Attha Nama Kim? What is Eight?
What eight concepts, when seen to the root with penetrating knowledge, and understood to the broadest limits, such that their repellant nature is seen as it really is and one has released them in their entirety, can bring one to the uttermost freedom of detachment?
Note On Terminology: The word so often translated "Right" has several problems that are avoided by the term 'High' which is used here.
The Pali word is sammā. sa = one amma = nursing, mothering. I will leave to the imagination how the real meaning comes to be summit (in the US we have a mountain range named by the French that will help you figure that one out.).
The closest we could come to "right" understanding it this way is "consummate." But 'high' is better for this reason: the state to be attained throughout the Magga is that of detachment. 'Right' is a concept fraught with attachments. It is right and all else is wrong, whereas in the Magga it is High and all else is lower or contrary, and even that is relative to the goal.
A thing with two sides like 'Right' and 'Wrong' cannot be abandoned — those in the "wrong" will never let go because they do not believe they are in the wrong, those 'in the right' are hanging on to those in the wrong for their understanding of their own stance. On the other hand, if you will imagine yourself with the ability to soar, reaching the summit is a place from which complete detachment is attainable.
Furthermore, while there might be some justification for the use of the word 'right' (shy of it's moralistic overtones) if one attributes its derivation to sama = even = straight = upright = right (and there is your progression from a carpenters term to a moralists term) (and certainly the two words are closely related), there is absolutely no justification for using 'Wrong' as it's opposite (which is the problem with 'Right' that makes me want to use another word — very high moral behavior can be seen from the Buddhist view as miccha. Miccha in no way comes to 'Wrong', it means 'opposite,' or 'contrary' and there is even some justification for the term I prefer, 'low' in the meaning of mi = small, miniscule, 'Wee.' Even a contrary way of behaving can be the right way to behave, depending on the view held. (... the right way to kill a man ...) whereas high behavior, if followed, leads one ever upward from whatever starting point he may occupy.
What many are calling the 'Noble Eightfold Path', the 'Ariya Atthangika Magga,' I call the Aristocratic Multi-dimensional HighWay.
Ariya = is most closely related to English "Aristocratic". So 'Noble' is ok, but it is awkward to use this term to describe one who has attained the goal: Arahatta; or for one who is a student of the Ariya. If we understand the reference is to a genuine sort of aristocracy, an aristocracy of the mind, then we can state the goal as becoming an Aristocrat.
Atthangika: Attha = eight, for sure, but also "unlimited," [turn the 8 on it's side].
Originally the Aristocrats only counted up to three. For heavy duty counting, they had accountants who could count up to a nahutam (1 with 28 zeros).
All the numbers up past three began their life as meaning "a whole bunch," and that is the case with eight.
This is important when we read the suttas and find that a good number of times the eightfold path has ten folds (adding High Knowledge and High Freedom — I use High Vision and High Detachment — to the usual eight).
Studying the Magga further reveals that each of the folds, or dimensions, is a complete path to detachment in and of itself, and, further, digging into the sub definitions of each of the terms, one will find that there are a limitless number of loopings back, such as is most clearly seen here in the Satipatthana, which ends with the Eightfold Path which includes Sati, (or the state arrived at by the practice of 'satipatthana,' 'the setting-up of memory') and so forth.
Thus we are best guided by at least knowing the meaning of 'eightfold' to be 'multi' or 'limitless'.
Angika = angled, dimensioned, as in the arm bent at the elbow, the leg bent at the knee, or a 'crooked' thumb or bent finger, or the limb of a tree — which angles off the trunk (kkhandha).
Sammā Diṭṭhi: High View, thesis, perspective, theory, point of view, position, opinion.
High view is a "Working Hypothesis." By adopting High View, one drops attachment to all other views (especially those concerning existence, self and soul — thus breaking the sakkayadiṭṭhi — One True View Attachment) then the High View itself is easy to drop.
This is High View:
The origin of this Pain — dukkhā — is Hunger/Thirst.
To get up out of the K-Kha, you gotta let it go at the source: taṇhā: The Hunger/Thirst
This is The Way: High View, High Principles, High Talk, High Works, High Lifestyle, High Self Control, High Memory, and High Serenity.
Sammā Sankappa: High Principles.
