Why there are many stories, metaphors, and proverbs in religious texts?

It doesn’t matter which religion, in all of them you see storytelling, and extensive usage of metaphors and expressions in communicating a message.  When I was learning writing in English, I was told that I should write concise short sentence with a clear message, and try to avoid any complication in delivering my message. Compared to what I learned, the religious texts are way off!  The question is why? Why in communicating spiritual messages we urge to use stories, instead of directly cutting into the chase. As a Persian, I can name several well known books by religious authors which are filled with delicate religious stories. Ancient Persian poetry is also famous for that. There are thousands of pages written with high caliber of ingenuity just to deliver simple spiritual messages!

I have been puzzled by this question for a while. Now, I believe that I understood why that’s the case, and I try to express my understanding with minimum complications. To answer this question, let me start by answering a similar mathematical question. How can one explain a three-dimensional object with the two-dimensional mathematics? The best way is to slice it up to many two-dimensional surfaces and then introduce each and every surface, one by one. For example, introducing a simple tree to a 2D universe, needs many (infinite to be exact) layers of 2D images. So, as you see whenever we aim to explain even a simple object, but from a higher dimension, we would face a challenge.

In another example, how one can explain the taste of an apple (say McIntosh) to a society who have never had an apple in their life! The first step is to find out what type of taste that particular people are being exposed to. Then the idea is to mix different tastes to get closer and closer to the taste of apple. So, this is exactly the process of delivering something which does not belong to our ordinary common senses.

In the spiritual world, I believe that is the same. Once a person observe something which does not well fit in our current realm of understanding, one needs to slice it up to many different little stories where the role of each of this stories is to lighten up one side of the observation. For the sake of this conversation, I don’t mind if the origin of this observation is due to the ecstasy of meditation, or due to some chemical compound.  What I do care, in this post, is that sometimes a simple observation requires a lot of explanations, simply because it doesn’t belong to our everyday life experiences, and yet you can not make the point exactly.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s