Analysing things into parts, IMHO, is as much mental activity as making wholes out of parts (synthesis). Both are mental activities of deduction and induction and cannot really be found. (Can one isolate a moment of citta lasting 1/trillionth of a second? Is this even that useful?)
The whole is not always merely a sum of its parts. For example "A car" is not a sum of little cars. Its parts are not mini-cars that fulfill the function of the Car. It is not a matter of many little cars that move at little speed being added togather to make a big car that can carry passengers at a fast speed.
For examplel water, H20, (liquid). Water is not a mere sum of hydrogen (gas) and oxygen (gas). It is emergent property that has DIFFERENT property from its chemical parts.
So the whole, not being located in its parts, DOES exist and perform functions not present in its parts. Thus saying that wholes do not really exist, is metaphysics (that can have dire consequences if applied to ethics) that goes contrary to experience.
Reading over complex suttas such as MN#1, Ditthi-Samyutta SN24, and Avyakata-samyutta SN44 , I've come to these conclusions:
What is more important is to see WHAT the mind is doing as in HOW it is relating to sense-data. Buddha has taught a way out of suffering with a very interesting and appropriate parable of a person being shot with an arrow. The healing lies in pulling the arrow out, and treating the wound (not the arrow, or the shooter(s)). Spending time to study the "who/what shot me and out of how many elements it is made of" is mis-directed effort that wastes critical time. Whether "All is unity" or "All is multiplicity" (both wrong views), is irrelevant to salvation and what needs to be done now. In MN1 I believe that the Buddha was making a similar point. Focus on cessation of suffering by removing craving toward external and internal world. If I may be very revolutionary, I understand that the attention should NOT be put on the object or the "observer" (vinnana) but in the space betwen the "observer and the observed". Hindrances lie in sankhara khandha not vinnana or external namarupa.
Maybe the emphasis of attention in satipatthana should be put on the way one relates to body, feelings and mind of self and others. Observe the quality of observation, and if hindrances are present, then develop the qualities that will eradicate them.
The views appear because on has preference (greed, craving, personal liking) of something and argues accordingly. They are upadana link in Dependent Origination (DO) whose proximate cause is craving.
For example a materialist, who prefers matter, will have a view based on matter. An idealist, who prefers the mind, will have a view based on idealism. Some prefer unity, so they argue and build logical justifications justifing their theory of unity. Some prefer pluralism, so they argue and build logical justifications justifing their theory of pluralism. This becomes a possesion of mine, as in "mine ideas, my understanding" - a sakkayaditthi!
They both have personal preference toward something, which they base their theories on, and to which they cling as their personal possessions.
Right view is supposed to make one a stream-enterer and help other factors to arise. Many suttas talk about how short the view may be. Some suttas like MN9 list many right views, each of which make one Aryans. It is strange that many people today have 10x theory it takes to be an Arahant, know more than Sariputta knew up to even an Arahantship, and yet are not even stream-enterers... Furthermore the theoretical right view leading to Stream entry was sometimes different for different people. Not every person recieved the same teaching from the Buddha.
So even the theoretic content was different. For many people it is not more theoretical learning that is missing, and more theory may not mean "more right view". SN24 and AN10.93 are very important suttas on right view.
As I understand it, here are some main points.
1) All views, theories, speculations, preferences, anything, are based on 5 aggregates.
2) One thinks the view using his own mind (4 aggregates, mostly sanna+sankhara khandhas) and/or with the help of other teacher's opinions (other 5 aggregates).
3) The aggregates are anicca (inconstant, conditioned, dependently arisen, uncertain, subject to become otherwise). Things based on what is anicca will not last eternally and thus are Dukkha (stressful). What is stressful is not Self. Views are anatta, meaning that they cannot be permanently possesed by anyone or any particular thing. No matter what view one may hold, it will eventually change, even to its opposite. Either one will attain a different view (when
different facts and ideas become known) , one forgets the view, or one may realize the impermanence and uncertainty of dogmatically clinging to any views and ultimately becomes dispassionate for every view. Holding any view is a attachment to *that* particular view, no matter how right it is.
4) By removing all desire, adherence, etc, to these 5 aggregates, the speculative view ceases. Ultimately after giving up speculative views even this "view" is not disired, or adhered to.
