How useful is it, according to you, to build up a complete intellectual understanding of the Buddhist path while you walk it? I know some Buddhists who are very involved with learning the sutras, reading copies of the complete translated Pali Canon, reading and understanding commentaries and so on.
I can understand wanting to read say a meditation manual before you go on a retreat, so that you have some idea of what to expect. But I think the whole body of Buddhist teaching is so large that trying to build up a complete picture of the path is an unending task. And yet I know some people who find it essential.
With warm regards,