@Kensho I share your view that there are many devices that are useful for seeing through delusion. From my perspective the problems start when unawakened ones start to argue about who’s ‘truth’ is right, or that the things some people find useful are wrong.
In fact, from a psychological perspective, I find that many aspects of buddhist teachings cater more or less well to individual cognitive differences and learning types.
Personally I see the greatest reliability in the most ‘basic’ of the EBT’s. Going from the 4 Noble truths, everything else can be derived. That is to say - the simplest, most straight forward, unadorned, unembellished practices have the highest likelihood to be most suited to the most people. The more complex, symbolic, idiosyncratic, or ‘tailored’ the practices, the smaller the group of people who may understand the base message correctly.
LOL, I can summarize this with 2 common english sayings
- the K.I.S.S. principle,( keep it simple ‘stupid’), and
- Horses for courses, (ie different things work best for different people)
This is why, for example, I like Ajahn Brahms emphasis on exploring and investigating all kinds of things so that we can find what works best for each of us.
Back to the OP -
Evidence for a historical Buddha does seem consistent. Everything written about the Dhamma that didn’t come from the historical Buddha, has been to a greater or lesser degree modified or adapted (all with the ‘good’ intention of making the dhamma more accessible to more people).
The wonderful thing is that Buddhism pursues an objective search for the truth of things - which focuses on demolishing our many, many delusions. By keeping this search as the purpose of our practice, we can be thankful for the vast array of teachings. It doesn’t work though, when we cling to any of them without subjecting them to the same investigation that the Lord Buddha said we should apply to all things.
May all beings find the Dhamma