What is right view?

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Re: What is right view?

Postby acinteyyo » Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:07 pm

Hi Vincent,
vinasp wrote:Hi everyone,
There seems to be some confusion and misunderstanding here on this thread. I will try to sort things out. The confusion appears to be in three main areas :
1. Confusion about the meaning of "view" ( ditthi).
2. Confusion about whether right view is one thing or continuously changing.
3. Confusion about what exactly the four noble truths are.
In this post I will explain my understanding of "view" ( ditthi).
My understanding is that "view" has two meanings - it can mean a belief or a speculative opinion - and it can also mean to directly know and see what is true. For the first meaning one can look at the Brahmajala Sutta (DN. 1) where sixty-two
views about "the self and the world" are described. Most instances of the use of the term "view" are of this type. But there is another use of "view" which is found less often and can only be understood as knowing and seeing the truth. The best example of this is "right view" as the first factor of the noble eightfold path. Another example is the following passage :
"...that view which is noble, leading onwards, which leads, for the man who acts on it, to the complete destruction of suffering"(MN 48.7).
This second meaning of "view" explains why right view is often understood as wisdom or insight.
Pali dictionaries often give both meanings eg. view, belief, insight. Some explain that ditthi literally means "sight" derived from the root "dis" - to see.
There is therefore no need to think that the enlightened individual has eliminated all views, or that all views are wrong. Nor do we need to try to deny that right view is a view.
Best wishes, Vincent.

I do not agree. The word "view" does not really work here anymore.
sammaditthi is sammaditthi and ditthi is ditthi. you can't mix them up and say sammaditthi is also a ditthi. ditthi in all the cases I read it means speculative or wrong view, a belief. whereas sammaditthi means direct insight, seeing things as they are.
Let's take a look at MN72, translatet by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. He used the word 'position' instead of view but in the pali-tipitaka it's ditthi
Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta wrote:"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origin, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origin, such its disappearance; such is perception... such are mental fabrications... such is consciousness, such its origin, such its disappearance.'

Therefore I would say that an enlightened one has eliminated all ditthi. All there is left is sammaditthi, direct insight. Not a view or a belief but direct insight in the nature of things.
vinasp wrote:Hi everyone,
This is about the four noble truths.
Item 1. "It is this craving, giving rise to rebirth, accompanied by delight and ..."
What is item 1 ? It is : "The noble truth of the origin of suffering".
Item 2. "The noble truth of the origin of suffering".
What is item 2 ? It is the name of item 1.
So any passage which speaks about knowing or understanding the noble truth of the origin of suffering, means understanding item 1, knowing that craving is the origin of suffering. This is a limited understanding, dependent origination explains much more.
What has to be done in relation to the four noble truths ?
The noble truth of suffering - is to be fully understood.
The noble truth of the origin of suffering - is to be abandoned.
The noble truth of the cessation of suffering - is to be realised.
The noble truth of the path which leads to ... - is to be developed.
There is no word in English which captures the meaning of all these things. So we will have to choose a word which we all agree on to mean all four things which must be done. Otherwise the confusion will continue. What is that word ?
Best wishes, Vincent.

You make things much more complicated as they really are. I try to show up the logical mistake.
You say:
A = B, then you ask What is A?
your answer A = C
next thing you say is: D = C, then you ask What is D?
your answer: D is the name of A.
This means A=B and A=C, therefore we can also say that B=C. First premiss is then A=B=C.
Second premiss is: D is the name of A and D=C. Since A=B=C and D=C we can say A=B=C=D. Since D is also the name of A, it is also the name of B and C and even D. Furthermore A, B and C are also names for D.
The conclusion is that A=B=C=D and A, B, C and D are also equal names for each of the others. This means that these letters are all the same thing. Each thing is just another name for each other but it is only one thing.
Regarding the four noble truths the issue is for each truth one and the same. No need to seek for another word in addition. Sure you could say instead of A, B, C, and D we all call it now E but would that really make things better?
vinasp wrote:Hi everyone,
Here we examine whether it makes any sense to say that the view of "no-self" is not always right view, but is sometimes wrong view.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Did the Buddha teach no-self, or did he just say that there was no self in the five aggregates.
Dhammapada verses 277, 278 and 279.
All mentally constructed things are impermanent (sabbe samkhara anicca).
All mentally constructed things are suffering (sabbe samkhara dukkha).
All things are not-self ( sabbe dhamma anatta).
"Again, Ananda, when asked by the Wanderer : "Is there a self?" had I replied that there is, would my reply be in accordance with the knowledge that all things are not-self?" "Surely not, Lord". PTS Kindred Sayings IV page 282.
The usual teaching method is to point out that nothing in our experience is a self or is related to a self. This is to show that self is just a concept. In fact, a mis-conception. A grammatical mistake, taking an indexical to be an actual thing.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Buddha knows that "all things are not self" so when he is asked "is there a self?" he can not say that there is. Clearly, his view is that there is no self.Now, the Buddha "knows and sees things as they really are" this is his right view. So it must
include the view of "no-self". Therefore "no-self" is always right view and "self" is always wrong view.
The above is always true if "view of no-self" is understood to mean direct knowing and seeing of the truth. Whether someone could be clinging to a "no-self" belief is an interesting question but does not alter the truth of the statement above.
Best wishes, Vincent.

