By Ajahn Punnadhammo
The first factor of the eightfold noble path is right view. While it is true that the eight factors should be developed together, it is also true that there is always a reason for the order of the factors in the lists given by the Buddha. The path factor of right view may be thought of as the foundation stone for the whole edifice of practice.
The Buddha was quite explicit in defining the content of what he called right view. One endowed with right view would understand the world as follows: “He has right view, undistorted vision, thus: ‘There is that which is given and what is offered and what is sacrificed; there is fruit and result of good and bad actions; there is this world and the other world; there is mother and father; there are beings who are reborn spontaneously; there are good and virtuous recluses and brahmins in the world who have themselves realized by direct knowledge and declare this world and the other world’” (Majjhima Nikaya 41.14).