Malcolm wrote: Karma Dorje wrote:
Malcolm wrote:...a person may be realized about the nature of their minds, utterly free of affliction, and may still be completely mistaken about all kinds of things. Realization does not equal omniscience.
Indeed, and Thank you very much for your clarity and insight, as well as your efforts to illuminate a seemingly thorny issue. Your posts make visiting here worthwhile.
Unquestionably, Buddha Shakyamuni discovered and elucidated some very profound matters in regard to mind and behavior, but the understanding of the mechanics of the universe (as evidenced by the texts) is a product of story-telling, and bears little relationship to how things actually work. The same can be said of the many sages who followed him, which reiterates your point that realization, awakening, liberation, etc. are more properly in the domain of freedom from the afflictions, and do not grant some kind of cosmic knowledge about the universal manifestation and its intricacies.
The human mind, no matter how illumined it may become regarding its own nature, is incapable of comprehending the greater universe in which it appears, and so creates stories in order to provide some sense of temporary security in the midst of the vast unknown (which is the essence of the religious motive, after all). Some of these stories we recognize as myths, and some we call "science", though fundamentally they are all creations, and not unlike the primitives who gazed out at the night sky, filled with stars, and fabricated tales with which to pacify the tribe.
In a few centuries, once we venture out into the solar system in a significant fashion, we will (hopefully) still be able to appreciate the truths of suffering and its relief, as analyzed by Gautama, but will undoubtedly regard the religious beliefs regarding the mechanics of the cosmos of today's fundamentalists as quaint artifacts of the dark ages.