5) N8P is like an improvised and fabricated raft to Nibbana, not to be dogmatically clung to with wrong views. (MN22, SN35.197)
So there should be right view about right view. Right view isn't simply "the right set of theory" as opposed to wrong views being "wrong theory". Right view is an expression of not-greed, non-hatred, non-delusion - while wrong view is view based on greed, hate, delusion. Moreover Right view itself is to be transcended by removing any desire and clinging to it. Wrong views are not abandoned. Right view leads to nibbida, while wrong view doesn't. One of the reasons why the Buddha didn't want to answer certain questions is because they were not concerned with the Goal and ultimately so metaphysical that one would never know for sure the answer to them (mn63). "The man would die and those things would still remain unknown to him.". The further the question is from directly experienced reality, the less verification of it we have of them - and the less they experientialy matter. Since suffering is an experiential truth, its solution lies in the experiential field. Thus more uncertainty, more arguments with others about "who is right" and the passions flare, the passions that the Right View is supposed to hold in check and eventually remove.
Right View is for making more peace, extirpation of passions and so on. I also believe that action is an expression of understanding. To claim to understand anatta, and yet act with a big Ego, is not the sort of understanding Buddha was talking about. Talk is cheap, actions and experiential results (more or less dukkha?) is what experientialy matters. IMHO.
With metta,""And what is declared by me? 'This is stress,' is declared by me. 'This is the origination of stress,' is declared by me. 'This is the cessation of stress,' is declared by me. 'This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress,' is declared by me. And why are they declared by me? Because they are connected with the goal, are fundamental to the holy life. They lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, calming, direct knowledge, self-awakening,
Unbinding. That's why they are declared by me." - MN63
"In the same way, monks, I have taught the Dhamma compared to a raft, for the purpose of crossing over, not for the purpose of holding onto. Understanding the Dhamma as taught compared to a raft, you should let go even of Dhammas, to say nothing of non-Dhammas.""
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"Then the man — afraid of the four vipers of utmost heat & horrible venom, afraid of the five enemy executioners, afraid of the sixth fellow-traveling executioner with upraised sword, afraid of the village-plundering bandits — would flee this way or that. He would see a great expanse of water, with the near shore dubious & risky, the further shore secure & free from risk, but with neither a ferryboat nor a bridge going from this shore to the other. The
thought would occur to him, 'Here is this great expanse of water, with the near shore dubious & risky, the further shore secure & free from risk, but with neither a ferryboat nor a bridge going from this shore to the other. What if I were to gather grass, twigs, branches, & leaves and, having bound them together to make a raft, were to cross over to safety on the other shore in dependence on the raft, making an effort with my hands & feet?' Then the man, having gathered grass, twigs, branches, & leaves, having bound them together to make a raft, would cross over to safety on the other shore in dependence on the raft, making an effort with his hands & feet. Crossed over, having gone to the other shore, he would stand on high ground, a brahman.
"'The great expanse of water' stands for the fourfold flood: the flood of sensuality, the flood of becoming, the flood of views, & the flood of ignorance. 'The near shore, dubious & risky' stands for self-identification. 'The further shore, secure and free from risk'
stands for Unbinding. 'The raft' stands for just this noble eightfold path: right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. 'Making an effort with hands & feet' stands for the arousing of persistence. 'Crossed over, having gone to the other shore, he would stand on high ground, a brahman' stands for the arahant."
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"And why are they undeclared by me? Because they are not connected with the goal, are not fundamental to the holy life. They do not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, calming, direct knowledge, self-awakening, Unbinding. That's why they are undeclared by me."
"It's just as if a man were wounded with an arrow thickly smeared with poison. His friends & companions, kinsmen & relatives would provide him with a surgeon, and the man would say, 'I won't have this arrow removed until I know whether the man who wounded me was a noble warrior, a priest, a merchant, or a worker.' He would say, 'I won't have this arrow removed until I know the given name & clan name of the man who wounded me... until I know whether he was tall, medium, or short... until I know whether he was dark, ruddy-brown, or golden-colored... until I know his home village, town, or city... until I know whether the bow with which I was wounded was a long bow or a crossbow... until I know whether the bowstring with which I was wounded was fiber, bamboo threads, sinew, hemp, or bark... until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was wild or cultivated... until I know whether the feathers of the shaft with which I was wounded were those of a vulture, a stork, a hawk, a peacock, or another bird... until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was bound with the sinew of an ox, a water buffalo, a langur, or a monkey.' He would say, 'I won't have this arrow removed until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was that of a common arrow, a curved arrow, a barbed, a calf-toothed, or an oleander arrow.' The man would die and those things would still remain unknown to him. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;