What is the difference between view (as in "right view" in the Noble Eightfold Path) and perception (as in the 3rd of the five Skandha's)?

Grateful for help! Peace, Tord

3 Answers 3


Perhaps if you search this site for "What is perception?" and "What is a view?" you will answer your question in two steps.

To summarize very briefly, in my understanding,

Perception is what happens when (for example) you look at some visual features and from them recognize the whole object, then you take the more abstract features of the object and recognize situation, then you take the more abstract features of the situation and recognize your position and so on. It's a cyclic process of recognition and association, from features to a higher-level concept.

View is an entirely different thing altogether, it's your philosophical framework, the basic structure according to which you see life and choose course of action.

As Bonn said, both rely on accumulated tendencies (sankhara), what we could, perhaps superficially, call memories or imprints left by previous experiences. But even though both rely on the same foundation, they are entirely different-order phenomena. Perception is momentary, view is permanent or at least long-term. Perception is the result, view is the source. Perception is objective content, view is subjective frame of reference.


Perception is making memory.

Everytime we are making memory. One is touching (construction), feeling (feeling), and making memory (perception), while seeing (consciousness) a color at same moment.

Perception must arises everytime, except asannasatta-brahma and sannavedayitanirodhasamapatti, with a wholesome aggregate, unwholesome and neither wholesome nor unwholesome.

View is understanding of relations.

Right view is understanding in the relations of aggregates in the dependention origination cycle.

It is a kind of construction aggregates, sankhara. It can arise only with wholesome and neither wholesome nor unwholesome.

Wrong view is misunderstanding in the relations of aggregates in the dependention origination cycle. It is a kind of construction aggregates, sankhara as well. It can arise only with unwholesome.

See the path of purification chapters: aggregates, and dependent origination.


'Perception' in the suttas (MN 43; SN 22.79) is described as something very basic, namely, the perception of different colours.

'It perceives, it perceives': Thus, friend, it is said to be 'perception.' And what does it perceive? It perceives blue. It perceives yellow. It perceives red. It perceives white. 'It perceives, it perceives': Thus it is said to be 'perception.

MN 43

Thus, on its most primitive level, it seems perception perceives differences in shape, colours, sound vibrations, smells, etc.

'View' is views & opinions that are made up many accumulated ideas or experiences. For example, in Dependent Origination, views & opinions are a type of attachment (which is 'sankhara').

'View' is also the ignorance or wrong view people are born with; which is unrelated to experience. This is an in-born underlying tendency. For example, that a small child expects to permanently get what it wants is unrelated to experience. Its mere ignorance. Thus in AN 7.11, both ignorance (avijjānusayo) & views (diṭṭhānusayo) are included as underlying tendencies.

In terms of 'khandha' ('aggregates'), perception is sanna khandha and views are sankhara khandha.

Perception does not rely on accumulated tendencies (anusaya; sankhara). That a small child feels the shape, warmth & taste of its mother's breasts is unrelated to accumulate tendencies. That sugar tastes sweet to a small child and tastes sweet to basically all people shows perception of sweetness is unrelated to accumulated tendencies. If accumulated tendencies determined perception then all people would not perceive 'blue', 'green', 'red', 'round', 'square', 'bitter', 'sweet' the same and basic communication could not occur. Therefore, would be chaos!

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