Until the advent of Soncino, the unlearned did not learn Gemara at all and would not have been capable of reading an agadata Gemara to misunderstand it. Gemara has always been meant to be learned from a Rebbi. Modern times has seen the introduction of Artscroll and other “cheating” seforim, but they are usually careful to point out when agadata’s are clearly not literal.
Comlink-: Ahhhhh… yes I just searched and see that the Arizal explained that the etzem luz is located in the back of one’s skull/top of neck where the tefillin knot rests
Thanks for the info