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Dear Dr. Matt,
When I researched the reoccurring theme of spiders in dreams, I found that spiders symbolize my feeling "trapped in a web of deceit or entangled by emotions and fears from which I cannot escape." This actually seems scarily true. However, this web is not one that can be unwoven or solved by any means. How can I rid myself of the spider dreams without solving the problem causing them?
Thank you for your time,
Some sources on the topic of "dream interpretation" are not credible; they often smack of horoscopes and tarot card readings. They are not scientific; instead, they are mystical -- like a fortune telling.
Sigmund Freud wrote much about Dream Interpretation. As you probably know, Freud was an atheist who assumed that human life began from a big-bang explosion, and then eventually evolved from simpler life-forms. But here's the glaring problem with the big-bang assumption: What "caused" the Big Bang in the first place? Did "something" CAUSE the explosion, or did "nothing" cause the explosion?
Can NOTHING really cause SOMETHING? And if "something" CAUSED the Big Bang, . . . then how did that "something" come to exist in the first place? Here's how the beginning of the universe, and living beings within it, is explained via Big Bang theory:
Who believes this theory? Stephen Hawking! And I intentionally use the word "believes" because the pre-existence of "Quantum Fluctuations" is not NOTHING, it is SOMETHING. So how did Quantum Fluctuations come to exist in the first place? Stephen Hawking has the "faith" to "believe" that somehow Quantum Fluctuations existed when there was NOTHING, and created the universe and every living thing in it.
In his explanation of the Origin of the Universe, after he reviews the belief of the Boshongo people of Africa, and how the god Bumba vomited up the universe, and man too, Stephen Hawking points to Quantum Fluctuations as the "god" who created his universe:
Quantum Fluctuations -- the changes in amounts of energy at a point in space -- is SOMETHING and not NOTHING. So how did the Quantum Fluctuations of Energy come into existence?
And here's another assumptions that further strains the bounds of big-bang logic: Our ancestors were allegedly first Fish before they were Monkeys. The Big Bang theory assumes that life evolved from the water, before land creatures appeared; this means that our human ancestors were supposedly sea creatures. Our ancestors were allegedly fish, long before they became monkeys.
But what does this have to do with the interpretation of "spider" dreams?
Here's a key concept to remember: The Psychology that flows from assumptions of Big Bang and Evolution is far different from the Psychology that comes from the Truth that human life was created by a Creator. So by assuming a creationist beginning point: this means that human beings are not evolutionary machines trapped in a Cause & Effect world. And it means that mortals were created to Be Innovative Choosers and Meaning-Makers.
In terms of dream interpretations, there is NO REASON why symbolic dreams should have a universal meaning common to all humanity; thus there is no reason why spider dreams should universally mean that a person feels trapped by a spider web. Because each human being is uniquely individual, thoughts or dreams of "spiders" have a meaning that is personal to you. So your Spider Dreams are understood within the context of your world experience.
I've never had a dream about spiders, but for 2 years I was haunted by the reoccurring image of a large spider every night before I went to bed. How did this reoccurring thoughts start in the first place?
During my college days, while returning home from school, I walked along a path near were I lived and there in the middle of the path, to my surprise, was a huge spider, a tarantula. The memory of seeing that spider so close to home haunted me every night for two years.
Today, I understand that tarantulas are harmless; some people even keep them as pets. I personally don't like the look of them. On the other hand, black widows are poisonous, but the thought of them does not bother me a bit. So because of my unique life experience, I make meaning about spiders in a way that's a little illogical — I fear the harmless spider, and do not fear the dangerous spider. Of course, "size" of the spider may have something to do with how I've come to my personal interpretation.
But if "size" alone causes people to fear more, then we should all fear horses more than dogs, and that's clearly not the case! In the end, I make meaning about spiders, and every other facet of life, according to my unique life experience, and so do you.
To understand the most fundamental meaning of your spider dream, we can apply a teaching from the Bible; here's what the Apostle Paul wrote:
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but ...
What is the "meaning" of your spider dream? Simply put, it means our mortal world includes interaction with an Unseen Enemy wanting to bring you Down, as well as Invisible Angels wanting to lift you Up. It means that the Powers of Darkness are trying to divert your time and attention away from the most important question you might ask.
So here's the best question that you should give your time and attention to:
How can I love God and my love my Neighbors
It pleases our Father in Heaven when we give our whole self to this question; Jesus taught that we should love God and Neighbor will all Heart, Mind, Soul, and Strength. As you and I waste time wrestling with thoughts of spiders, we are NOT giving our whole "Mind" to the aim of Loving God and Loving Neighbor — and that's precisely why the Powers of Darkness "haunt" us with thoughts (and dreams) of unimportant things.
The Powers of Darkness are very real, and very aware of the small details in your life that can be used to divert your attention away for the Highest Priority. Again, every moment we dwell upon unimportant questions, these are moments that you and I are NOT focusing upon the highest and best question: How can I Love God and Neighbor with all Heart, Mind, Soul, and Strength?
After two years of being haunted at bedtime, how did the thought of a huge spider finally come to an end? I prayed it away! In my prayers to Heavenly Father, I asked Him to take away the Useless Care of thinking about a spider. What a simply solution! Why didn't I think of that superior solution in the first place? Here's the answer:
I didn't KNOW that the Powers of Darkness were literally the reason why my thoughts were continually haunted every night before bedtime. But today I clearly understand that we "wrestle not against flesh and blood, but . . . against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world." Happily, you believe in Christ, so this means your "spider dreams" are soon going to cease!
Again, the foundational meaning of your dream is this: Satan is real and will tempt you in any way that can divert you from God's Truth; further, the ending of your haunting dream means that God is good, that He is your loving Heavenly Father and will do exactly what He has promised 100% of the time:
"If anyone lacks wisdom, let her ask of God who gives to all liberally" (James 1:5).
Please read the previously Bible verses again and realize that 90% of Americans claim to Believe IN God, but they don't Believe Him — they don't live like they believe His promises in the Bible. This is precisely why the verse after James 1:5 cautions:
"But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven
Matt Moody, Ph.D.
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