Could someone explain -- or provide links to explanations on -- the Buddhist take on what is and what is not knowable (by a human being)?
I'm asking because it seems to me that:
- Seeking to know the knowable is a worthwhile pursuit. For example, for a newbie to seek to know/understand the law of karma.
- Seeking to know the unknowable is a waste of time. For example, for someone to seek to know/understand Ultimate Truth.
I'd like to avoid the second, trying to know the unknowable. But to do that, I need to have a clue what is and what isn't knowable.
This is my impression but take with a big helping of salt:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourteen_ ... _questions
That's a start, i'm not sure there's a definitive Buddhist answer to that, but...realization is not the same as conceptual "knowing", conceptual/conditioned knowing of things by Buddhist understanding is by definition a kind of limitation..
I guess you could use the two truths to explain that Ultimate Reality cannot be "known" in the conditioned, conceptual sense..in that sense, there really isn't any such thing as knowing ultimate reality, only realization of it.
On the Law Of karma, IIRC there are many references in Sutta/Sutra that it is pretty much unknowable in the samsaric sense, and indeed teachers and friends have explained it to me as something like trying to do math with infinite variables..again, not really conceptually knowable in a satisfying way.