ibelieve wrote:I having been reading suttas for a year and I have a question I cannot answer: how can you know Jhana and Nibbana are real rather than some tricks played just in your brain?
My partial answer to the question is that if you can obtain some psychic power through meditation, at least you know that there is indeed something beyond modern science. However this is not a good answer obviously.
What is your answer to the question?
I think it all comes down to the issue of whom one is trying to justify oneself to.
When one has a question and is looking for an answer to it: with whom in mind is one assessing the various answers that one finds? Whom is one trying to please or appease, and why?
I think it is very important to work out who exactly the internal audience of one's thoughts is. For example, if that audience is a merciless critic, then no matter what answer one may come up with, it's never going to be good enough.