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What is the spiritual/metaphysical significance of hypnopompic hallucinations and night terrors?

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Two times in the past month I have experienced what I have learned is called a hypnopompic hallucination; a vivid, dream-like hallucination seen upon waking up. The first time I had this happen I was stunned. I woke up and saw a spider crawling up my wall but as soon as I got closer to get a better look it vanished right before my eyes. It didn't fall down or crawl into a crack; it simply disappeared even though I saw it in vivid detail, walking up my wall.
The second time happened this morning. Every time I came out of sleep I got the feeling something was there. Then I opened my eyes and saw what looked like a hairy/spiny caterpillar floating horizontally right in front of my face, as if suspended by a spring. I literally recoiled in surprise, exclaiming, "JESUS CHRIST WHAT THE F*CK IS THAT?!" but no sooner did I finish those words than the apparition faded away.
I know in folklore there's a lot of beliefs that suggest there are things around us that are always there but cannot always be seen. If this is true, than I am completely uncomfortable with this idea. What if these beings are parasitic? And even if this isn't real, then it means my brain is malfunctioning, which is just as frightening.
I'd love to hear some insight on this matter from people who study shamanism, etc... And how I can rid myself of potentially unwanted spiritual/astral/inter-dimensional beings.
*spring = string

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I know what you went through. For many nights in a row i would wake up slowly and for some unexplainable reason i focused on my breathing and listened to the sound. After a few minutes of listening i would hear someone from behind me say "SHHHHH!!" very loudly, but when i turned around there was no one there, which made sense since i sleep up against a wall. The hallucinations(your visions of spiders and caterpillars and my person saying shhhh) are caused by the brain waking up but still projecting images, or sounds in your head. When you sleep you dream(whether you remember them or not) and the images, or sounds, or feelings sometimes carry over to your wakened self.
In your title you mentioned night terrors. Most people think night terrors are simply nightmares, but in reality they occur in young children(although it has bee seen in teens and some adults) when their brain becomes over loaded. The body shuts down and tries to sort everything out while you sleep, so when there is so much information to sort through and the brain can't handle it, it has a meltdown. During a night terror the child would be screaming and thrashing around, while still completely unconscious. They will not remember anything of it in the morning. The best way to get a child to wake up from a night terror is temperature change. Or if it is to cold to open a window or take them outside for a change in temperature, taking them into the bathroom and running water will also bring them out of the terror.

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I know what you mean, I have seen the spider upon waking also. It was there and creeped across the wall just disappeared! I wish I knew what that was!

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Your mind creates the world you experience. When you're suddenly "awake", parts of the brain may still be sleeping (thus being unable to display completely rational imagery). What you may experience is a kind of state where dreamlike images are imposed onto "reality". It's fascinating. People who have been meditating for many years describe experiencing similar stories in wakefulness.

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