Letting go of Views

We live in a vocally-, sometimes violently-opinionated, highly polarized age, where unexamined identification with groups: political, religious, national, racial, economic, gender, etc is becoming increasingly common. The mad struggle to climb to the top, to gain advantage over everyone else - individually or as a group - is craving, greed, self-concern - the basic cause of suffering from a Buddhist perspective. But it's best not to cling even to this view!!

One of the earliest recorded teachings of the Buddha is about letting go of views and avoiding sensual craving. These are most associated with peace and nonclinging.

"The predominant teaching regarding views is the importance of not clinging to any opinions, philosophies, doctrines, or religious teachings. This includes views about ultimate religious truth. ...to find peace, (one) should shake off every view without embracing or rejecting anything - this includes views about views. (These teachings are) critical of any assertion that one's own religious beliefs are the truest or best, while others' are inferior.

Those who have realized the goal - the sages - are not attached to views and so avoid debates, quarrels, and any conceit that their views are better than others. Letting go of their attachments, sages have no need for any doctrine in terms of theories, abstract concepts, or beliefs. With no reliance on such doctrines, the wise person does not oppose anyone else's doctrine. This is stated explicitly in the following verse:

They are not an enemy to any doctrine

Seen, heard, or thought out.

Not forming opinions, not shut down, and not desirous,

They are sages, wise ones who have laid their burden down.

... in context, we can assume 'burden' refers to some attachment a person clings to and carries unnecessarily."

Gil Fronsdal. “The Buddha before Buddhism. Wisdom from the Early Teachings.” Shambhala, 2016.

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