Buddhism: Intro to Noble Eightfold Path #1 - Right View - Ajahn Dhammasiha
The first session in our series 'Introduction to the Noble Eightfold Path', on the first factor of 'Perfect Conviction' ('Sammadiṭṭhi'). Ajahn Dhammasiha points out that we have to distinguish two levels of right view:
1. Right View that is wholesome, but still only on the level of thought/perception, not yet based on relization, and therefore still leading to rebirth: Conviction that there is a point and meaning in generosity, offerings and sacrifice for the sake of other beings; conviction that there is a result of good and bad actions; that after death rebirth will happen in various realms of existence according to our actions and the purity or impurity of our mind; that there are beings like devas/angels/spirits, even if we can't see or touch them; that there are renuncients who have attained enlightenment and can teach the path leading to the end of suffering
2. Right view that is supramundane: the experiential insight into the 4 Noble Truths in the heart of the noble ones who realize Nibbāna.
What's unique about the Buddha's teaching on view is his analysis of the origin, the causes and conditions resulting in a particular view; and the results that will come from holding a particular view. In other words, he applies the teaching of 'dependent origination' also to the dependent arising of views. Whereas other religions philosophies and doctrines hold on to their particular views as 'true' or 'right' in an absolute sense, the Buddha recognizes every view (even 'right view') as dependently arisen, impermanent, and not-self.
The point is not to cling and identify with any view, but to deliberately develop right view, to use it simply as a tool to extricate ourselves from suffering and realize Nibbāna. Beyond asking wether a particular view is 'right' or 'wrong', we investigate where does that view come from, and where does it lead to?