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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Right Speech: The Person in the Ball

Post by L.N. » Sun Dec 10, 2017 3:28 pm

A friend of mine on the Forum provided the following analogy, which is worth a Topic on its own. The analogy is a person inside a large, inflatable bouncy ball. When it comes to Right Speech, my opinion (with which others may reasonably disagree) is that it is best to be mindful of distinguishing between comments which address other comments (analogous to the external ball), and comments which address the person (analogous to the person inside the ball). The following post in a different Topic further illustrates the analogy:
L.N. wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:15 pm
binocular wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:02 pm
Always a person in that ball ...
That's a great illustration. It would be silly for the person in the ball to be upset if anyone hits the ball. Notice also that the ball in the picture is not being used as a weapon, but as a fun way of interacting with others.

On the other hand, if the person in the huge bouncy ball somehow found a way to actually hurt someone else with the ball, then the person so hurt would not be out of line for saying, "Please don't do that again." And presumably the person in the ball would say, "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to do harm you or anyone with the ball." Alternatively, the person in the ball might say, "It's your own fault for being hurt. I'm going to play however I want to!"

Similarly, if some third party witnessed the person in the ball seeming to act in a way which could cause injury to others, that third party might say: "Please stop playing with the ball in that manner." And presumably the person in the ball would say, "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realize this might hurt someone." Alternatively, the person in the ball might say, "Mind your own business, you hypocrite. You are virtue signaling."

Very applicable illustration. Thank you.


Image
Examples of addressing the ball:
  • "Your words are insensitive."
    "Your posts are liberal/conservative."
    "You comments may be taken personally."
Examples of addressing the person in the ball:
  • "You are pig-headed."
    Any reference to "your confusion."
    "Your approach is anti-dhamma, or hateful, etc."
This Topic is not intended to propose a set of rules. Nor it is intended to imply that comments which address the person are always wrong or always inappropriate. Rather, it is intended to point out the distinction in the nature of certain types of comments.

It appears different Members have different ideas about what it means to "play the ball, not the person." And it appears different Members have different thresholds for when to take a comment personally. This includes myself. We are all different.

As noted, others may reasonably disagree with the distinction set forth above between "playing the person" and "playing the ball." I hope that despite these differences in perception, we can respect those whose viewpoints differ from ours, and we can discuss the comments and viewpoints expressed without assuming there must be some ill-will or character flaw in the person with whom we disagree.
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 L.N. » Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:03 pm

I am pleasantly surprised that nobody has posted to disagree with any of the above.
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Re: Right Speech: The Person in the Ball

Post by binocular » Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:37 pm

Image

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Re: Right Speech: The Person in the Ball

Post by Goofaholix » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:52 am

L.N. wrote:
Sun Dec 10, 2017 3:28 pm
Examples of addressing the ball:
  • "Your words are insensitive."
    "Your posts are liberal/conservative."
    "You comments may be taken personally."
If that's the case then these are not much batter than the examples of addressing the person inside the ball.

"Your words are insensitive"... words are just words, words are not inherently sensitive or insensitive. Rather intentions can be insensitive/sensitive and reactions can be insensitive/sensitive. Who cares, rather than worry about subjective perceptions of someone's sensitivities assess the point being made on it's merits and respond, agree or refute as appropriate.

"Your posts are liberal/conservative."... these are just labels, labels are attempts to put people in boxes so that you don't have to deal with their ideas, instead assess the point being made on it's merits and respond, agree or refute as appropriate.

"Your comments may be taken personally"... Any comment can be taken personally, this is dependant on someone's reactions to the comments, ie comments can be "taken" personally at the choice of the taker, regardless of the intentions in how they are given. If you think comments are intended personally who cares, no self no problem, just assess the point being made on it's merits and respond, agree or refute as appropriate.

Seriously, Dhammawheel is not a group therapy session and as long as a reasonable standard of decency is maintained we should be able to discuss dhamma rigorously without the need for regular threads of behavioural analysis.
“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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Re: Right Speech: The Person in the Ball

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:56 am

Greetings,
Goofaholix wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:52 am
Seriously, Dhammawheel is not a group therapy session and as long as a reasonable standard of decency is maintained we should be able to discuss dhamma rigorously without the need for regular threads of behavioural analysis.
:goodpost:

:thanks:

Indeed. I don't remember the requirements for Right Speech on the Noble Eightfold Path being so pedantic, prescriptive and precious.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Right Speech: The Person in the Ball

Post by L.N. » Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:11 am

Goofaholix wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:52 am
L.N. wrote:
Sun Dec 10, 2017 3:28 pm
Examples of addressing the ball:
  • "Your words are insensitive."
    "Your posts are liberal/conservative."
    "You comments may be taken personally."
If that's the case then these are not much batter than the examples of addressing the person inside the ball.