This is going to be very complicated because of the usage of the word view or belief.
First part I agree. Then you say:
vinasp wrote:The Buddha knows that "all things are not self" so when he is asked "is there a self?" he can not say that there is. Clearly, his view is that there is no self.

No, clearly is the Buddha sees that all things are not self. Not that his view is that there is no self at all. You only quoted one part of the Sutta (SN44.10) with the Wanderer Vacchagotta, which puts the story out of context.
Ananda Sutta wrote:"Ananda, if I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is a self — were to answer that there is a self, that would be conforming with those priests & contemplatives who are exponents of eternalism [the view that there is an eternal, unchanging soul]. If I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is no self — were to answer that there is no self, that would be conforming with those priests & contemplatives who are exponents of annihilationism [the view that death is the annihilation of consciousness].

To answer that there is a self (confirming eternalism) or that there is no self (annihilationism) is both ditthi (according to DN1), wrong view. The Buddha doesn't hold any ditthi as we can see in MN72.
vinasp wrote:Now, the Buddha "knows and sees things as they really are" this is his right view. So it must
include the view of "no-self". Therefore "no-self" is always right view and "self" is always wrong view. The above is always true if "view of no-self" is understood to mean direct knowing and seeing of the truth. Whether someone could be clinging to a "no-self" belief is an interesting question but does not alter the truth of the statement above.

This is not really clear to me. I think the difficulty is our different interpretation of words and their meaning. You can't say sammaditthi is a particular view nor that this particular view is always right. sammaditthi is not a view or a belief it is not ditthi. You cannot say which particular content sammditthi contains. It is direct insight, wisdom according to the particular moment and situation. It is what you directely see (refer to MN72)
'Such is form, such its origin, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origin, such its disappearance; such is perception... such are mental fabrications... such is consciousness, such its origin, such its disappearance.'

When one sees the world like that, then to see that way can be called sammaditthi.
vinasp wrote:Hi everyone,
Several posters have quoted a passage which speaks about the conditions for the arising of right view. I have no objection to that passage but I suspect that I am understanding it in a different way. For me, the passage is talking about the arising of right view - which only happens once. The arising of right view is the arising of the noble eightfold path - all eight path factors arise together.It seems that you may be understanding it in some other way. Do you think it happens more than once ? Can you show me a passage from the five nikayas which clearly speaks of right view arising more than once ?

Where can you see that it only happens once? Right view originates dependently. Depending on two conditions. (MN43)
This means any time when these two conditions come together there will be the arising of Right view, doesn't it?
Can you show me a passage from the five nikayas which clearly speaks of right view arising only once?

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

:anjali:
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Re: What is right view?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:48 pm

acinteyyo,

Thank you for your careful analysis.

Metta
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Re: What is right view?

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:21 pm

many things can be logically ascerted but without practice the logic does nothing
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: What is right view?

Postby vinasp » Fri Nov 20, 2009 1:25 am

Hi acinteyyo,

Acinteyyo said :

"I do not agree. The word "view" does not really work here anymore. sammaditthi is sammaditthi and ditthi is ditthi. you can't mix them up and say sammaditthi is also a ditthi. ditthi in all the cases I read it means speculative or wrong view, a belief. whereas sammaditthi means direct insight, seeing things as they are."

