In my experience, reason neither enables nor supports empathy or social justice.
Our metaphors teach us a lot of spiritual truth, and not only that. They give us images to form brand new insights. My own spiritual practices are metaphor heavy. I haven’t found an older path that was a fit, so I have explored many metaphors to identify and come to understand what I am experiencing.
Such as the metaphor of a journey being on a path? Yes, this is itself a metaphor.
Like the poetry in “The Road Not Taken“? Yes.
That is really the purpose of many spiritual paths/religions. To give people a selection of metaphor so they can choose what they best relate to. And, in fact, we all face that choice very literally. In that poem, the author more literally says choose the personal path over societies. He meant to say that he valued personal self expression and volition most of all.
In seeking truth, people err in trying to abandon metaphor, like trying to drop the self image. You can transcend the ego not by rejecting it, but by understanding the metaphor so well, you see that you aren’t limited to it, and that it can grow and evolve and expand at will. Poems have more power the more fully they express the forces of life, and these forces aren’t just globs of matter we can stub our toes on.
You say transcend the ego not by rejecting it, but by understanding the metaphor? The values and judgements that comprise our image of our self and reflexively the world, we take that as literal truth. Ego as metaphor for our relationships in the greater consciousness… It’s often a very poorly authored metaphor, and more instilled by the power of suggestion than reflecting on the inner self. Nothing in conventional communication gives us any insight into true self, and in that weakness of language and ideation is the key to expanded self awareness.
My meditation is not to cast off the ego, but to be with it, observe it. You can observe ego because it is a metaphor for a collection of feelings and experiences that you may very well have misinterpreted. If you can have misinterpreted even one part, then are you in any way constrained to “be” that self?
I think some part of the self is hardwired to us from birth, the other being caused by up-bringing. Ah, yes. I would agree. And the hardwired self is for most unrecognizable. People are shocked when they see it surface. Your brain grows all by itself in such a way that you are well equipped to understand your world, and to understand yourself and self management.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.