"Your words are insensitive"... words are just words, words are not inherently sensitive or insensitive. Rather intentions can be insensitive/sensitive and reactions can be insensitive/sensitive. Who cares, rather than worry about subjective perceptions of someone's sensitivities assess the point being made on it's merits and respond, agree or refute as appropriate.
The words are the ball. The message is the ball. Talking about the words and the message are very distinct from talking about the speaker's personal characteristics.
"Your posts are liberal/conservative."... these are just labels, labels are attempts to put people in boxes so that you don't have to deal with their ideas, instead assess the point being made on it's merits and respond, agree or refute as appropriate.
No, these are not attempts to put people in boxes. They may be attempts to put comments into boxes. However, generally such comments about "your posts are liberal/conservative" are a way of clarifying what the intended message is, and are accompanies by other discussion. These are playing the ball (addressing the speech), not playing the person (making judgments about perceived personal characteristics/state of mind).
"Your comments may be taken personally"... Any comment can be taken personally, this is dependant on someone's reactions to the comments, ie comments can be "taken" personally at the choice of the taker, regardless of the intentions in how they are given. If you think comments are intended personally who cares, no self no problem, just assess the point being made on it's merits and respond, agree or refute as appropriate.
Again, addressing the speech, not the person. As noted elsewhere, hopefully we can recognize that some comments are more likely to be taken personally than others. Still this quoted comment is playing the ball, not the person, as it is addressed to the words spoken rather than the perceived state of mind of the speaker.
Seriously, Dhammawheel is not a group therapy session and as long as a reasonable standard of decency is maintained we should be able to discuss dhamma rigorously without the need for regular threads of behavioural analysis.
What is wrong with discussing viewpoints regarding Right Speech?

What is wrong with having regular topics about Right Speech on a Dhamma forum where speech is the only thing we see?
Last edited by L.N. on Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 L.N. » Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:13 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:56 am
I don't remember the requirements for Right Speech on the Noble Eightfold Path being so pedantic, prescriptive and precious.
As noted in the OP, this is not about requirements. It is supposed to be a Dhamma discussion. You believe my approach to Dhamma is "pedantic, prescriptive and precious." That is your view. Do you have anything positive to contribute to this discussion, or do you just want to continue with your put-downs?
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 Goofaholix » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:15 am

L.N. wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:11 am
Again, addressing the speech, not the person. As noted elsewhere, hopefully we can recognize that some comments are more likely to be taken personally than others. Still this quoted comment is playing the ball, not the person, as it is addressed to the words spoken rather than the perceived state of mind of the speaker.
The examples chosen all begin with Your, or You so are clearly personal comments which is why I pointed out they are not much better than the other list you provided.

So if it's difficult resist the urge to critique someone else comments best to do so using impersonal language in the spirit of practicing what one preaches ie;
"Those words come across as insensitive."
"Those ideas appear to be liberal/conservative."
"Those comments could be taken personally."
L.N. wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:11 am
What is wrong with having regular topics about Right Speech on a Dhamma forum where speech is the only thing we see?
Mostly because it's not very interesting, perhaps we could graduate to personal hygiene, did you know that one in ten Dhammawheel posters neglect dental hygiene in order to spend more time posting here?

Now that's what I call a dirty mouth.
“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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Re: Right Speech: The Person in the Ball

Post by Dinsdale » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:24 am

Are the suttas not clear enough?

"It is spoken at the right time. It is spoken in truth. It is spoken affectionately. It is spoken beneficially. It is spoken with a mind of good-will."
— AN 5.198

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ati/ptf ... index.html

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Re: Right Speech: The Person in the Ball

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:45 am

Greetings Spiny,

Thanks for sharing this very apt sutta.

It is worth noting that all the parameters the Buddha speaks of are matters which are well within the control of the "speaker". In other words, it's not left to the "hearer" to adjudicate, over-analyze, or to set their own personalized demands or expectations upon another's Right Speech.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Right Speech: The Person in the Ball

Post by lyndon taylor » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:46 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:24 am
Are the suttas not clear enough?

