The Eightfold Path To Happiness – Wisdom

While it is never my intention to devalue or denigrate the belief system of anyone, I also realize that there are many schools of thought which can be helpful to many people; teachings which offer peace of mind and happiness regardless of the foundation upon which an individual’s world view might be built. That being said, I offer just a little taste of the Buddhist perspective on the pursuit of happiness.

“Success is getting what you want; happiness is wanting what you get.” ~ Dave Gardner

Wisdom fortune cookieOf course, to truly understand the Eightfold Path takes years, if not decades. There are Buddhist monks who spend their entire lives working to comprehend the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, the monk who originally laid out the path for us to follow. My intention here is not to indoctrinate or convert anyone, but instead to offer another tool to help you in your pursuit of happiness.

The Eightfold Path to Wisdom

The Eightfold Path was developed as a journey toward Wisdom, Ethical Conduct, and Mental Development. It enfolds eight steps toward each of these goals, thus the name “Eightfold Path.” The first of these, Wisdom, is achieved through two steps known as “Right View” and “Right Intention.” In essence, these two lead us to a better understanding of the world around us, and the actions we take to deal with that world. Follow this link for deeper understanding of The Eightfold Path.

  • Right View – is the concept that, to achieve Wisdom, we must understand things as they really are, and accept them as such. This is the cognitive aspect of wisdom; the psychological result of perception, learning, and reasoning. For more on this, see my previous post, The Pursuit of Happiness Requires the Acceptance of Reality.
  • Right Intention – is the concept that, to achieve Wisdom, we must act in accordance with reality. This is the volitional aspect of wisdom; the capacity for conscious choice, decision, and intention. This encompasses the impetus toward moral choice and ethical action.

Again, since it is not my intention to try to “change the mind” of anyone, these definitions are extremely basic explanations of the two right-fold steps to Wisdom. Buddhist teaching of the Eightfold Path goes far beyond these fundamental ideas however, even in this basic form, I believe them to be of great value; for I also believe that right-thinking and right-acting are as fundamental to the pursuit of Wisdom as Wisdom is to the pursuit of happiness.

In future posts I will offer basic principles for Ethical Conduct and Mental Development as critical tools for finding happiness. If you have questions or comments on these concepts, please feel free to comment below.

If you are struggling with your own journey of happiness, and would like help finding or staying on the road you would like to follow, get in touch with me today.


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