No, you are confused, I have already explained that ditthi has two meanings. If you do not accept dictionary definitions then how can anyone debate with you ? I already quoted one passage which speaks of a "noble view" which leads to enlightenment. In the Pali it is "ditthi ariya" why did you ignore this ? There are also other expressions such as, endowed with view "ditthi-sampanno", achieved view "ditthi-patto", and highest view "parama ditthi". These phrases are used of stream-winners and arahants.

View (ditthi) already has two meanings in the earliest teachings. Later they added the prefix right (samma) or wrong (miccha) to make things more clear. I do say that "sammaditthi is also a ditthi" but what I mean is that it is ditthi as "seeing the truth" not ditthi as "belief". You are still understanding ditthi only as belief. You say "sammaditthi means direct insight ..." and yet MN 117 gives a set of beliefs as being mundane right view, how do you explain this ? Various beliefs are also called right view in MN 60 because they are better than the opposite wrong beliefs.

Best wishes, Vincent.
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Re: What is right view?

Postby vinasp » Fri Nov 20, 2009 2:56 am

Hi acinteyyo,

You say :

"Let's take a look at MN72, translatet by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. He used the word 'position' instead of view but in the pali-tipitaka it's ditthi".

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origin, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origin, such its disappearance; such is perception... such are mental fabrications... such is consciousness, such its origin, such its disappearance.'

This is nonsense. The expression used is "ditthi-gata" which means "speculative view" or "gone to a view". Of course the Buddha has eliminated all such speculative views. It does not show that the Buddha has no view, "position" is not equivalent to "view". This is clear in the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation which says :

" Vaccha, 'speculative view' is something that the Tathagata has put away".

You say :
"Therefore I would say that an enlightened one has eliminated all ditthi. All there is left is sammaditthi, direct insight. Not a view or a belief but direct insight in the nature of things".

Wrong again. All there is left is sammaditthi. Not a speculative belief but view as "seeing the truth".

Best wishes, Vincent.
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Re: What is right view?

Postby vinasp » Fri Nov 20, 2009 5:36 am

Hi acinteyyo,

I said :"The Buddha knows that "all things are not self" so when he is asked "is there a self?" he can not say that there is. Clearly, his view is that there is no self".

You said : "No, clearly is the Buddha sees that all things are not self. Not that his view is that there is no self at all.

Acinteyyo, I would like to know exactly what you are saying here, do you mean :

1. The Buddha sees that there is no self at all - but this is not a view.
2. The Buddha sees that all things are not self - but he does not see that there is no self.
3. The Buddha sees a self which is distinct from all things.

What is your understanding of this ?

You said :"You only quoted one part of the Sutta (SN44.10) with the Wanderer Vacchagotta, which puts the story out of context.

"Ananda, if I - being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is a self - were to answer that there is a self, that would be conforming with those priests & contemplatives who are exponents of eternalism [the view that there is an eternal,
unchanging soul]. If I - being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is no self - were to answer that there is no self, that would be conforming with those priests & contemplatives who are exponents of annihilationism [the view that death is the annihilation of consciousness]".

You said :"To answer that there is a self (confirming eternalism) or that there is no self (annihilationism) is both ditthi (according to DN1), wrong view. The Buddha doesn't hold any ditthi as we can see in MN72".

No, sorry, you have mis-understood this sutta. Eternalism is the view of an eternal self - yes, correct. Annihilationism is the view that there is a really existing self but it ends with the death of the body. Both views are wrong according to the Buddha.
Niether of these views is a view of no self. The Buddha was asked "is there a self" and he did not answer. He was asked "is there no self" and he did not answer. The reason is because his answer would be mis-understood in terms of those two
theories. This says nothing about the truth of the no-self view. The part I quoted was the only relevant part for the point that I was making, that the Buddha says "all things are not self".

Best wishes, Vincent.
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Re: What is right view?

Postby chownah » Fri Nov 20, 2009 1:41 pm

vinasp wrote:Hi everyone,

Several posters have quoted a passage which speaks about the conditions for the arising of right view. I have no objection to that passage but I suspect that I am understanding it in a different way. For me, the passage is talking about the arising of right view - which only happens once. The arising of right view is the arising of the noble eightfold path - all eight path factors arise together.

It seems that you may be understanding it in some other way. Do you think it happens more than once ? Can you show me a passage from the five nikayas which clearly speaks of right view arising more than once ?
Why are you quoting this passage, and how do you understand it ?

