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I read a short essay by Alan Wallace where he writes about this distinction, its about the length of a long magazine article so read it or not.
The distinction he makes is key to me in developing faith in some of the more esoteric aspects of Buddhism. The two sides are one where contemplatives are internalizing the past scriptural doctrines that have taught them, the other saying that the methods and techniques taught help the contemplative train and focus their introspection to make actual discoveries and genuine knowledge about the mind.
Which side you come down on would seem to indicate where you find the authority in Buddhism. Does it come from scriptural authenticity or expert testimony?