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I was having a discussion on a Dutch language forum about how conditioning the mind influences one’s chances to become enlightened. Conditioning the mind comes through either learning the sutta’s, or through meditative practice, in very general terms.
Now in the time of the Buddha, not all followers would learn all that the Buddha had said, and often the Buddha adjusted his teachings according to the audience, his advice to one person might not be exactly the same as the advice to another. So is it necessary for enlightenment to have a wide knowledge of the sutra’s?
You might say that gathering lots of knowledge about the words of the Buddha leads you to construct a model in your mind of “the buddha’s path is like this”, which can influence your future expectations, which you can get attached to, which leads to pride that “I know” and various other things.
Is it therefore not better to absorb the minimum amount of knowledge you need, and to proceed to practice on that basis, and to rely on a teacher and the sangha in order to guide what you need to do next?