Best wishes, Vincent.

Vinasp,
Sorry I can't provide the reference for this but I do believe that there is a description of stream entry (in the Canon I think if not then in some other accepted reference as best as I can remember) which says something like at stream entry there is a glimpse of Right View without effluents (aka supermundane right view...aka noble right view...aka transcendental right view...etc.) but that it is not fully developed and right view without effluents is not fully developed until the moment of reaching arahantship. I might not be describing this exactly correctly but the point is that it seems to indicate that your view as indicated above (arises once only) is incorrect.

Again...sorry that I don't have the reference..perhaps someone else could provide it.....I posted it at that other site which is presently out of order so I can't go there to retrieve it.

Also, I think you will find that the Buddha is reported to have said that there are two types of Right View.....Right View with effluents and Right View without effluents....and it seems that these are two completely different types of views which deal with completely different types of things....so.....it might be good if you could indicate which type of right view you mean here in that it seems that using right view as one overarching concept (which seems to me to be contrary to what the Buddha taught) would require that it arise at least two times to accomodate the two very different categories of views that the Buddha described.

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Re: What is right view?

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Nov 20, 2009 2:01 pm

Right View is not right knowlege but leads onto it.

Edit -
is there any need to call people confused or say they don't understand, we may believe someone doesn't understand but it is just as likely that we don't in allot of cases.
like I said above logic an only take s so far, without practice logic is a dead road.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: What is right view?

Postby acinteyyo » Fri Nov 20, 2009 5:11 pm

Hi Vincent,
vinasp wrote:If you do not accept dictionary definitions then how can anyone debate with you ?

I dunno. It is true I don't accept every dictionary definition. For me, the content of dictionaries aren't really a base for discussions.
vinasp wrote:I already quoted one passage which speaks of a "noble view" which leads to enlightenment. In the Pali it is "ditthi ariya" why did you ignore this ? There are also other expressions such as, endowed with view "ditthi-sampanno", achieved view "ditthi-patto", and highest view "parama ditthi". These phrases are used of stream-winners and arahants.

I did not ignore this. "ditthi ariya", "ditthi-sampanno", "ditthi-patto", "parama ditthi" are completely different expressions. I don't compare them with "ditthi" as a belief, speculative view . They are simply different expressions with their own meanings.
vinasp wrote:"sammaditthi means direct insight ..." and yet MN 117 gives a set of beliefs as being mundane right view, how do you explain this ?

I don't see a problem here. Maybe I can't express myself clearly. I don't mean sammaditthi is direct insight but sammaditthi is to have direct insight in a particular situation. I don't know how to explain it in any other way. For example "There is what is given..." out of MN117. Sure is that, one who sees what is given, as what is given in the appropriate situatuion has right view. One sees it as it is.
By the way I don't consider these right views a set of beliefs.
vinasp wrote:
acinteyyo wrote:"Let's take a look at MN72, translatet by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. He used the word 'position' instead of view but in the pali-tipitaka it's ditthi".
"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origin, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origin, such its disappearance; such is perception... such are mental fabrications... such is consciousness, such its origin, such its disappearance.'

This is nonsense. The expression used is "ditthi-gata" which means "speculative view" or "gone to a view". Of course the Buddha has eliminated all such speculative views. It does not show that the Buddha has no view, "position" is not equivalent to "view". This is clear in the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation which says :
" Vaccha, 'speculative view' is something that the Tathagata has put away".

You may see it this way. I don't. ditthi-gata is "gone to a view", I don't accept a translation like "speculative view".
vinasp wrote:
acinteyyo wrote:"Therefore I would say that an enlightened one has eliminated all ditthi. All there is left is sammaditthi, direct insight. Not a view or a belief but direct insight in the nature of things".

Wrong again. All there is left is sammaditthi. Not a speculative belief but view as "seeing the truth".

You may understand it in the way you're satisfied with. It is the difference, that you consider sammaditthi also as ditthi and I don't. I won't repeat myself again.
acinteyyo wrote:
vinasp wrote:"The Buddha knows that "all things are not self" so when he is asked "is there a self?" he can not say that there is. Clearly, his view is that there is no self".

