A Master will denote right and wrong as simply as one that leads to the experience of freedom and peace to the former and one that leads to the experience of sufferings and bondage to the latter. It is not strange to see why once we have experienced the contrast and it is also not hard to understand why the words ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ would mean differently to people who have not yet come to understand the difference to both.
In my experience of the both (for the simplicity of explanation I will put the singular meaning to the word ‘view’) – right view is realised, and can only be understood through the process of right practice; and wrong view is to mean an idea that I had ignorantly held on to from the past without questioning, without the ability of discernment of deciphering that such an idea was creating an experience of suffering. However, it is important to differentiate between the right view from the point of realisation and the right view from intellectual understanding.
Right view is realised view. It cannot be practised, at least not in my understanding. While it can be helpful that such information is extended, but it is the realisation that will bring one to the experience of freedom and peace. It is a non-doing, rather than a doing of bringing in right view.
I recently read a book which had a table of right and wrong views from the perspective of the Buddha’s teachings. In that table, there were a number of items that was listed from the point of views which was coined as worldly (wrong views) and transcendental (right views). Some of the opposites in the items listed in the table were view of permanence and impermanence, self (ego) and no-self, attachment and detachment to name a few. It seems to me that they have defined our worldly views as wrong views, and in order to have right views, is to transcend wrong views to have right views. However, what happens is that most people tend to put impermanence, no-self and detachment (as in the right views) into practice which is impossible! As mentioned, right view is to be realised, through the understanding of the wrong views. In emptying the cup, will right view or wisdom naturally arise. To put into practise what has been stated as right view in spiritual text is to practise blindly and to totally miss the mark of what is there to be realised. It is like even if the teacher keeps explaining why 1 + 1 = 2, the student will never grasp the concept of addition if he is merely mimicking the answer that his teacher gives, and not putting it into practice. Without practise, where and how can realisation surface? And practise here is not to mean to practise impermanence, no-self or detachment because these things cannot be practised. It is through the practice of observation and inquiry or the questioning of the wrong views, that the natural result of right view in the opposites of permanence-impermanence, self-no-self, attachment-detachment and etc is realised.
For right view to surface is through ceaseless inquiry. The right inquiry, if I may add. The inquiry peels away layers of falseness so that truth can be revealed. Not that there is anything wrong with anything perceived, but if it is really freedom that we seek, then why the need to control? Is there freedom in control, or merely a false sense of freedom? I am most amazed by the people who tell me that they meditate because they are able to control their anger much better than before. Meditation is not about just about observing, or closing our eyes, or sitting in a formal sitting position though that is a crucial initiate in the beginning journey but it is cultivating our natural awareness from moment to moment. But again, what are we being aware of? Are you aware of what you are aware of?
So you say, well, I am meditating! So I must be practising! And I tell you, right practice is the key, not blind practice. For the practice practised blindly repetitively just makes us blinder, and it doesn’t get us anywhere. Again, not to say there is anything wrong as in wrong with it, but if it is really the moon where we really want to arrive at, it is then time to stop focusing on the finger which is pointing to the moon.