The Noble Eightfold Path is best envisioned as a sort of "wheel" where achievement of one cascades to achievement of the others. (See 3Libras illustration)
Right view is seen as primary. If you have the right view, you will have the right intentions. If you have the right intentions, you will possess the right speech, and so on.
Ultimately, complete understanding and use of each leads to two additional levels of enlightenment; right liberation and right knowledge.
These are complex and are why you see monks spending a lifetime devoted to the Noble Eightfold Path. Buddhism, by its nature, what I view as a tactile approach to changing hearts and minds. It is a path much devoted to ending the causes of suffering within because, until we can do that, we cannot end the cause of suffering without. And that is, ultimately, our role as human beings.
at 3:22 PM on Jul. 20, 2013