Itsy wincy spider climbing up the spout,
Down came the rain and washed the spider out,
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain,
Now itsy wincy spider went up the spout again.
Most people probably think in terms of a spider being something unwanted. In that case, it’s probably a good event for the spider to be washed out. But in the dry weather the spider returns to climb up the spout again. Apparently, water is good for washing out unwanted things, and dryness might cause undesirables to persist. “Itsy Wincy Spider” nursery rhyme provides some spiritual insight.
Our inner life can be compared to the situation presented to us in “Itsy Wincy Spider.” We could say the spout is the funnel that feeds our inner life, the spider represents all the ugliness we feel inside, and the rains are the inner qualities that washes the “spiders” out. The spider comprises attitudes of hate, cruelty, bad intentions, violence, harshness, aggression, despair, pessimism, evilness, fatal reactions, impatience, and being out of control. Those spiders of our inward being can be washed out through kindness, goodwill, love, peace, meekness, gentleness, patience, faith, joy, goodness, self-control, and perseverance. The dryness represents our inner life when soft, moist, and tender attitudes are not present, allowing the spiders to persist.
When we open self to the variety of life, the spout of our inner life draws in spiders, rains, and dryness. Through life experiences, we build reservoirs within us that could include negative attitudes, or moist and tender perspectives, or we could dry up. The spiders of negative attitudes prohibits the blossoms of the spiritual fruit; the moist softness in positive attitudes contribute to fruitful endeavors, and the dryness of our soul causes ugly feelings to persist. In this light, we should persevere in the tender qualities that wash out the spiders, have self-control when the spiders are felt within, and to have patience for the rains when we experience dryness in our perspectives.
We need to have a way to regulate our inner life to rid the soul’s spout of the spiders to permit the rains of inner tranquility to stabilize our life during dry periods. That is done by having a mind focused on the qualities of peace, meekness, and gentleness to train self against the attitudes of violence, harshness, and aggression. If we permit a perspective that dries us of all the regulatory properties of the calming rains then the spiders will persist. It’s good to have a purpose of letting the spout of our inner life flow with the rains of serenity, peace, and stability to wash out the turmoil of a dry and spider infested inner life.
As long as we allow the rains to trickle into us we will have pools of compassionate attitudes to flow like a river through the spout of our inner being. The rains of kindness, goodwill, and love become non-existent when the spiders infest our pools to cause a torrent of hate, cruelty, and ill intentions. Those spiders wash out through tolerance, acceptance, sensual intimacy, and love to allow us to remain socially oriented through dry times. A dryness within will cause the spiders of intolerance, exclusion, sensual abuses, and hate to persist.
The universal deity is the governor of the spout of our soul, the rains, the spiders, and the sun. A good relationship with that divine presence keeps our inner life in order because we give reverence to the goodness of our inner life. When we honor that infinite source of rains then those rains will be ever-present in us to wash away the spiders. If we are irreverent to the goodness within then the spiders multiply to infest us with negative attitudes. When we ignore the divinity living within, it creates dryness to allow the spiders to persist. The spiders cause desolation of spiritual fruit, inner turmoil, adverse effects relating to the sanctity of life, a disrespect for the universal deity, and manifestations of negative energy. By allowing the soft moisture of the infinite source to infill us, we experience spiritual fruitfulness, peace, moisture, reverence for the supreme deity, and positive energy.
The thing that dries our rains quicker than anything is the “heat” we experience from other people. They can be very aggressive against the attitudes that wash away the spiders from our inner life. They want the spout of our inner life to be infested with the spiders of despair, pessimism, and evil. With self-confidence, they strike against the tenderness that permeates the spirit. It’s as though they want to inflame us with a fiery temperament caused by a spidery infestation in our thoughts, emotions, and physical presence. In this light, we maintain a faith for the rains to come, a trickle of goodness amidst the fiery difficulties, and a pool of joy even when spiders desire to climb the spout of our inner life.