I’d like to ask for inputs on Early Buddhism, views and quietism. Broadly, as seen in the Kālāma Sutta, the Buddha stresses the importance for one to align on his own experience in order to determine what’s true and what’s not. On the other extreme the Buddha refuses to answer questions about the universe, the nature of the buddha etc. (for instance, in the Cula-Malunkyovada Sutta). Finally, in between, one finds diṭṭhis or wrong views that needs to be eradicated. This leaves a sandbox where one should build upon the four noble truths and the noble eightfold path. However, at key here is the very experiential way the path is laid out, leaving not much space for theoretical speculation as found in later buddhism be it theravada, mahatyana or vajrayana. In that sense, is early buddhism akin to quietism? i.e., making the mind silent in order to perceive the Truth? Also, to what extent is early buddhism a personal affair (in terms of experience) and how’s one relate in terms of authority dhamma-wise?
Putting aside the secondary question of schools , the Buddha’s advice (Majjhima Nikaya 95) is to build on suttas already understood, in this case Anguttara Nikaya 3.65 (Kalama sutta). A sutta which extends on “determining what’s true and what’s not” is Majjhima Nikaya 19, where the Buddha-to-be relates his own pre-awakening investigation. This is more specific than the advice to the Kalamas instructing areas, and how to observe the results of thoughts.
Questions to ponder:
Since the noble eightfold path was formulated after the events in the sutta and germinal in it, where is right view, where right intentions and where right effort ?