Addressing Views and Clinging at the Source

“When we really work with feelings, we learn to hold views without clinging to them. And that is a huge issue. There is a part in the Suttanipāta – the Atthakavagga – which is very famous for a lot of beautiful, poetic expressions of not holding on to any views. Some scholars think that this is different from the rest of the teachings, but other scholars have pointed out that this is not the case, and I agree with the latter.

The Atthakavagga highlights in a very powerful and poetic fashion what we also find in the discourses in the four Nikāyas, namely the need to be detached with respect to one’s own views. Which does not mean having just no view. The point at stake is not to rest in silence with whatever happens and pretend to be a transcendental vegetable. The point at issue is to be able to express one’s opinion and view without holding on to it, to be able to allow space for the views of others, and even more so to allow for the possibility that MY view might not be correct.

So what the Atthakavagga and other such passages show is that you can have your opinions and views without investing your identity and happiness into them. If you don’t “invest” in your views, you don’t have to hold on to them so tightly. You can be more objective about them – less dogmatic – less influenced by this Myside Bias. Then it might be actually possible for you to emotionally handle the fact that your opinion might not be correct. You can allow for that possibility. That is such a huge difference. And this is so important. And it’s something that I find is not often enough emphasized.”

– Bhante Analayo
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