I don't think we should say it is alway detrimental. But since it may be, the question still needs answering. When a person's conscious mind begins narrowing down a meaning, the person places limits on the search process they create. As a result, the multiple meanings that can be derived shrink to a few or even just one. So the 'harm' is that a rich set of overtones and nuance and even 'huge' meanings that can last to days, weeks, and years, suddenly vanish and the metaphor is reduced to utilitarian and specific.
A case in point is the 'Boojum Tree' story and activity Dr. Erickson set me to complete. The meaning has taken different shape over the years. And, in each case, I've found it to bring some welcome and surprising 'wisdom' to me. And too, realized how uncanny the entire story and activity was in that it applies to me so (or that I've applied it so) over the years. Where there to have been a single meaning that I was allowed to comfortably take from it, it would not have lasted this long in my memory and it would not have applied to as many events as it has over time.
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