I keep reminding myself that a story is a pointer with temporary and practical value only.
Any story can be a guide for how I live in the world, and a pointer for exploration. And it has more or less practical value depending on the situation. But not much more.
So how is the reverse also true?
A story is not (only) a guide and a pointer.
Any story can be taken as true. It then appears to be true. I live as if it is true. And it may be a self-fulfilling prophecy to the extent possible.
It more or less well fits consensus reality. It may fit stories people (I and some others) agree are useful or true.
It lives within my stories about data. I have stories about how things are, and any (other) story fits these more or less well.
So in all of these ways, a story can be taken as something more than a guide or pointer. It can appear true. It fits consensus reality to a certain extent. And it fits the data more or less well.
All of that happens within the realm of stories, of course. And while the first one falls away when I examine stories a little more closely, the two others can easily co-exist within seeing stories as guides and pointers.
I take a story as a potential guide or pointer. And in the process of evaluating whether it has functional value or not (in a particular situation), I take consensus reality and stories about data into consideration.
If it fits my stories about the data it is more likely to be useful as a guide. And the same is sometimes the case when it fits consensus reality. (More so in everyday life.)