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    Q: how much does what we know already (or clinging to what we know already, i.e. having fixed views) -  undermine our ability to be open to new learning? On the other hand, we don't have to examine the teachings of every new faddist new age spiritual teacher who comes along do we?

    Some points:

    • So many seem to find an 'answer' to spiritual questioning in some tradition. They refuse to examine any other teachings -  but trying to fit the ancient teachings to modern culture is like a Procrustean bed. 'Not holding to fixed views' it says in the Metta Sutta.
    • It can be confusing to read too much too soon at the beginning of a spiritual quest. Might be better to abide in a well proven old tradition for a while. They lasted because they had something of value to offer after all, where others died out.
    • Perhaps some modern teachers can digest and repackage old teachings to make them more palatable for a modern audience? Thinking of Eckhart Tolle et al here. But if you dump the surrounding traditions do you throw out the baby with the bathwater? Distortions and exagerrations can occur.
    • I know people who read and read hundreds of spiritual books - the answer to enlightenment will be in the next book to be read - but I see the same ideas coming up, just in different guises and with differing emphases. If we get to the heart of the teachings they are all saying the same thing maybe.
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