For the young me who first read this, it was like-- Wow. I had never thought of such a concept-- I was raised in a religion in which you took scripture-- well, as scripture. If you couldn't take your religion's literal stories as gospel truth, you were weak in faith (and at the time, as I was taught to believe, going to be severely punished for it).
My Tip for the Day:
Do you have trouble reconciling your faith with logic, reason, science, etc.-- have you been taught you need to believe, even if it comes at the expense of thinking? Ask yourself why something has to be literally true in order to have value.
Recollect some of the great stories you have heard, read, or watched (if you're into theater and film) that you knew going into it were totally fiction, but somehow the message made an impact on your life anyway. Does the story have any less meaning or wisdom in it just because it didn't actually happen?
To further explore this thought, read some Joseph Campbell, or look up some interviews with him on Youtube to hear any of his 6-hour long interview "The Power of Myth". For an atheist, Campbell really 'gets' religion and can be quite insightful.
Copyright: Joan Halifax (Wikimedia Creative Commons)
What's your opinion on Joseph Campbell? Do you find any of his theories 'speak' to you?