Right Speech: The Person in the Ball

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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L.N.
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Re: Right Speech: The Person in the Ball

Post by L.N. » Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:56 pm

binocular wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:10 pm
I think what needs to be considered is that some people just don't think that what they say could be hurtful to others. Some people just are quite rough or thick-skinned. This is not to excuse them; it's just that it isn't appropriate to assume that everyone does or should operate by the same standards of what constitutes hurtful speech.
This is correct in my opinion. To the extent the comment is intended to be directed at my decision to create these Right Speech threads, I have never posited nor proposed that everyone does or should operate by the same standard. Rather, I have sought to elicit communication about Right Speech and the benefits of taking personal responsibility for one's volitional actions/words and the potential harmful or skillful effect on self/others.
Moreover, some people, sometimes, really do want to hurt others with their words, and they don't want to be kind and harmless.

In short, the situation is more complex than what you present it as.
I think my Right Speech Topics have incorporated this complexity.
When one refuses to accept personal responsibility for the potential or real effects of ones actions/words on others, it is a cop-out and a self-proclaimed license to engage in unskillful, harmful behavior toward others.
But you're focusing only on one side of the matter, and that is the speaker's. In compliment, you can also find many suttas that speak about the listener, and how as a listener, one should take the words of others with a grain of salt etc.
I have not focused only on the speaker. As you will note in the Topic cited above, there is significant focus on the listener as well.
I find that the suttas give a far more detailed and comprehensive take on the matter than you have so far.
I have no doubt the suttas give far more detailed and comprehensive information. There is no way a Topic created here will cover all the bases. What I have tried to do is start a discussion about Right Speech. In response, people have appeared to try to avoid the Topic through the following means: (a) changing the subject to the listener's responsibilities; (b) questioning my personal motives for raising such Topics; and (c) completely avoiding any discussion about personal responsibility.
Perhaps the actual topic of these recent threads about communication is about how to find a balance between the two sides of communication (ie. as a speaker and as a listener) for oneself, alone and when part of a group?
That would be a fine separate Topic. However, that is not what my Right Speech Topics have been intended to focus on. Rather, the Right Speech topics have intended to focus on the benefits of taking personal responsibility for one's volitional actions/speech, and the potential harmful or skillful effect on self and others. This element of the discussion has been completely ignored in every single one of the Topics.
Sire patitthitā Buddhā
Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


愿众佛坐在我的头顶, 佛法在我的眼中, 僧伽,功德的根源, 端坐在我的肩上。

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L.N.
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Re: Right Speech: The Person in the Ball

Post by L.N. » Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:58 pm

Cittasanto wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:53 pm
I shall point out what I have said before.
There are two arrows, it is the first one only the actor has control over. The other person can respond to events or shoot themselves with another arrow and react. Buddhist practice is about responding appropriately, not reacting.
I am in complete agreement. However, Buddhist practice also is about recognizing the effect of one's volitional actions/speech on oneself and on others. While your comment is kind, it is off-Topic here as the focus is supposed to be on the benefits of taking personal responsibility.

As stated, "personal responsibility" for one's words/actions appears to be a topic people wish to avoid discussing.
Sire patitthitā Buddhā
Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


愿众佛坐在我的头顶, 佛法在我的眼中, 僧伽,功德的根源, 端坐在我的肩上。

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L.N.
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Re: Right Speech: The Person in the Ball

Post by L.N. » Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:02 pm

Goofaholix wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:05 am
L.N. wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:42 pm
Perhaps your answer is to simply ignore comments which play the person instead of the ball.
Excellent, I'm glad you agree!

Perhaps this will allow other aspects of dhamma to be discussed besides this one then.
Yes, perhaps we can now discuss the benefits of taking personal responsibility for one's volitional actions and the effect such actions/words might have on self and others.

Also, there comes a time when it may be beneficial to speak out. Remember Dietrich Bonhoeffer. In my opinion, sometimes speaking out is the right thing to do even if it is disharmonious. Others may reasonably disagree.
:focus:
Sire patitthitā Buddhā
Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


愿众佛坐在我的头顶, 佛法在我的眼中, 僧伽,功德的根源, 端坐在我的肩上。

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Cittasanto
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Re: Right Speech: The Person in the Ball

Post by Cittasanto » Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:07 pm

L.N. wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:58 pm
Cittasanto wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:53 pm
I shall point out what I have said before.
There are two arrows, it is the first one only the actor has control over. The other person can respond to events or shoot themselves with another arrow and react. Buddhist practice is about responding appropriately, not reacting.
I am in complete agreement. However, Buddhist practice also is about recognizing the effect of one's volitional actions/speech on oneself and on others. While your comment is kind, it is off-Topic here as the focus is supposed to be on the benefits of taking personal responsibility.

As stated, "personal responsibility" for one's words/actions appears to be a topic people wish to avoid discussing.
My comment cuts to where the responsibility lies.
We are not responsible for the second arrow, even if we shot the first as our actions can be misunderstood and we need to decide whether or not our actions were blamable or not. However, we also need to apply the Buddhas teaching to our responses and reactions and see if we are the ones at fault there (in our reaction, response) also.

Dy firrinagh focklagh
In Truth
Cittasanto
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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L.N.
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Re: Right Speech: The Person in the Ball

Post by L.N. » Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:16 pm

Cittasanto wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:07 pm
L.N. wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:58 pm
Cittasanto wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:53 pm
I shall point out what I have said before.
There are two arrows, it is the first one only the actor has control over. The other person can respond to events or shoot themselves with another arrow and react. Buddhist practice is about responding appropriately, not reacting.
I am in complete agreement. However, Buddhist practice also is about recognizing the effect of one's volitional actions/speech on oneself and on others. While your comment is kind, it is off-Topic here as the focus is supposed to be on the benefits of taking personal responsibility.

