The world in the sense of paramattha dhammas is in the teachings called 'the
world in the ariyan sense'. The ariyan has developed the wisdom which sees
things as they are; he truly knows 'the world'. We read in the 'Kindred
Sayings' (IV, Salāyatana-vagga, Kindred Sayings on Sense, Second Fifty, Ch.
IV, par. 84, Transitory) that Ānanda said to the Buddha:
' "The world! The world" is the saying, lord.
Pray, how far, lord, does this saying go?'
' What is transitory by nature, Ānanda,
is called "the world" in the ariyan sense.
And what, Ānanda, is transitory by nature?
The eye, Ananda, is transitory by nature. . .
objects. . . tongue. . . mind is transitory by nature,
mind-states, mind-consciousness, mind-contact,
whatsoever pleasant feeling, unpleasant feeling or
indifferent feeling which arises owing to mind-contact,
that also is transitory by nature.
What is thus transitory, Ānanda,
is called "the world" in the ariyan sense.'
Someone may think that he can truly know himself without knowing the world
as it appears through the six doors. He may think that he knows his anger
and attachment, but, in fact, he has not experienced them as they are: only
different types of nāma and not self. So long as he has wrong view of realities
he does not really know himself and he cannot eradicate defilements. He
clings to an idea, to the concept of self; he has not directly experienced any
characteristic of reality. It is difficult to know when there are lobha, dosa and
moha, and it is difficult to be aware also of the more subtle degrees of
akusala. When we start to develop ''insight'', right understanding of realities,
we realize how little we know ourselves.