"No, clearly is the Buddha sees that all things are not self. Not that his view is that there is no self at all.

vinasp wrote:Acinteyyo, I would like to know exactly what you are saying here, do you mean :
1. The Buddha sees that there is no self at all - but this is not a view.
2. The Buddha sees that all things are not self - but he does not see that there is no self.
3. The Buddha sees a self which is distinct from all things.
What is your understanding of this ?

1. No, I don't mean it that way.
2. No, I don't mean it that way.
3. No , I don't mean it that way.
What I mean is, the Buddha sees that all things are not-self.
The Buddha does not hold the view that there is a self, neither in one nor in all things.
The Buddha does not hold the view that there is no self.
The Buddha does not hold the view that there is a self and that there is no self.
vinasp wrote:
acinteyyo wrote:"You only quoted one part of the Sutta (SN44.10) with the Wanderer Vacchagotta, which puts the story out of context.
"Ananda, if I - being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is a self - were to answer that there is a self, that would be conforming with those priests & contemplatives who are exponents of eternalism [the view that there is an eternal,
unchanging soul]. If I - being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is no self - were to answer that there is no self, that would be conforming with those priests & contemplatives who are exponents of annihilationism [the view that death is the annihilation of consciousness]".
"To answer that there is a self (confirming eternalism) or that there is no self (annihilationism) is both ditthi (according to DN1), wrong view. The Buddha doesn't hold any ditthi as we can see in MN72".

No, sorry, you have mis-understood this sutta. Eternalism is the view of an eternal self - yes, correct. Annihilationism is the view that there is a really existing self but it ends with the death of the body. Both views are wrong according to the Buddha.
Niether of these views is a view of no self. The Buddha was asked "is there a self" and he did not answer. He was asked "is there no self" and he did not answer. The reason is because his answer would be mis-understood in terms of those two
theories. This says nothing about the truth of the no-self view. The part I quoted was the only relevant part for the point that I was making, that the Buddha says "all things are not self".

Here I have to agree. You're right.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

:anjali:
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Re: What is right view?

Postby vinasp » Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:07 pm

Hi acinteyyo,

It seems that I am not going to persuade you to understand ditthi in another way. But this is not really important, as long as I understand what you are saying. So I think we should drop the discussion of the meaning of view. There are other ways in which our understanding differs that I find much more interesting. You said at one point that "one can not specify the content of right view" (understood as seeing the truth). This is one thing which I would like to explore.

I am still not sure how you understand the teaching on no-self. You say that the Buddha does not "hold the view of self" or "hold the view of no-self". If by hold you mean clinging then I agree, that would imply craving. But enlightened individuals "know and see things as they really are". What is it that they know ? Do you think that everything that they know is just from moment to moment and therefore they can not make statements about reality ? Do you think that "holding a view" is the same as "stating what one knows to be true", or different ?

"Bhikkhus, there being a self, would there be for me what belongs to a self ? - "Yes venerable sir." - Or, there being what belongs to a self, would there be for me a self ? - "Yes, venerable sir" - Bhikkhus, since a self and what belongs to a self are not apprehended as true and established, then this standpoint for views, namely ... ( the eternalist view ) ... - would it not be an utterly and completely foolish teaching ? - "What else could it be, venerable sir ..." (MN 22. 25)

Is the Buddha saying here that there is no self - what do you think ?

Best wishes, Vincent.
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Re: What is right view?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:26 pm

Hi Vincent,

Here is a Sutta that illustrates what I, and presumably acinteyyo, mean by right view not being a particular view. Just having wisdom operating.
MN 58 Abhaya Sutta: To Prince Abhaya
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"In that case, prince, I will ask you a counter-question. Answer as you see fit. What do you think: are you skilled in the parts of a chariot?"

"Yes, lord. I am skilled in the parts of a chariot."

"And what do you think: When people come & ask you, 'What is the name of this part of the chariot?' does this line of reasoning appear to your awareness beforehand — 'If those who approach me ask this, I — thus asked — will answer in this way' — or do you come up with the answer on the spot?"

"Lord, I am renowned for being skilled in the parts of a chariot. All the parts of a chariot are well-known to me. I come up with the answer on the spot."

"In the same way, prince, when wise nobles or priests, householders or contemplatives, having formulated questions, come to the Tathagata and ask him, he comes up with the answer on the spot. Why is that? Because the property of the Dhamma is thoroughly penetrated by the Tathagata. From his thorough penetration of the property of the Dhamma, he comes up with the answer on the spot."


