Allegory is the way

On reading spiritual texts allegorically rather than literally

We exist in the middle of an infinite universe.

Our entire existence — before, during, and after — is almost entirely beyond knowing.

Spiritual texts are artifacts of humanity’s primordial wrestling with the vast unknown.

There are two primary ways to read spiritual texts: Literal and allegorical.

A literal reading focuses on the known. A literal lens insists (1) the text is a complete and precise description of how the universe works, and (2) that this particular group are the only people on the planet that have accurate knowledge.

Literalism results in a fragile and exclusive worldview. New knowledge erodes the literalist worldview’s relevancy over time because it often contradicts and is rejected by ancient dogma.

An allegorical reading focuses on the unknown. An allegorical lens views all spiritual texts as accounts of a peoples’ attempt to point to the mystery of our existence. It embraces paradox and marvels at the vastness of the questions, without claiming to know the answers.

Allegory produces an expansive and inclusive worldview that encourages curious exploration. The allegorical worldview’s relevancy increases over time because it holds space for and welcomes all new knowledge.

Allegory is the way.

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