There is nothing wrong with being sceptical, actually one needs a healthy dose of scepticism.Challenge23 wrote:Actually it is a little different than that(and I wish to point this out mostly so that I can be clear that the teachings and the teacher are excellent, if not a little distant).
My teacher knows what he is talking about and the teachings are actually quite good. As far as I know.
The problem is in regards to how one confirms that. I am deeply, deeply skeptical of anything that depends only on internal confirmation. Actually, I am deeply deeply skeptical, period.
Let's say that my teacher gave me a meditation on rebirth that, when I did it, certain things would happen that would demonstrate rebirth. How do I know that the experience is legitimate? How do I know that I'm not having a psychotic break or am fooling myself because some part of me really needs to believe it? How do I know that there wasn't some sort of chemical reaction that is causing whatever is happening?
Also, in regards to the perception of my teacher. How do I know that my perception is valid? People far, far more perceptive than I am have been totally fooled on points far less subtle than the one I'm trying to prove.
It isn't that I doubt my teacher or the teachings in any way. It's that I doubt my own ability to percieve reality in any way that can be considered "real" without overwhelming proof(and even then I am extremely mindful of the fact that what I am percieving might very well be incorrect*).
*For example, I am around 90% sure that reality exists and keeps "reality-ing" when I'm not percieving it and am about 95% sure that everything on the Internet isn't a huge network of AIs outside of a small group of people. But if I turn out wrong I wouldn't be especially shocked. Because the only thing I am 100% sure about is that reality is far more strange than I know or can know.
At the same time though, trust is a helpful thing. Ask yourself: why would my teacher bullsh*t me? If you can find some really valid reasons, then continue being sceptical. If you cannot, then stop grasping so tenaciously to something that is not benefiting you. If you cannot see your teacher as the Buddha himself then at least see him as a teacher.
I think though that, if you persevere, you will find that this whole trip was just a smoke screen being thrown up by your ego in an attempt to stop you from expanding out of the theoretical comfort zone it (you, basically) has set up for you all these years (well, lifetimes actually).
As for reality being real... There are a number of Buddhist traditions that actually believe that reality is substantial, albeit dependently arisen. That there are actual objects "out there" that we project reality onto. So don't worry too much about that bit coz the jury is still out on that issue.