See also this short discussion about Ajahn Chah not having a "view": http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 622#p36595

Metta
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Re: What is right view?

Postby mudra » Sat Nov 21, 2009 5:16 am

pt1 wrote:
mudra wrote:Not sure if this is off topic, but from the Theravada POV, what is wrong view? Is it the same as ignorance? Or does the latter lead to the former?


Hi, in abhidhammic classification:

Wrong view (ditthi) is one of the unwholesome mental factors (akusala cetasikas).

Ignorance (moha) is also an unwholesome mental factor, but it is also considered one of the 3 unwholesome root mental factors (the other two being greed and aversion). So, when an unwholesome consciousness (akusala citta) arises, it has to have ignorance as the root mental factor (maybe also greed or aversion) and is accompanied by a number of unwholesome mental factors, like wrong view (ditthi) for example.

Right view on the other hand is synonymous with wholesome mental factor of wisdom/understanding (panna), which is also one of the 3 wholesome root mental factors - non-ignorance (amoha), the other two wholesome roots being non-greed (alobha-generosity) and non-hate (adosa-kindness). When a wholesome consciousness (kusala citta) arises, it can have 2 or 3 wholesome roots mental factors (non-greed and non-hate, but no wisdom, or all 3 roots at the same time) and is accompanied by a number of other wholesome mental factors like abstinence from wrong speech, wrong action (virati cetasikas) etc.

Best wishes


Thank you for that, and sorry for the late response, haven't been 'on-site' for a while. I was curious because in Tibetan circles there is a lot of discussion as to whether they are separate unwholesome mental factors or not. One explanation discusses 6 main disturbing mental factors (the 3 mental poisons of ignorance, attachment, and hatred plus pride, doubt, and wrong view), another lumps ignorance and wrongview into one. Was curious to see how they were separated in Theravada.
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Re: What is right view?

Postby acinteyyo » Sat Nov 21, 2009 11:39 am

vinasp wrote:Hi acinteyyo,
It seems that I am not going to persuade you to understand ditthi in another way. But this is not really important, as long as I understand what you are saying. So I think we should drop the discussion of the meaning of view. There are other ways in which our understanding differs that I find much more interesting. You said at one point that "one can not specify the content of right view" (understood as seeing the truth). This is one thing which I would like to explore.

I am still not sure how you understand the teaching on no-self. You say that the Buddha does not "hold the view of self" or "hold the view of no-self". If by hold you mean clinging then I agree, that would imply craving. But enlightened individuals "know and see things as they really are". What is it that they know ? Do you think that everything that they know is just from moment to moment and therefore they can not make statements about reality ? Do you think that "holding a view" is the same as "stating what one knows to be true", or different ?

Hi Vincent,
vinasp wrote:What is it that they know ?

What they know is all things are not-self.
vinasp wrote:Do you think that everything that they know is just from moment to moment and therefore they can not make statements about reality ?

I don't know. But they certainly can make statements about reality.
vinasp wrote:"Bhikkhus, there being a self, would there be for me what belongs to a self ? - "Yes venerable sir." - Or, there being what belongs to a self, would there be for me a self ? - "Yes, venerable sir" - Bhikkhus, since a self and what belongs to a self are not apprehended as true and established, then this standpoint for views, namely ... ( the eternalist view ) ... - would it not be an utterly and completely foolish teaching ? - "What else could it be, venerable sir ..." (MN 22. 25)
Is the Buddha saying here that there is no self - what do you think ?

No. The Buddha is saying that a self and what belongs to a self are not apprehended as true and established. This means it is not true and established that there is a self and what belongs to a self. This is clear, because the Buddha said all things are not-self. How should there be anything which belongs to a self. And when there isn't anything which belongs to a self, how should a statement like "there is a self" aprehended as true and establieshed.
But to say that the statement "there is a self and what belongs to a self" is not true. Does not automatically lead to the conclusion that you can say that there is no self.
It is not true to say there is (something which is) a self, because all things are not-self.
So when all things are not-self there isn't anything left which is or belongs to a self all you can say is that all things are not a self or do not belong to a self.
Then we're not anymore talking about things which are accessable through perception (because all things, the world and everything is already not-self, and we can't say anything about which is beyond). There isn't anything left which is perceivable and therefore there isn't anything which could be labeled "no self". It is now very difficult for me to find the right words. Since all things are not-self, which thing should be no self, when there aren't anymore things left? We don't know nothing about anything which isn't part of the perceivable world. Thus we can't say anything about it. Neither that it exists, nor that it doesn't exist, nor that it is this way nor that way. We simple can't say anything. That is the reason why the Buddha never said: "There is no self." He said: "All things are not-self." This is a huge difference.
The best thing one could do is the same thing what the Buddha did, when one is asked: "Is there no self?" - to make no reply.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

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Re: What is right view?

