Part Three :
HOW TO GET THINGS RUNNING SMOOTHLY
The Fourth Noble Truth describes the eightfold path as the method for overcoming dukkha, and basicly this text seems in order.
The eightfold path (which is the entire 4th Noble Truth) is "Right View, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration".(2) (View=Understanding(5) Thought=Resolve(3) Concentration=Sammlung(8) German for Collection or Gathering).
I find it very interesting that in this eightfold path, Buddha mainly indicates a sense for rightness as the way of overcoming dukkha,
I have to disagree with a common interpretation, - as Thanissaro Bhikkhu puts it "You identify a problem and look for its cause. You then put an end to the problem by eliminating the cause."(9)
We cannot eliminate the cause, pleasure leads to preferences, every sensitive animal feels this and it is part of being alive; I believe what we can do is adapt to it. I believe this adaptation is the middle way between renunciation and indulgence.
Also, depending on translation there is no mention or only a small side mention of renunciation (under right thoughts : thoughts of renunciation, and in the 8th step giving up the levels of absorption in the higher levels of concentration). In the 4th Noble Truth Buddha does NOT ask us to give up our desires or pleasures, neither to nourish them ...
If the text reflects the buddha's original words, and i am reading it correctly, then the way to end dukkha is by some sort of right approach to life.
He asks us to practice mindfulness and to nourish a general sense of doing the right thing ... having a right attitude to life ... and it seems a sense for rightness. Because of the confusion with self righteousness or even fairness, we maybe need to define this feeling as body connectedness, i believe this is what makes the difference, in that it feels right inside, not in thought.
Its also worth considering that this sense of rightness has great similarities with the Christian idea of conscience - (also an unclear word not to be confused with guilt or consciousness, or the French"conscience" which in English means both conscience and consciousness, we really have no clear words to talk about these belly stomach heart guiding feelings). I feel intgrity would be misinterpreted, maybe we could talk about an inner sense for Truth and trust?
And then simply it occurs to me , could it mean
… we must follow what is Noble and True.
I feel with the way memory sometimes lets words fall in the wrong place buddha could have meant this. And we could also ask the translators, that if a word like dukkha can be translated as suffering, then surely noble could also be translated as purity?
Maybe if these were the 4 truths on purity - this purity could be an expression of the openness and immediate life which happens when we sense directly ... a transparency where this body feels, responds and communicates with light waves and sound waves spontaneously and directly, ... instead of through the forgone conclusions and the pre-references ...
... but when reading this - even i who wrote it, think this spontaneity may be good for science or artists and musicians; but for me personally i need some preconceptions to be able to build my life on and to guide me ... or at least words and a basic network of ideas to be able to think with, to be able to combine ideas, even the ideas i used in this essay ... but it seems buddha was suggesting something far more spontaneous, and creative -
and it seems the most important part of this eightfold path, is something to do with this inner truth and for me a body connectedness - because it provides a background security or foundation to guide us through the spontaneous creativity of life and death.
Im sure there are other interpretations, i am sure there are always at least 6 possibilities (re: the dice man; the diamond sutra), and i would welcome creative thought from translators and modern day buddhists.