And that leaves people like myself wondering then how best in fact to keep the Torah --if the the insane religious world can't be used as a metric.
For that reason I try to keep Torah in the way my parents did which seems to me to be the meaning of the verse in the Ten Commandments, "Honor your Father and your Mother." Naphtali Troup brings from the Rambam that there is an actual obligation to obey your parents-- not just to honor them in some vague superficial manner. But you get the idea. I try to keep things as simple as possible. If any question comes up, I look at the Torah. Most of the time the Torah is perfectly clear. But sometimes there is some issue that is ambiguous. If the Torah is clear, then full stop. If not, then I go to the Mishna. If that is not clear, then I go to the Talmud. If that is not clear then I go to the Rambam and the traditional books of Musar.
The evil custom of the the insane religious world is to make a blank statement about Torah and Talmud "Do you think you understand them better than___?" Fill in the blank. They attempt to make every clear statement in Torah to be ambiguous, so that they can go to some charismatic lunatic to guide them.
This causes the effect that we have people that actually think they are keeping the Torah while doing the opposite and then criticizing others for not following them.
It is not that they keep Torah in some polarized extreme fashion. It is rather that they don't keep Torah at all, but think they do.