Lesson
3

Correct View and Liberation

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Correct views have the ability to lead us to liberation, while incorrect views can distort our spiritual goals, increase the delusions of our minds by encouraging our delusory mental states, fan our anger, and increase our sense of superiority and pride. That is why we need to have a proper orientation—the correct view—when we embark on the path. The correct view is the transport that we need to journey from the bondage of samsara to the liberation of nirvana. There is no separation between the vehicle that transports us to our spiritual destination and the views that we hold in our minds.

Correct views are also connected to liberation, because they lead to proper understanding. Proper understanding leads to insight or transcendental knowledge (prajna), which in turn gives rise to gnosis (jnana). In traditional Buddhist teachings, first we speak about prajna and jnana.

In Mahayana Buddhist literature, conceptual understanding is always a precondition for the dawning of gnosis or jnana. Therefore, unless we have a correct view, we will never have a proper understanding of spiritual matters. For example, we should have a correct conceptual understanding of emptiness. We cannot simply do meditation and hope for the best. We have to have a conceptual framework to work with and that conceptual framework has to be dependent upon a correct view.