Monday, April 22, 2013

This Statement Is False

Scott Bradley


Mu Soeng (Trust in Mind), in addressing the first element of Gautama's Eight-Fold Path, "right view", tells us how the right view can be the wrong view: "The radicalism of Chan . . . said that all views are erroneous simply by virtue of being views in the first place." This "right view" refers to the four ennobling truths (?!), namely that insufficiency (suffering) is universal, why it arises, what is its cure, and how one gets the cure.

Thus, the right view becomes the wrong view when it is thought to be anything other than a provisional paradigm for understanding the human experience. In this sense, the right view is never truly right, even though it need not be wrong. However, it can be wrong if thought to be right—but also only provisionally so. He continues: "In practical terms, we can work with views . . . as working propositions but when we grasp any of them as 'truth' these views become instantaneously erroneous. Therefore, a deconstruction of all views, bar none, is required before one steps into working with them provisionally."

This, of course, is precisely the understanding of Zhuangzi. And though Buddhism may very well understand the same, it seems to have taken an encounter with Daoism for it to remember. The result was Chan (Zen).

I have several times here expressed my disapproval of the idea of "right view", informed as I am by my righter view that there is no right view, but that obviously amounts to the same thing. Still, since there are very few (if any) realized buddhas among us, one generally encounters this admonition to "right view" stated as 'truth', so my wrong view about this wrong view is not altogether wrong, though I am.

You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

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