Thanks @Shoshin1 for this video. It was an interesting listen for a few reasons. One that stood out which I've struggled with myself is this idea of Right. Alan Watts says toward the end he believes Right is not a good translation for the Pali or Sanskrit word Samma or Samya. For example Samma-Ditthi is often translated Right View. Alan Watts argues a more accurate representation would be the Middle-wayed-way View.
Looking at it this way reminds me of terms like kusala and akusala or wholesome and unwholesome. How these can mean different specific experiences in different cultures and to different people. Wholesome and unwholesome appear kind of subjective; influenced by culture and family pressures and such. But does that mean the answer is flexible? Right doesn't appear flexible. Even Middle Way sounds very narrow and straight. It makes me confused trying to sort it out. Anyone want do any better?
stray and return …
No need to get too word bound trying to perfectly describe the 8FP.
The 8FP can be approached as simply being a lemma of the 4NT.
In Buddhist parlance, the eight factors of the 4NT describe what needs to be in balance in order to steadily proceed along the Buddha's path toward suffering's cessation.
The 8FP is
The understanding that supports the 4NT
The thought that supports the 4NT
The speech that supports the 4NT
The action that supports the 4NT
The livelihood that supports the 4NT
The effort that supports the 4NT
The mindfulness that supports the 4NT
The concentration that supports the 4NT
Hence, the 8FP often gets described as the eight spokes of the wheel that supports the 4NT and more importantly, that wheel only functions as well as its weakest spoke. Here is the warning that fortifying the spokes that you have strongly crafted is somewhat pointless if there are other weaker spokes that are not also being equally developed.
For those who find the word "right" to be too limiting, substituting it for "appropriate" works for many.
I find it very interesting how a slight change in translation can cast new light on things. Thanks for highlighting it, @FleaMarket …
Skillful and unskillful are also terms that get used a lot.
In terms of the subjectivity of the idea, "right" exists in the context of Buddhist teachings. So right in the sense of conducive to Buddhist goals and aims, so the Buddhist understanding of the long term cessation of suffering and its causes.
The way I take it experientially is more about the efficaciousness of the thing rather than a moral quality. Does it help get the job done more than a quality of good or bad.
I can't remember where I first heard it but "Harmonious" seems to work best for me.
Being at the whims of clinging aggregates, words are a point of fixation for me. Specifically where words turn into feelings and how those feelings become understandings.
I think "appropriate" is a great substitute for myself in my current understanding @how and getting wise points of view such as these helps accumulate my own data points which make for a more accurate feeling that then leads to more accurate understanding. Or at least that's the attempt.
Oh man, @Jeroen, the times I've had something click and realize you all had been talking about it months ago and I just didn't grasp the way it was discussed really blows my mind. It's comical how an answer can be dangled right in front of the nose and still one can miss it.
Thanks all for the insights here. I get a lot of comfort just from observing the ways in which these words are interpreted by you.
What's missing is that in the end it isn't necessarily an idea or a formulation of conducts we subscribe to. Though in the beginning that is necessary, do no harm, cultivate virtue, etc.
The missing link is that you're the "action" of that process. So what that means is that when you are alive, meaning in the moment...you see the world, your world and you respond to it.
and that seeing properly and responding accurately can be informed by ideas, but it also is much more demanding of you. in that it isn't rigid ideas that allows you to creatively meet life, but rather you are the action that meets life as life.
so in that sense there isn't confusion about what is right and wrong in a moral relativistic sense. if you are open and pay attention then what is required of you or not required of you becomes obvious. so the right way, or correct way is exactly that and that isn't something that can be placed in an abstract idea because well its your life.
… imagine a figure head on a ship, it is the crew who run the ship.
in a sense it is the ship and awake bodhisattva who have directed The Buddha vehicle
Sale/sail on to the far shore … like a mustard seed in a grain of sand …
I will be gurgling to myself … as per usual
The fact that you are seeing these things now means you are gaining new understanding, and that is a very good thing. I would keep on asking questions, because that is the way you get answers formulated to your comprehension.
Good advice 2 out of 3 current volitions would agree with, but what good is asking if asking proliferates non-positive energy to others?
How does that differ from being a fool causing problems?
What makes asking still wholesome behavior?
not addressed to me, but this reminds me of the basic concepts of virtue and non virtue by the teachings of Lama Lena. To paraphrase, non virtue basically is narrowed down, fixated and accumulation of tensions. Whereas virtue leads to abundance and openness, the widening of attention.
In that sense, as we relate to others and situations we are contributing to either tensions or releasing of such tensions. Do we make those around us filled with more energy, more joy and more openness? Or do we make those around us filled with tension, with strife, etc.
At times we come into situations, where there is a general momentum of virtue or non virtue. Do we add to it? Do we do something else?
And that kind of sense of important to feel and see directly. No one else can do that for us so to speak. And no one can also respond in a way that produces the desired effects.
If our goal is the cultivation of virtue and the moving away from non virtue then it's fairly clear in our system what is going on. In that respect, it is that moment of seeing and responding that is the whole creative challenge of dharma. It's somewhat of a challenge because it's so black and white. Meaning there isn't room for confusion or doubt. There is tension or there is openness/flow.
Obvious capacity needs to be taken into account. Generally in the beginning it's best to avoid negative situations that cause us and others to tense. But once we are able to manage our own mind and being, we are in a unique position to create a LOT of virtue as conscious response. Sharing joy, sharing love, sharing a positive state, sharing in a smile, a kind gesture, a warmth in our tone, to how we hold the door knob, to cracking a joke, to highlighting the beauty in appearance. The ways of virtue are literally endless.
but tldr: virtue is basically energy. positive energy. a fullness of being. non-virtue is a depletion, a tension, a tightness of being, narrow focus which only considers myself. so in that sense its a very clear economics of energy and leaves zero room for fantasy or ambiguity.
just some opinions from a stranger on the internet.
Interesting how two views to your comment come about for me. One takes a disagreeable position and the other an agreeable position and they're both not wrong in my mind. One just comes from a place of angst for itself while the other from compassion. Like learning how to flow by struggling. Eventually struggling tires the body and mind out and an opportunity arises in the drifting to find some peace and harmony. Thanks for sharing @taiyaki.