Postby Sanghamitta » Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:03 pm

Manapa wrote:Right View is not right knowlege but leads onto it.

Edit -
is there any need to call people confused or say they don't understand, we may believe someone doesn't understand but it is just as likely that we don't in allot of cases.
like I said above logic an only take s so far, without practice logic is a dead road.

Quite right. In fact without extensive practice of the various meditative skillful means bequeathed to us by the Buddha logic, is likely to lead to endless egoic speculation.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

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Re: What is right view?

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:44 pm

Sanghamitta wrote:
Manapa wrote:Right View is not right knowlege but leads onto it.

Edit -
is there any need to call people confused or say they don't understand, we may believe someone doesn't understand but it is just as likely that we don't in allot of cases.
like I said above logic an only take s so far, without practice logic is a dead road.

Quite right. In fact without extensive practice of the various meditative skillful means bequeathed to us by the Buddha logic, is likely to lead to endless egoic speculation.

That too can be a topic for meditation, same as all things can if don appropriately, the problem is the Egoic speculation or (if it is different not 100% sure how you mean that?) the precence of the ego in speculation.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: What is right view?

Postby nowheat » Sat Nov 21, 2009 4:33 pm

acinteyyo wrote:What they know is all things are not-self. . . But they certainly can make statements about reality. . .
So when all things are not-self there isn't anything left which is or belongs to a self all you can say is that all things are not a self or do not belong to a self.
Then we're not anymore talking about things which are accessible through perception (because all things, the world and everything is already not-self, and we can't say anything about which is beyond). There isn't anything left which is perceivable and therefore there isn't anything which could be labeled "no self". It is now very difficult for me to find the right words.

acinteyyo, do you have a sutta reference for the above? I'd be most grateful to be pointed towards a sutta in which the Buddha is talking about only being able to talk about that which is accessible through perception.

My understanding is that the Buddha's teaching about anatman was in direct reaction against the Vedic concept of atman, and that atman was an "eternal, unchanging, separate self". So then what the Buddha said was that the evidence of our investigations in looking for that self (atman) and what belongs to it would show us that there is no "eternal, unchanging, separate self" to be found. Further, that everything arises from causes so nothing is eternal, nothing is unchanging, nothing is entirely separate (except nibbana). However, this leaves room for there to be something to do with "self" that is not eternal, is changing, and is not separate that moves from life to life but THAT WE CANNOT LOCATE THROUGH OUR SENSES. There could be something soul-like that changes and moves through lives BUT we have no evidence for it, we can therefor garner no information about it -- not the rules it follows nor its properties -- so it is MOOT.

What the Buddha taught is a method to end suffering starting NOW using the evidence of this life. Anything that we cannot access through perception is useless speculation.

I'm hoping that states, in a different way, what you were trying to say about "things which are accessible through perception . . . and we can't say anything about which is beyond".

:namaste:
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Re: What is right view?

Postby acinteyyo » Sat Nov 21, 2009 10:22 pm

Hi nowheat,

no I don't have a sutta reference. And I'm sorry, but I don't really understand, I don't get your point.
As far as I know the buddha never talked about things which aren't perceivable because it is useless.
That's why I assume there probably is no sutta. It is useless because it doesn't lead to the end of suffering.
All I'm trying to say with that statement you quoted is, to say that there is no self isn't possible. One who holds such a view should let it go, because it is a speculative view. The Buddha never said it. What he said is "all things are not-self", or "an eternal, unchanging, separate self is not to be found".
It is useless to talk about the gap you mentioned.
nowheat wrote:However, this leaves room for there to be something to do with "self" that is not eternal, is changing, and is not separate that moves from life to life

It cannot be said anything about such a "something".
I try to give another hint which maybe better explains what I'm trying to say.
Since all things are not-self and a self which is eternal, unchanging, seperate is not to be found and there might be something that is not eternal, is changing and is not seperate but can not be located with our senses (so one better shouldn't even try to think about such a something) does anyone know what a self is?
If ones answer is "yes". Please explain to me what this one perceived that he or she could make any statement about it.
To make a true statement like "there is no self" a self has to exist ("to exist" means perceivable with our 6 senses) in the first place. Only then one could deny it. But the statement "there is a self" is not true. How could anyone say anything about anything which one isn't able to know about?
I think I better stop talking about this question...

