Wise View

The Buddha taught that Right or Wise View or Understanding is: an understanding of the Four Noble Truths; based on direct insightful knowing of the Dharma; the objective understanding of things as they truly are; to grasp the impermanent and imperfect nature of worldly objects and ideas; to understand “not self,” and the interdependent nature of all phenomena; and to understand the law of karma and karmic conditioning.

Wise Understanding or Wise View is the beginning and the end in the path, without it we get lost, our efforts misguided and misdirected. So, the Buddha said we must have an understanding of the Four Noble Truths. “View” here doesn’t mean personal opinions or ideas, dogmas or doctrines.  The Buddha taught that on following the Middle Way, we create an atmosphere of harmony, tolerance, and freedom.  He taught that one day we also would have expanded our consciousness so that we’ll know and realize the Four Noble Truths. So, Wise View to the Buddha meant having the Wise perspective on our possibilities as human beings, the vision of a path which we ourselves can follow and on which the Buddha has led the way.

The Four Noble Truths are, first, that all beings suffer. Second, we suffer, as Stephen Batchelor says, because we want things to be different than they are. But, Buddha said in the Third Noble Truth, that there is a way to stop this suffering…  and that way is the Noble Eightfold Path, which is the fourth Noble Truth. When we have an experience of them—not just hear or read these truths, but have a “direct insightful knowing” of them as a true path, then we have developed an aspect of Wise View.

Robert Bogoda says, “Wise Understanding, the first step of the Path, is seeing life as it really is: the objective understanding of the nature of things as they truly are without delusions or distortions.” This is how we develop wisdom: knowing how things work, knowing ourselves and knowing others.  Wrong View happens when we impose our expectations onto things; expectations about how we want things to be—what we hope they’ll be—or about how we’re afraid things might be.  Wise View happens when we see things simply as they are. We abandon hope and fear and take joy in a simple straight-forward approach to life.  Wise View is an open and accommodating attitude.

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