zavk wrote:Hi friends,
Mike's post reminded about something I read. I remember reading about the qualification sammā. Sammā is usually translated as 'right'. But I believe it also means 'togetherness' or 'to be connected in one' or something like that (Maybe someone more learned can elaborate on this). This suggests to me that sammā is not just simply about establishing what is 'right' as opposed to 'wrong'. Sammā ditthi is not simply about right or wrong view. Rather, sammā (as 'togetherness'; 'to be connected in one) points to the need to incorporate the development of view into the noble eightfold path. And as we all know, the path includes other factors like effort, action, and speech.
It seems to me, then, that Right View isn't just about epistemology (what is right or not, what can be known or not) but also about ontology (what one is) and ethics (what one ought to do). Questions about right/wrong and knowledge are important, but the answers to these questions are to be discovered not simply in discourse but in what we do, the way we behave, how we live.
This then suggests that having Right View about kamma and rebirth is not just about establishing whether rebirth is right/wrong or knowable or not. This is not to say that it is useless to reflect on rebirth. Rather, it suggests that all the effort spent on discussing and analysing rebirth does not necessary lead one to Right View. Even if one has a nuanced argument about Right View that is supported by all the suttas, until that person starts to live with Right Action, Speech, etc, that view about rebirth is not "Right'. Nor is that person any closer to the truth of rebirth than another who doesn't talk about it.
This also suggests to me that until we gain deep insight into rebirth, we can adopt rebirth in ways that are not simply based on right/wrong, true/false. Perhaps, we can adopt rebirth as a kind of guiding narrative, a guiding metaphor, for us to live our lives and actions. If rebirth is to be realised, it realised through our actions; it is realised in the way our lives pan out. Right View is thus established in the context of our actions.
Samma2: (indecl.) [Vedic samyac (=samyak) & sam¨.s "connected, in one".
I would suggest that rather than "right" which is a static, dualistic term - that "integral" would better describe the view that is being encouraged. Integral implies a dynamic harmony...a consistency with the Whole, the Way, or "just what is". Rather than the "right" that is the opposite of "wrong". We're talking about good medicine here, and good medicine is always conditional, specific to circumstances and pre-existing patterns. Good medicine is never "one size fits all" (except in allopathic, corporate medical systems).