bob wrote: Every human view is wrong view
I am intrigued as well as puzzled....
Based on numerous testimonies of near death experiencers (those who were on the “other side” long enough to have been granted access to what we might call “Universal Knowledge”), all human views regarding the nature of existence — including our highest conceptions of liberation — are instantly recognized as merely primitive approximations at best, and actually quite naive in the larger scheme of things, as if a toddler were trying to describe celestial mechanics, for example.
In my own case, although I had studied spirituality for several decades, including seven years in a Catholic Seminary and three years in a Buddhist monastery, I was shown that none of my previous views really applied, and the distinct sense I had was that, on the contrary, all of them were based on false premises. It was unmistakably clear to me that the whole system and description of reality that we as humans buy into, based on our conditioning, is a somewhat humorous pretense (Divine Comedy). At best, it seems to be like a running software program within the confines of a holographic-type environment, one designed for immature beings who are just learning the rudiments of how to behave. This program includes all the religious and philosophical assertions which we as humans cling to and depend on to define our place in the universe.
To most of us, it comes as somewhat of a shock when we discover that there is no religion “beyond the veil”, nor any need for one. Religions are recognized to be purely human contrivances, and they invariably melt away when we separate from the human bio-vehicle, release our identification with its accompanying vexations, and resume our truer nature as immortal spiritual beings.
Nevertheless, although all human views are ultimately incomplete (physical matter is far too dense and rudimentary to hold anything but tiny fragments of true or Universal Knowledge), there is still the need for discernment in determining the more skillful views from the less than skillful, as we encounter the various tests presented to us in this earthly learning environment. In other words, some views will lead to more expansive and harmonious levels of awareness, and some to narrower, more contracted and conflicted levels of awareness. Based on our view of things, we can move up or down, freeing ourselves from afflictions or adding to our karmic load.
Moreover, non-identification with and non-dwelling on any views whatsoever, whether right or wrong, good or bad, pure or impure, positive or negative, etc., can reveal a spaciousness in which all opposites are recognized as void. Such practice is in fact a gateway to detachment and wisdom, and is recommended by the more advanced among us, the sages who have appeared to shine a light on the developmental process. A few levels further up in awareness, and even the greatly expanded views we attain in the afterlife will come to be regarded as lingering yet in the realm of children’s fantasies, and beyond that, no human imagination can begin to comprehend.
Essentially, views (positions) are produced by and in turn produce mental conditioning in this virtual reality scenario called human life. They are fabrications of consciousness, interpretations on perception, and due to the limitations of the human perceptive mechanism, are based on insufficient information to actually correspond to reality. In other words, all human views are symptoms of conditioning within a dream-like realm, and since consciousness itself is impermanent (comes and goes) then no view is anything but provisional.
The Buddha, according to the legend, having attained the state of unconditioned mind, is said to have “passed beyond the bondage, tie, greed, obsession, acceptance, attachment, and lust of view.” He furthermore states that he himself has no viewpoint. The so-called “Right View” as the first part of his Noble Eightfold Path leads ultimately not to the holding of correct views, but to a detached form of cognition, free from all mental positions.
“Does Master Gotama have any position at all?”
“A ‘position’ is something that a Tathagata (Awakened One) 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.’ Because of this, I say, a Tathagata — with the ending, fading out, cessation, renunciation, and relinquishment of all construings, all excogitations, all I-making & mine-making and obsession with conceit — is, through lack of clinging/sustenance, released.”
~ Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta
To reiterate from a previous post, regardless of the views and dogmas we may have espoused, defended, and even evangelized in our human life, we will be made vividly aware that all that really matters is not our adherence to some human religion and its doctrinal views, or expertise in sutra and tantra, but the love that we shared (or didn’t) while alive.
If our religious/philosophical views served to help us in leading a life of integrity, gratitude, and compassion, eliminating greed, envy, and hatred whenever those tests presented themselves, then they could be considered expedient means, and we will likely move on to a more advanced curriculum. On the other hand, if our convictions led to divisiveness, arrogance, squabbling and bickering, and self-righteousness, then most likely we will find ourselves back for another round in kindergarten, still learning the basics of how to behave.