tiltbillings wrote:Are you going to back up your claim: "Unless someone has gone the whole hog with vipassana (all 16 nanas) there is no way to know what a genius he is ?" Is this something you know from direct experience? If you have not directly experienced all the 16 ñānas, then you really do not know.
Well now, this is where saddha-faith comes in. Do you believe that there might be enlightened beings in this world?
'There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits & results of good & bad actions. There is this world & the next world. There is mother & father. There are spontaneously reborn beings; there are priests & contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is the right view that has effluents, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions.http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
To have that right view, you will need more than scepticism and proof, because you will never know for sure at the begining. Without never knowing you will never get to a place you will know for sure. So then, it takes saddha.
Gombrich is not a Dhamma teacher, and he makes absolutely no claim to be. He is an historian and within that context he is worth listening to. Putting the Buddha in the actual historical context can, indeed, help open up what it is that he was saying in certain contexts, especially when when the Buddha was responding to the Brahmanical point of view.
What is the use of his knowledge
pertaining to the number of insects in the whole world?
Rather, inquire into his knowledge of
that which is to be practised by us
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.
Níl sa saol seo ach ceo
There is naught in this life but mist
Is ní bheimid beo ach seal beag gearr.
And we will not be alive but a short hard time.