The supramundane path is the direct seeing of Nibbana, the unconditioned element.
People often mistake the Noble Eightfold Path for a mere path of ethical conduct. They think that as long as they are living within basic framework of morality, they are in accordance with the Noble Eightfold Path. This is not the case. The Noble Eightfold Path is the way leading to the cessation of Dukkha. When we practise the mundane path, our understanding gets deeper and deeper, sharper and sharper and when insight reaches its climax, at some unexpected moment a sudden radical change can take place. When wisdom stands at its highest point, if all the faculties of the mind are fully mature and the wish for enlightenment is strong and steady, then the mind turns away from all conditioned phenomena and focuses on the unconditioned element. That is, the mind breaks through to the realisation of Nibbana. When this happens, all the eight factors of the path rise up simultaneously with great power of penetration, focussing upon Nibbana. Therefore at this time the eight factors constitute the supramundane path or transcendental path.
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