It’s all right. You’re a good boy. I love you’.’
Experiences like Barry’s are extremely common, according to a new study in which he participated. In the last days of life, many people report having extraordinary visions and dreams that they say help them become less afraid of death. The research, which was recently published in the Journal of Palliative Medicine, finds that end-of-life dreams and visions are a natural part of dying, and that they tend to be “comforting, realistic, and often very meaningful”.
Scientists have tended to dismiss these experiences as a result of delirium or mental confusion, although the patients in the new study were lucid and did not exhibit any signs of delirium.
Eighty-eight percent of participants had experienced at least one dream or vision in the days, weeks or months leading up to their death. And despite the fact that nearly half of the dreams or visions occurred during sleep, the overwhelming majority of patients said that they felt real. (1)
Science tends to refute any allegations for anything spiritual. We are so convinced that we are just meat and bones that anything against that belief is automatically rendered as “delirium”, “illusion” or “madness”.
But what is real is what is in our mind.
We are conscious beings able to grasp the essence of the cosmos.
We feel it.
We think about it.
All we have to do is die. And accept it.