'Kappa' is 'fitting', what is fit and propper, what fits, the fittings on a boat or for the horse, etc. One is said to have one's intentions straight when one's principles are in alignment with one's views.
These are the highest principles based on High View:
Dump K-kha, giving up, letting go, renunciation, letting it pass
No tears, no mental cruelty
Be harmless, no intentional harm
Sammā Vaca: High Talk
No intentional untrue talk, cruel talk, slander, harsh talk, useless talk
Sammā Kammanta: High Works
Note On Terminology:
What some are calling 'action,' and the rest call 'livelihood,' is here called "works."
'Kammanta' is, like most of the other important Pali words, really a manta, a magic charm that when repeated and studied reveals its inner meanings as well as it's mula: it's root. The roots here are kamma = karma or making, as in weaving and in doing deeds; manta = magic charms, or, 'works'; and kammanta = commerce, or, work. Thus my multi dimensional "Works."
At the first level we do not need to debate the meaning of 'Kammmanta', it is spelled out for us in the many suttas that give the Magga in detail.
In your deeds, works of magic, or work:
Do no Intentional:
Harm to living beings,
Taking of other peoples ungiven things,
Low deeds for pleasure's sake — (this last being most frequently translated "abstaining from adultery or carnal indulgence").
Sammā Ajiva: High Lifestyle
(A = to, no; jiva = live, calling; "To Live No Calling" a little word game.)
When one dumps what one clearly sees is a low element of one's lifestyle, what remains is High Lifestyle. High Lifestyle is the "style" or "process," and it is a matter of personal judgment, a thing relative to one's own understanding of what is high and low.
Sammā Vāyama: High Self Control
Strive, make an effort, exert energy and endeavor to
Restrain low ways
that are in this seen thing
Refrain from low ways
not yet in this seen thing
Retain High Ways
that are in this seen thing
Obtain High Ways
not yet in this seen thing
Sammā Saṭi: High Memory
The state of the memory aspect of the mind prepared for living satisfied with higher things.
Live in a body
And in The Word
States of the Heart
And The Word
As they really are
Seeing how they come to be
Seeing how they burn out
Living above it all
Watchful and diligent (APPAMĀDA)
Reviewing and calming down
Overcoming any taṇhā, ambitions and disappointments that may appear
Downbound to nothing at all in the world.
Sammā Samādhi: High Serenity
Letting go of involvements with the world,
live in the appreciation of the peace and calm of solitude;
letting go of thinking in verbal terms,
live in the appreciation of serenity;
letting go of entheusiasm,
live at ease;
letting go of living at ease,
live off the all 'Roun'
Clean clear through
---------------------------detach here (little joke)---------------------------
[HERE ENDS THE FIRST SECTION OF THE PALI LINE: THE GRADUAL COURSE]
This section has provided the beginner with the information necessary to build a solid foundation for progress, starting from the most fundamental practice (giving) and ending, at the end of the Atthangika Magga, with the most advanced concept in the system (detachment).
A person who knew and understood the Dhamma this far could encompass all the remaining teachings in this collection — hereafter the instructions only become broader and deeper.
The exercise at this point should be to try and create a mental picture of the structure being described:
As the picture in the mind becomes more complete,
turn the mind upon itself
and observe how it appears to "like" the "order",
and how it "feels" like the mind is being exercised.
This is the entry to the second level of getting high, getting high on getting high.
Ask yourself if you have observed any internal contradictions.
What questions remain?
How far have you begun to translate the information into practice?
It Can Be Done!
It can be done, Beggars!
It can be done!
If it could not be done,
I would not say:
'It can be done.'
It can be done,
Therefore I say:
'It can be done'
[ The Gradual Course ] [ I. Nidana ] [ II.Dana — Giving ] [ II.Sila — Ethical Culture ] [ III. Jagarianuyoga — Self Discipline ] [ The Second Lesson ] [ The Third Lesson ] [ The Fourth Lesson ] [ The Fifth Lesson ] [ The Sixth Lesson ] [ The Seventh Lesson ] [ The Eighth Lesson ] [ TheGreatMastersSatisfactionPastures ] [ HighGetnHigh ] [ The 10th Question I ] [ The 10th Question II ]