A major problem with religion is the confusion caused by the difference between literal truth and metaphor. If religious myth and metaphorical stories are taken literally then the shift to a more profound worldview, one closer to the true nature of reality is made more difficult. Ignorance of this kind becomes a significant barrier to Self-realization.
An example of how metaphor entered religion in the ancient Persian religion of Zoroastrianism illustrates this. “It was in the Year of Religion that the archangel, Vohu Manah, or Good Thought, appeared to Zarathushtra [the model for Jesus] in a vision, put him in a trance and led his soul to the highest point. These are really Ahura Mazda’s [God] being, not attributes but inherent qualities. Most people, however, find it difficult to understand abstractions. So the qualities became archangels, immortals, called the Amesha Spentas.”
References and notes are available for this article.
Also find a much more in-depth discussion of Simple Reality
on this blog and in published books by Roy Charles Henry.