I am amazed by the depth of insight in Mahayana Buddhism. When Carl Jung and Paul Tillich wrote about the power of mythological language to convey Ultimate Truth, they were only catching up to what the Mahayana has been teaching for over two thousand years.
In the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha says his enlightenment is so far beyond our everyday understanding, that he can only communicate it through similes and parables, various forms of upaya or skillful means.
In reading the Pure Land sutras from this perspective, we can see Amida as a skillful device for Dharma-body and the Pure Land as the realm of Nirvana. In reciting the name, Namu-Amida-Butsu, we place our trust in Dharma-body, the source of all Buddhahood, to effortlessly carry us to Nirvana.
Seeing the Pure Land narratives as metaphorical or mythological doesn’t reject the reality of Amida Buddha. Instead, it’s a way of seeing Amida as more than a literal flesh and blood man who attained Buddhahood eons before the Big Bang, in a world galaxies away.
Shinran Shonin referred to Amida as Dharmakaya-as-upaya, making the point that Amida, the Pure Land, and the Nembutsu are a skillful device for Dharma-body to make itself known and complete its work of leading all beings to enlightenment:
Morality Police in Iran tells a woman she’s not wearing hijab correctly.
So the woman takes her hijab off completely.
There’s still no god.
imaginary friends won’t fix real problems. stop praying and take responsibility for your life.
The bible is full of stories like Jack and the Beanstalk…The religious claim that reading these types of stories make them more moral…but the history of religious behavior disproves this propaganda…
Religious literalists go to crazy lengths, trying to defy all reason and scientific understanding, and pretend that the stories are actual events that really happened…
Religious fantasists are addicted to childish wishful thinking…and don’t want anyone to burst their fantasy bubble…(similar to whether the fantasy is Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, Wishing on a Star, Positive Thinking (not to be confused with Positive Psychology https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/positive-thinking/ and https://www.lifehack.org/602099/time-to-stop-those-positive-mantras-studies-show-they-only-make-you-more-negative))
Religious fundamentalists use the stories as a smoke-screen…to force their control on society at large…
Religious leaders use the stories to fleece their members…which ill-gotten gains they use for self-aggrandizement…
Dishonest, manipulative, greedy, morally deficient, self-aggrandizing people…are pulling the strings of religion…
They cynically manipulate people more honest, compassionate, generous, moral,
than themselves…whose only flaws are that they are naive, gullible, have a propensity for wishful thinking, struggle with independent thinking…and lack disciplined
Watch…(not even the)
Top 10 Most Shocking Religious Scandals…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZGtr8EN2dE
(not even the) Top 10 Infamous Religious Controversies…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkoQkGWh8oI