Retro, I altered my post. It was a bit too harsh and ignorant. For instance, I changed "wouldn't" to "might not", because I wouldn't venture to speculate on and judge your views when I can just ask you instead.
Individual wrote:I could go on with this, Retrofuturist, but you wouldn't be interested; you've clearly picked a side and you've stuck with it.
Yes, I clearly take the Sutta and Vinaya Pitakas as the definitive teachings of the Buddha (give or take a few shifting sands, textual corruptions, later compositions etc. that might be identified through cross-pitaka/agama analysis). But then, I happily caveat my posts with this assumption so that people understand the perspective I represent. I've clearly put a stake in the ground here, but I respect that this is not your preferred approach.
That's a reasonable view. However, I have to ask: Rather than engaging in lengthy linguistic analysis of texts in the past, wouldn't it be easier to compare any alleged words with the experience of the present? The former can never be completed and is forever uncertain. But the success of the latter is possible here and now, and contrary to what your suttas say it doesn't necessarily take "eons" to accomplish.
So, if I was forced to pick a view... I'd probably disregard them both, the way you seem to do!
There's a difference between "disregard" and "not use" though. Disregard may imply active rejection, whereas I may on occasion review them and try to reconcile them (or see if they are reconcilible) with the aforementioned Pitakas. I wouldn't do so if I thought they were inherently wrong. If they can complement rather than contradict that which I take as authorative, they may add value as "commentaries" (for example, I'd rather read a commentary of SN 12.15 by Nagarjuna than I would one authored by Buddhaghosa, despite me being nominally Theravadin).
Why do you reconcile them with the words, though, rather than your experiences, your life, your mind? What's the deal with the obsession over the sutta pitaka?
It's like a caveman who invented fire -- for food, purifying water, warmth, etc..
The smart cavemen used the fire without obsessing over it. (And still do)
The stupid ones were amazed: "THIS FIRE IS HOLY!! WE MUST MAKE MORE OF IT AND USE IT IN ODD, FUNNY WAYS!!" (Like self-immolation and ritual sacrifices to gods)
You've said in the past that the early Theravadin commentators got carried away with their veneration of the Buddha, that they developed their own misconceptions. One could say that's an arrogant statement. How are you different in that same regard?