In the army, we were taught that during night-time guard duty it was often easier to see clearly when you didn't look directly at what you wanted to identify. Staring intently tended to create a reality that was untrue ... shadows turning into enemy soldiers and the like.
Maybe the same could be said for spiritual endeavor: People asked to look spiritual endeavor in the eye will conjure up all sorts of things, whereas if there is a nice little philosophy or tale off to the side ... perhaps they can see better...or it is not too blindingly bright ... or the fear of reality can be temporarily soothed.
Plato's Socrates spoke of shadows on the wall of his imagined cave ... and of the men and women who remained among the shadows, even when invited by one brave soul to step outside and see the sun.
In the shadows and tales, there is comfort and invitation but not yet the light, not yet the sun.
"Not yet! Not yet!" Swami Vivekananda cried when Ramakrishna touched him on the forehead and offered him a glimpse of the sun, the straightforward look at the truth.
Lord, let me see ... but not too much!