P1. There are statistics published each year on mortality rates and in recent years, the most likely way for people to die in the USA, seems to have been from medical conditions such as heart disease (1 in 5 people), cancer (1 in 7 people) or stroke (1 in 23 people).
Here are some examples of more unusual ways to go, such as a motor vehicle accident (1 in 100 people), assault by firearm (1 in 300 people), or maybe, an air crash (1 in 20,000 people).
Beyond that we get into very unlikely territory, such as lightning strike (1 in 80,000 people), earthquake (1 in 130,000 people) and rather strangely asteroid impact at about 1 in 200,000 people.
There are no records for deaths during lucid dreaming as far as I can ascertain. I imagine the numbers are rather similar levels of occurrence as other bizarre deaths in history such as:
- In 455 BCE: Aeschylus, the Athenian playwright, was killed by a tortoise probably dropped by an eagle that probably mistook his bald head for a rock that it could use to break open the shell of the tortoise. (Something I should perhaps be wary too since I am also follicly challenged)
- In 206 BCE: Chrysippus, the Greek philosopher, is said to have died of laughter when a donkey ate his figs. (Strange sense of humor?)
- In 1567 CE: Hans Steininger, living in what is now Austria, had a rather long beard, and one day, when he had to dash out of his house because of an emergency, he tripped over his beard and broke his neck. (Which goes to show that trimming your beard is really a safety measure)
However you look at it, death is generally a surprise. But remember, that in the dream world, you are in control and although things may seem super-real at times, it’s still only a dream. Personally, I have never felt I was ever in any kind of serious danger in my own dreams. Then again, maybe, I have just never gone that deep!
So What Do these Statistics Really Tell Us?
In answer to the question, “Is lucid dreaming dangerous?”, I say we can never really know. I am not aware of any clear information to answer the question with total confidence.
In my imagination, as in the film Waking life, if anyone did die in their dreams, we wouldn’t actually know about it because only they could come back to tell us and when they are dead it’s too late.
Oh, but wait, there was a case of a man in Brazil in 2013 that died when a cow fell through his roof and killed him when it landed on him. But we don’t know whether he was dreaming at the time. However, the cow lived, as did his wife who was asleep in the same bed, next to him.
I think we should not worry too much about mortality rates or even whether lucid dreaming is dangerous or not, and just have some fun dreaming instead. However, you may first want to check out a little more on the dangers of lucid dreaming.
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