As stated, "personal responsibility" for one's words/actions appears to be a topic people wish to avoid discussing.
My comment cuts to where the responsibility lies.
We are not responsible for the second arrow, even if we shot the first as our actions can be misunderstood and we need to decide whether or not our actions were blamable or not. However, we also need to apply the Buddhas teaching to our responses and reactions and see if we are the ones at fault there (in our reaction, response) also.
Yes, that would be a fine separate topic. However, the Right Speech Topics focus on the first arrow, and taking personal responsibility for the first arrow. Many comments in response have sought to change the subject to the second arrow and (in some cases) to accuse me personally of shooting off a second arrow. All such comments are off-topic.

One who shoots the first arrow may benefit from taking personal responsibility for having done so. I assume you agree with this.

Tying this back to the OP, our words are the bouncy ball. We can discuss one another's words without directing commentary at the perceived person in the ball, that person's perceived state of mind, that person's perceived character flaws, etc. When we are bounced, we can respond with another bounce if we wish. But the moment we aim for the person inside the ball, we are playing the person, not the ball.

(And just to be clear, I am not proposing a set of rules or a speech code, nor am I trying to censor or silence anyone.)
Sire patitthitā Buddhā
Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


愿众佛坐在我的头顶, 佛法在我的眼中, 僧伽,功德的根源, 端坐在我的肩上。

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Re: Right Speech: The Person in the Ball

Post by Cittasanto » Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:55 pm

L.N. wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:16 pm
Cittasanto wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:07 pm
My comment cuts to where the responsibility lies.
We are not responsible for the second arrow, even if we shot the first as our actions can be misunderstood and we need to decide whether or not our actions were blamable or not. However, we also need to apply the Buddhas teaching to our responses and reactions and see if we are the ones at fault there (in our reaction, response) also.
Yes, that would be a fine separate topic. However, the Right Speech Topics focus on the first arrow, and taking personal responsibility for the first arrow. Many comments in response have sought to change the subject to the second arrow and (in some cases) to accuse me personally of shooting off a second arrow. All such comments are off-topic.
Only if you take it that way. When someone responds or reacts they are sending out another arrow for people to respond or react to. Based on whether the chain of arrows/dialogue (as is the matter under discussion) was a reaction clouded with greed, hatred, or delusion one will see greed, hatred, or delusion come back towards themselves unless they break the reaction chain and respond instead.
In other words, it is not only the initial arrow that matters, all subsequent exchanges have initial arrows.
One who shoots the first arrow may benefit from taking personal responsibility for having done so. I assume you agree with this.
As it is a rewording of what I just said, yes.
Tying this back to the OP, our words are the bouncy ball. We can discuss one another's words without directing commentary at the perceived person in the ball, that person's perceived state of mind, that person's perceived character flaws, etc. When we are bounced, we can respond with another bounce if we wish. But the moment we aim for the person inside the ball, we are playing the person, not the ball.
And who is doing this unless one perceives it as such.

Dy firrinagh focklagh
In Truth
Cittasanto
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

binocular
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Re: Right Speech: The Person in the Ball

Post by binocular » Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:05 pm

L.N. wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:58 pm
As stated, "personal responsibility" for one's words/actions appears to be a topic people wish to avoid discussing.
What would such taking of personal responsibility look like?

I don't think anyone here is avoiding this topic, but I do think that at least some of us simply don't understand personal responsibility in this topic, or don't have any particular image of what such taking of responsibility would look like.

In the instructions to Rahula that you have quoted, the only taking of responsibility that seems to be mentioned is the resolve not to do a particular mental, verbal, or bodily action if it could or has resulted in harm to oneself or others. Next to this, there is the issue of forgiveness and making amends.

But when you talk about taking personal responsibility for the effects of one's actions upon others, what in particular did you have in mind?
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Goofaholix
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Re: Right Speech: The Person in the Ball

Post by Goofaholix » Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:31 pm

L.N. wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:02 pm
Yes, perhaps we can now discuss the benefits of taking personal responsibility for one's volitional actions and the effect such actions/words might have on self and others.
The thing about personal responsibility is that it is about me as a person choosing to take responsibility, it's not about you as a different person telling me what to do or what not to do, that's not personal responsibility that's peer pressure.

That doesn't mean if you see inappropriate behaviour you shouldn't comment on it, which of course would be another personal comment, but once is enough as it's then up to the receiver to choose to take responsibility or not.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

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L.N.
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Re: Right Speech: The Person in the Ball

Post by L.N. » Mon Dec 18, 2017 1:11 am

Goofaholix wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:31 pm
L.N. wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:02 pm
Yes, perhaps we can now discuss the benefits of taking personal responsibility for one's volitional actions and the effect such actions/words might have on self and others.
The thing about personal responsibility is that it is about me as a person choosing to take responsibility, it's not about you as a different person telling me what to do or what not to do, that's not personal responsibility that's peer pressure.
This is not what I have done. Rather, I have tried to start Topics about this.

I have not tried to tell you or anyone what to do. I have not tried to censor you or anyone else. I have not tried to create a code of speech. Etc. The reaction to these topics is very surprising to me.
Sire patitthitā Buddhā
Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


愿众佛坐在我的头顶, 佛法在我的眼中, 僧伽,功德的根源, 端坐在我的肩上。

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