One other point that P raises is worthy of comment, namely the acceptance of the texts and the age. As you say, Ānanda didn't have a tape-recorder (though he did have, apparently, a remarkable memory, having memorized all the Buddha's discourses). But even if it were shown that the texts were not 25 hundred years old but 25 years old this would demonstrate nothing whatsoever except that historical scholarship is a farce, which is already known. The sole criterion for accepting the texts is whether they are useful. (I know I needn't tell you this, but your friend P seems to feel that how old a text is is somehow relevant to how useful it is and also to either be unaware of or to ignore Ven. Ñānavīra's attainment of sotapanna, and, of course, as a sotapanna he is using the texts as a formulation of his own direct knowledge. Anyway, the whole question is complicated -- too complicated for a letter -- but both points are dealt with very well in K's
Concluding Unscientific Postscript (among other works), a reading of which might be profitable for your friend P.
Odd, is it not, that P, after a thoroughgoing attack on acceptance of the Pali texts as a guide to exploration of one's own experience, should then proceed to describe himself as a 'good Madhyamikist'? As to the Note on Suicide (whose is this? yours or D's?), I would only remark that if we did not enjoy life considerably we would not need to contemplate death, and that the only true way to com it suicide is to nibbāna. In a sense, this is the essence of the Dhamma.
Thanks very much for your poems. In exchange I offer my latest haiku.
I knew a man who
though he could not name the stars
yet could see them.