The Use of Metaphor, Symbol and Myth in Spiritual Literature

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The Use of Metaphor, Symbol and Myth in Spiritual Literature

Ever since I was a child I have been able to see ordinary things like curtains, crumpled clothes or the shadow of a water pot on the table and I have seen the most extraordinary things. Perhaps you have experienced the same. Another example is driving, especially at night, when I’m tired. I have seen exotic animals, suspicious strangers and curious scenes in hedgerows, under trees and alongside motorways, which on closer inspection are nothing more than a play of light and shadow.

The play of sunlight on water doesn’t seem to have the same effect on me, as it doesn’t create a solid image where none really exists. It is more reminiscent of the spirituality of the world, as it has an ephemeral charm quality. This innumerable quality is appropriate for the sense in which the divine sprouts through the relative world, which is bounded by time and space. In Hindu philosophy the three human states of waking, dream and sleep – which comprise a human life – are transcended and transcended into a fourth state, called Turia. To sublimate even more the subjects of the Fifth Realm turyatita Indivisible Transcendence of Immutable Pure Consciousness.

The Hindu interpretation presents us with a contradiction. As intelligent and accessible as it is, it can still make us ask the question: How do we speak the unspeakable? How do we use words to describe what is beyond words? Answers are found through the use of metaphor, myth and its symbols. Much like words (and words are, of course, symbolic), symbols refer to something larger than themselves.

Now sometimes it’s fun to play with words for their own sake. When we do that, even the words that may sound deep have no real meaning beyond the deep meaning of anything. They are literally meant and meant to be shallow, superficial and devoid of deep meaning. On the contrary, words used with precision and accuracy remove the veil of confusion and guide us to understanding.

But when are verses or narratives symbolic and when are they literal? Because it is important that we know the difference.

Fantastic and extraordinary phenomena are usually attributed to spiritual and religious experts. Some of these accounts make incredible reading, from the curious to the sublime. There are incredible stories of Tikku-Baba, a fakir who possessed superior powers and performed many miracles. Late one night, a young Fakir who worked for Tikku-Baba returned to the great Fakir’s house to find Tikku-Baba’s body dismembered and his limbs piled up in a neat pile. Fearing brutal murder, the young Fakir fled. But full of curiosity he returned in the morning. To his surprise he found Tikku-Baba in full health, moving normally.

This apparently impossible set of events is made all the more difficult to assess when Nisargadatta Maharaja, an enlightened master, is quick to rebuke aspirants for their lack of logical thinking.

In another fantastic story, this time from the Sufi tradition, mercy is overshadowed by brutality. The entire family was a disciple of a Sufi master. One boy’s face was naturally cheerful. One day the master asked the boy, why are you smiling? The boy continued to laugh. In front of the whole family, the master beats the boy with his stick until it breaks. The boy kept a smile on his face. The master continued to beat him with a heavy piece of wood until his head entered his shoulder and his shoulder entered his body. The master went inside and chewed the betel nut while the boy was broken in flesh and blood. Came out and pointed to the bloody pile and said, who is lying there? Then, in a voice of authority, he shouted, “Get up!” And the boy stood up without a scar or a sign of damage, completely. The master declared that the boy was now a wali (saint) and would remain one for the rest of his life. It was the family’s most cherished wish and the Master accomplished in less than an hour what was expected to take many years or a lifetime.

Again Sufi leaders such as Irina Tweedy or Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee (who published this story) seem generally conscientious to consider it a literal story, as it was apparently witnessed and narrated by their predecessor, the Sufi master Bhai Sahib.

Metaphors, symbols, myths are the preferred visual and verbal communication for spiritual truths, which cannot really be expressed in any other way. Why not? Because spiritual truth is not the same as literal truth. Spirituality is concerned with the life of the soul, transcendence and liberation and ultimately with the divine or God, Brahman, the Absolute. We have so many names for numbers precisely because it’s so hard to describe and when we get into a two-sided holy war over it, it’s usually because we’ve become attached to the symbols and abandoned what they stand for.

A different way of using words can be if we experience their meaning differently. Defending actor Steven Seagal, who destroyed his Hollywood career by making a film about planet pollution that predates Al Gore’s An inconvenient truth More than a decade later, psychologist Robert Traeger explained, “Part of Steven has lived in Japan so long that he is Japanese, and in Japan literal truth is not as important as emotional truth. In Japan there is another level of reality. , where literal information is not as important as social and emotional information.” “

As Laurence van der Post writes, emotions prevail over scientific fact: “Time has become reluctant, for it is not only a movement in and through space, but also a movement of feeling, and when feeling is fixed in an unforgettable moment, time is only half. Existent.”

So, are the words literal, symbolic, emotional, factual, imaginative, metaphorical, literal, representational, abstract or metaphorical? The answer of course could be any of them, either, most, some or all of these. But our subject here is spiritual phenomena, or the use of symbols and metaphors to convey truth. Sometimes words are just used to lie.

Extraordinary events are, of course, not always as extraordinary as they seem. Indian rope technique discredited: Sai Baba may not have become saint Bibuthi Or jewelry out of thin air and all crop circles turn out to be working life forms outside.

Turning now to the mad wisdom school of spiritual instruction, the fifteenth-century “enlightened madman” Drukpa Kunli is said to have instructed a female disciple in meditation, impregnated her, and sent her to a cave to meditate. Apparently a year later he returned to find that an avalanche had occurred and the entrance to the cave had been closed for months. However, when he found her, she was alive and well, despite having only taken three days’ rations with him in the cave a year earlier. He is said to have attained Buddhahood after a short period of education.

When the contemporary spiritual teacher Adi Da Samraj died, there were two expectations: first, that he would rise from the dead; and, secondly, that his body would show no signs of decay, indicating that he was a great yogi, both unproven. Did this dishonor Adi Da or simply show that his followers were using the symbol literally?

Spiritual metaphors are symbols over reality (ie the reality of the relative world). They are frustrated and disappointed when the symbolic and the literal are confused. Child-philosophers, less than spiritual disciples, are naive and ultimately materialistic. Being in his heart predominates over beings and beings and the presence of man is closer to God. We meet God through the manifestation of that miraculous power and through our identification with it through the magical means developed through our spiritual discipline, sometimes known as the Name. achievement.

Siddhi is the fulfillment or siddhi that is mentioned Mahabharata. Clairvoyance, levitation, bilocation and material objects are some examples. However, looking further into the manifestation of Siddhi takes us to a more mundane realm: knowing the past, present and future, enduring heat and cold, knowing the mind of others, not allowing oneself to be dominated by others. Some are merely basic meditative experiences, such as experiencing your body as small or infinitely large, heavy or weightless.

Sometimes mystification is caused by mistranslation, as in the mystique surrounding the virgin birth. Kumari simply means “maiden”. The original Latin word refers to sexual inexperience or “uninspired”. So virgin birth means “birth of a daughter”. A similar disaster has occurred in the misinterpretation of the word apocalypse. Rather than the end of the world, it actually means “the lifting of the veil” or “the revelation”. in Kali YugaTruth must be embraced and embraced beyond deception, illusion and lies.

I saw truth in a grain of sand, gods in breath, eternity in the sea and endless mystery in the air. None of this prompts me to become a nature worshipper, to anthropomorphize natural phenomena, or to initiate religious worship. Metaphors and symbols are the means by which those of us who are inspired to express timeless truths and immortal knowledge try to help others understand.

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