Thank you for your kind reply.
Yes, I agree. We all have to rely on our experiences, and our own analysis. And our analysis is always going to be profoundly influenced by the instructions of our teachers (either in person or via writings and so on). We could waste a lot of time arguing over:Ñāṇa wrote:IMO it's more about contemplating the apparent similarities and differences found in the different historical strata of received tradition. This should always be approached with a sense of humility and respect. But I would suggest that at some point one has to begin to see through and let go of the layers of conceptual filtering and hone in on the actual soteriological message of the Pāḷi discourses. I think this is primarily what Ven. Ñāṇananda has been pointing to for the past 40 years.mikenz66 wrote:My inclination is to disregard such attempts at "proof" or "disproof" as pointless posturing that proves nothing and simply derails communication.
"Ven Ñāṇananda says this..."
"No, you're wrong, Mahasi Sayadaw says this..."
"No, you're mistaken, Ajahn Buddhadhassa says this..."
"No, you're mixed up, Achariya Buddhaghosa says this..."
"No, you're all wrong, I just read the Suttas because they are the word of the Buddha, and the Buddha says this..."
From the evidence of this board, such arguments almost never induce anyone to change his/her mind from his/her initial position. (I only say "almost" just in case there is such a case, not because I can think of one...).
Like Alex, and PT, I don't see the Commentaries as primarily philosophical works. I tend to read them in much the same way I would listen to a Dhamma talk or a retreat interview with a modern monk: "This is what you might have experienced, this is a suggestion of how to proceed...".