356. The relinquishing of all views

Nagarjuna said that Buddhism – The Middle Way – was the “relinquishing of all views”. 

The problem with that statement, if we take it literally, is that the apparent imperative to relinquish all views is itself a view. 

So what is meant by ‘view’?  Nagarjuna means, I think, that a view is a truth claim about how the world, reality is: this is how the world is; this is how human beings are; this is the nature of reality. All this is what is meant by ‘view’. That being so, a view is inherently dualistic. Why?

Because there is the object that the truth statement is being made about: the self, say, or the world, or reality, and the owner of the mind and eye which is perceiving that reality; the subject. 

If, instead of ‘view’, we regard everything which arises as expression, then we can see a way out of this duality.

That is, everything which is arising for me, including my views, is an expression. Not of how the world is, but how I am, at this moment. My ideas aren’t in a separate compartment to the rest of my aliveness, but an intrinsic aspect.  

If we grant that, then the whole world becomes the events of expression, not something ‘out there’ that I can pontificate truly or falsely about.