2020-11-03 Eightfold Path Right Consideration (2 of 3)
4:35PM Nov 3, 2020
So to continue with this topic of the Eightfold Path and continue with the idea of the second factor the path that I'm calling Right Consideration. I want to step back and offer the Eightfold Path in a little different words. So, one of the things I've been saying is that there are two, maybe, tracks of the Eightfold Path, two lanes of the Eightfold Path. The word magga, path, more literally means road. So I think we can call it a two lane road.
Today I'll call it the wisdom lane and liberative, liberation lane. I've called it the wisdom lane before. I called it the conventional eightfold path. And liberative eightfold path is for the other. There are these two. And the wisdom side is engaging the Eightfold Path based on wise understanding. And that could be learned from a book, from a teacher, from someplace where you understand something. And the wise understanding is that actions have consequences. And that wholesome actions have wholesome results. Unwholesome actions have unwholesome results. And therefore, pay attention to your actions. Be careful with them. Even the most subtle, smallest actions and choose the wholesome actions. That's the wise understanding. The wise lane continues to wise consideration. And the wise consideration here means that as we engage in actions. It's kind of an extension of this wholesome and unwholesome. Consider how to do whatever you do so that there's no craving for sensual pleasure, not caught in desire, greed, and not caught in ill will, or not caught in delusion. And so the wise understanding is to be careful and consider it and look at ourselves and really understand and feel and recognize when we're caught in desire, when we're caught in aversion, and when we're caught in delusion. And it wise to do that. And the motivation to do it is because we've learned that it's wise, it's beneficial to do it. And so it's a little bit of a cognitive understanding that this is what we're doing. We can be very motivated. And we do it until we get the feedback that oh, this is true. This actually is so. My life is so much better when I follow this wise lane. Deliberative lane, the liberation lane, right view has to do with a deep insight into the changing nature of phenomena. Everything's always constantly in some way or other changing and in flux. That in itself is the catalyst to help the mind to not latch on to anything, to hold on to a tight. Or to take it as being permanent or enduring. For the mind to kind of learn how to swim in the currents rather than resist the currents, or stop the currents, or stand on the edge of the ocean and trying to stop the waves. Doesn't work. And trying to take the waves home doesn't work and held on to them doesn't work. We stand there and maybe knee deep in the ocean waves and just let them wash by and wash by come and go. And we're free and you're not struggling with the waves that way.
So the right view is to see the changing nature of reality. And let that be a catalyst for freedom. Something deep let's go and relax. We let go of clinging. If that letting go of clinging is clear enough. Then the liberation lane feeds into right consideration, which is not based on considering what's wise, but rather considering where freedom is. And the freedom is like with freedom from clinging, there's maybe the fastlane has been opened and sustain the fast lane. Because then in the fast lane, it's just easier. There's less obstacles, there's just an open lane, open highway or something. And we just keep looking for that openness, the openness of non clinging. And that is expressed, that non clinging, is expressed in non greed, non ill will ,and non delusion. So it's the same three things, as on the wisdom lane. But how we get to it is different. One is based on understanding and wisdom. And the other is based on some some experience to that shows that it works. But the liberation lane is really based on a palpable experience and understanding and insight into the nature of the hearts being free. The heart being liberated. And it's not always liberated and free. But when liberation is clear enough, then they say that the Eightfold Path lives in us because we really know that it's the expression of how we live our life that comes out of that freedom is expressed in the Eightfold Path. So with freedom, it's expressed in non greed and non ill will and non delusion.
So the right consideration for liberative path is to consider, or take in, or to be oriented, to understand that greed is not the way, ill will is not the way, and delusion is not the way. So it's kind of putting a little bit more detail on the idea of avoiding the unwholesome by specifying what it is. And that'd be right consideration. Sometimes it's called the right intention in English or right resolve. And there's some benefit in calling it that. But I think the way that the original word means and the way it's used, it has more to do with how we apply, how we consider, how we think about things. And with both modes, the wisdom lane and the liberation lane, we are thinking more along the lines of non greed, non hatred, and non delusion.
So the way that these right considerations is listed, there are three of them. I believe, it's a little bit my interpretation, that they correspond with non greed, non hatred, and non delusion. That the first is, either means to non sensual craving – it's kamma, the same word that's used for the first two of the five hindrances – or the word means the renunciation. But here we can understand renunciation from sensual craving. It's the opposite of this sensual addiction. And then that's the desire part, the ill will, the hatred part, has to do with ill will. And here, this is the same word that's used for the second hindrance. And so ill will, hostility, something like that. And sometimes it's used to be called just aversion in English. And the third is cruelty. Or avoiding cruelty, non cruelty, is the wise one, liberating one. And I'm associating this with delusion because when we are actively cruel, we are causing actively harm in the world, harming other people. It's based on a variety of delusions. A variety of misunderstandings about the nature of self and others, about where real benefit comes from, how we really take care of ourselves, where safety is, and we have to kind of shut down a human connection to another human being. Part of our own heart, gets diminished, gets frozen, gets shrinks. So we can't really see clearly when we start getting involved in causing harm in the world. So I associate this with delusion.
And so greed, hatred and delusion is. So right consideration. As we go about our world, to find our way down the highway, find our way down the path of life. Either by actively thinking about, considering, recognizing that these things don't really work. Understanding that greed, hatred, and delusion don't work and the opposite do, non greed, non hatred, and non delusion. Or really understand, feel experience. Experientially how freedom is deminished with greed, hatred and delusion. And how freedom is realized and expressed and manifested through non greed, non hatred, non delusion. Through non sensual craving, through non ill will, and non cruelty.
And so to be on the Eightfold Path, has this very practical, immediate kind of application, that all things we do, we want to do it in such a way that they are an expression of this non greed, non hatred, and non cruelty. And if you have to think about it and reflect on it, you're probably a lot better off if you spend time thinking and reflecting, considering things through that perspective. If you have some taste of freedom, then you don't have to think about it so much because it just like you would take your hand off a hot stove, just automatic. It's just very clear that it's kind of a self harm. It's kind of self diminishment, let alone harm for others, to be involved in things which are characterized or influenced by greed, ill will, and delusion or cruelty.
So this first two of the Eightfold Path of factors, right view and right consideration, are related, they overlap. And they are both together considered the wisdom factors of the path. And this is kind of the basic kind of understanding, orientation, point of view, reference point, frame of reference for what's going to follow on the Eightfold Path. And so then the next set of eightfold path is right speech, right action, and right livelihood. All having to do with how we act in the world. And the idea is to act in the world from this place of non greed, non hatred, and non delusion or non cruelty. And so that'll come in a few days. And we'll spend one more day on this right consideration, where we talk tomorrow about kind of the positive wording of the right considerations. And what that looks like.
So, in the meantime, you might, on this day and especially those of you living United States, to give yourself a heightened exercise, a heightened attention and consideration of how and if there's any movement inside of you to the direction of greed, craving, sensual craving, addiction, any movement towards ill will or hostility or hatred. And worse any movement towards the dellusion, the illusion that gives birth to cruelty and wanting to harm other people. And really try to come to that still place within. That place or freedom or wisdom where you just really take refuge, really rely on, really trust that the best way to respond to the world, to live in the world, to support this world, is in fact from places of right consideration. Considering things from the point of view of non greed, non hatred, and non cruelty. And a day spent really centered on this idea is a day well spent.
So may each of you contribute to more sanity in this world today. Thank you.