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: