vinasp wrote: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").
[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.
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.
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 ?
Ah, I now think I understood what you mean. In this special case when one says knowledge is justified belief because of seeing the truth, one could call it also a "view". I don't define knowledge like that, which maybe explains our differences in understanding. But if I now understood you correctly in the meaning and usage of the word "view" like explained above, I would agree. We could have made it much more easier if we first would have cleared our base using and interpreting of the word "view". Well, speech is mostly misleading.
To your point c). It maybe seems odd how the term ditthi is used in the Nikaya's. But in my opinion it is not the Nikaya's making a problem it is your kind of understanding of the word "view" like explained in your point b).
vinasp wrote:That is why I suggested that the primary content of right view was the "view" (seeing) of no-self.
It is right view seeing not-self. But don't you think you only observed one half of the story? To simplify you look at the "eternalist-view", which needs the preassumption of "there is a self". This view "there is a self" can only be eliminated by removing the underlying view of a self here and now. That's right. It means to see that all things are not the self or that "there is a self" is not true.
Then we have the "annihilation-view". It also needs the preassumption of a self. And then one says after this or that the formerly existing self doesn't exist anymore. One maybe says "then there is no self", such a statement is not true, because the preassumption "there is a self" isn't true in the first place. This is also belief in a self.
When "there is a self" is not true, the view "there is no self" doesn't have any base.
This was my last attempt to explain it.
best wishes, acinteyyo