“. . . Authentic spiritual language about God does not confuse the map with the territory, the symbol with the thing. Literalism concentrates on the letter and misses the spirit; it gets the words but never the music, creates a spiritual tone-deafness. You can starve to death trying to eat a cookbook.”

Here is a link to an interesting article on why religions seem to disagree:

Spirituality: Metaphors and Symbols for Religious and Spiritual Experiences

I am not advocating 100% the views expressed there, nor have I followed the links included in the article and evaluated them, but the basic premise of the article itself is sound.

Bhagavad-gita 18.67 Lecture — Ahmedabad, December 10, 1972:

“One may come to the bottle filled with honey, but simply by licking the bottle, what taste he will get? The honey must be opened. Then if you taste, you will know what is honey. Similarly, simply by taking Bhagavad-gita and trying to understand it by so-called scholarship is licking up the honey bottle. That’s all. There will be no taste”

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