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

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Re: What is right view?

Postby vinasp » Sat Nov 21, 2009 10:53 pm

Hi everyone,

Here is a 300 word summary of my understanding of the Nikaya teachings, this gives the "background" of why I suggested earlier on this thread that right view could be the "view" of no-self (where "view" means "seeing the truth of").

Summary.

[At the time of the Buddha]. Everyone has a view of self-and-world. Sixty-two such views are described in the Brahmajala Sutta DN 1. Let us assume that each person has only one of these views. To simplify further, let us assume that everyone
has the "eternalist view". This view says that self and world (cosmos) are eternal. Underlying this speculative view is a more fundamental view of a self - the view "that there is an existing self" here and now. In the teachings this was originally called "atta-ditthi" - view of self. Later it was analysed into a set of twenty views called - sakaya-ditthi. The speculative view of "self and world" can only be eliminated by removing the underlying view of a self here and now. This is what enlightenment is. The enlightened individual has eliminated the view of a self. [ what is meant here is an "arahant" who has completed the noble eightfold path ] Now, the view of self is a delusion and the only way to remove it is to see the truth of no-self. The teachings say that all things should be "regarded" (seen) as impermanent (anicca), suffering (dukkha) and not-self (anatta). That is why I suggested that the primary content of right view was the "view" (seeing) of no-self.

Now the problem. Some of the later nikaya teachings included false doctrines. For example, the four stages, the eight noble persons, and the ten fetters. One reason for these was to detect those who made false claims of attainments. It seems that at some point the real understanding of the Nikaya teachings was lost. This resulted in later teachings which built on the earlier false teachings and so made a bad situation even worse [ the Abhidhamma and Commentaries ]. This has led to an almost universal mis-understanding that the so-called stream-winner has already eliminated the view of self. This then results in people not knowing what is to be done by those on the noble eightfold path.

Note : The last section above is included as additional background information. I do not think it should be debated here on this thread.

Best wishes, Vincent.
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Re: What is right view?

Postby vinasp » Sun Nov 22, 2009 3:22 am

Hi everyone,

Has an enlightened individual eliminated all views ? This depends on how you understand views. Lets look at the options :

1. Someone might think that views are beliefs, and that all beliefs have been eliminated by an enlightened individual. This leads to problems. It means that you have to separate belief from knowledge. This is difficult - perhaps impossible.

2. Someone might think that views are delusions (false beliefs). This is better, but "false beliefs" implies the existence of true beliefs.

Notes:

a) Many modern people (in the west) are confused in this area.

b) A modern western philosopher might say : Almost all knowledge is belief and there is no point in trying to make a distinction between them. The distinction that we should be making is that between justified belief and unjustified belief. Where justification means the evidence which supports the belief. Knowledge is justified belief. Unjustified belief is delusion. On this understanding a person with no beliefs is impossible - he would know nothing.

c) The way in which the term ditthi (view) is used in the Nikaya's only adds to the problems. Some passages seem to imply the elimination of all views.

What are your thoughts ?

Best wishes, Vincent.
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Re: What is right view?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Nov 22, 2009 3:53 am

Hi Vincent,
vinasp wrote: c) The way in which the term ditthi (view) is used in the Nikaya's only adds to the problems.

I don't see why we should blame the Nikayas...
vinasp wrote:Some passages seem to imply the elimination of all views.

As has been pointed out countless times. I don't agree with your argument that this is problematical. Obviously I'm not awakened, but my simplistic take is that this "lack of view" is analogous to me not having a view on what 2+2 is. I can just calculate it...
vinasp wrote: What are your thoughts ?

I think I already gave you all my thoughts. Since you claim have a different understanding of the Nikayas from everyone else it's a little hard to figure out what else to say...

Metta
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