The Buddhist schools are rich and varied in their perspectives, but these many points of view all advance the Buddhist concept of the middle view (madhya-drshti in Sanskrit and ume tawa in Tibetan).
The middle view avoids the extremes of eternalism and nihilism. Any view that does not fall into the parameters of the middle view—in other words, all views that fall into the extremes of eternalism or nihilism—are referred to as wrong views in Buddhist literature. The Buddha and his subsequent followers have called these wrong views because the nihilistic view minimizes what is there in reality, while the eternalistic view adds more to reality than what is really there.
Adherents of all Buddhist schools try to understand everything about themselves—their consciousness, the material world, sentient life, their karmic inheritance and its history, even rebirth or reincarnation—in terms of this middle view. In the Mahayana tradition, the establishment of the middle way is also an aspect of one’s own practice, because the Buddhist adherent steers a course between the two extremes to cultivate the two wisdoms: transcendental knowledge (Skt., prajna) and wisdom/gnosis (Skt., jnana).