"It is spoken at the right time. It is spoken in truth. It is spoken affectionately. It is spoken beneficially. It is spoken with a mind of good-will."
— AN 5.198

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ati/ptf ... index.html
It appears that all parties involved?? have broken that rule!!
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Re: Right Speech: The Person in the Ball

Post by binocular » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:54 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:24 am
Are the suttas not clear enough?

"It is spoken at the right time. It is spoken in truth. It is spoken affectionately. It is spoken beneficially. It is spoken with a mind of good-will."
— AN 5.198

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ati/ptf ... index.html
Yeah, but others should do it first! And if they don't, they should be criticized!
:woohoo:

This is actually a fundamental problem of generosity/stinginess: "Why should I be the first one to speak at the right time, in truth, affectionately, beneficially, and with a mind of good-will?"

Related to this are other concerns over one's status within a religious community, for example: "I'm just a beginner in Buddhism. Why should I be the first one to speak at the right time, in truth, affectionately, beneficially, and with a mind of good-will?"
Or: "I'm just an ordinary, lowly poster at a Buddhist forum. Why should I be the first one to speak at the right time, in truth, affectionately, beneficially, and with a mind of good-will?"

This is actually a considerable issue for some/many.

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Re: Right Speech: The Person in the Ball

Post by Pseudobabble » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:26 pm

Really, the point is this:
Spiny Norman wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:24 am

"It is spoken at the right time. It is spoken in truth. It is spoken affectionately. It is spoken beneficially. It is spoken with a mind of good-will."
— AN 5.198

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ati/ptf ... index.html

And this:
lyndon taylor wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:46 am
It appears that all parties involved?? have broken that rule!!
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


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Re: Right Speech: The Person in the Ball

Post by L.N. » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:41 pm

Goofaholix wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:15 am
The examples chosen all begin with Your, or You so are clearly personal comments which is why I pointed out they are not much better than the other list you provided.

So if it's difficult resist the urge to critique someone else comments best to do so using impersonal language in the spirit of practicing what one preaches ie;
"Those words come across as insensitive."
"Those ideas appear to be liberal/conservative."
"Those comments could be taken personally."
I agree that these would be ways to phrase the comments in a manner less likely to be taken personally. However, regardless of whether the comment begins with "your words" or "those words," notice that the subject is still the words, not the speaker's state of mind or character. This is the crucial distinction.
L.N. wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:11 am
What is wrong with having regular topics about Right Speech on a Dhamma forum where speech is the only thing we see?
Mostly because it's not very interesting, perhaps we could graduate to personal hygiene, did you know that one in ten Dhammawheel posters neglect dental hygiene in order to spend more time posting here?

Now that's what I call a dirty mouth.
If it's not interest to you, then no need to participate. However, my impression is that there is an enormous difference between (a) commenting about someone's words, and (b) commenting about the character or state of mind of the speaker.

I believe it was retrofuturist who originally used the term "play the ball, not the man" in another Topic. Clearly, as stated in the OP, different people might have different opinions. It appears your opinion is that the line between "playing the person" and "playing the ball" is drawn in a different place than what is proposed in the OP.
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 L.N. » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:49 pm

retrofuturist wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:45 am
It is worth noting that all the parameters the Buddha speaks of are matters which are well within the control of the "speaker". In other words, it's not left to the "hearer" to adjudicate, over-analyze, or to set their own personalized demands or expectations upon another's Right Speech.
This may be the way some people rationalize for themselves why it is acceptable to speak unkindly to others, however it reflects a fundamental misunderstanding, in my opinion. Discussions about Right Speech are not about the "hearer" adjudicating, over-analyzing, or setting personal demands or expectations on others. I believe the OP is very clear in stating that it is not about requirements. This is supposed to be a Dhamma discussion, but I can see how you appear to be taking it personally.

The Dhamma teaching is more detailed and calls upon one to take personal responsibility for the effect of one's actions/words on others. As follows:
L.N. wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:06 am
mikenz66 wrote:
Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:18 am
"What do you think, Rahula: What is a mirror for?"

"For reflection, sir."

"In the same way, Rahula, bodily actions, verbal actions, & mental actions are to be done with repeated reflection.

"Whenever you want to do a bodily action, you should reflect on it: 'This bodily action I want to do — would it lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Would it be an unskillful bodily action, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it would lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it would be an unskillful bodily action with painful consequences, painful results, then any bodily action of that sort is absolutely unfit for you to do. But if on reflection you know that it would not cause affliction... it would be a skillful bodily action with pleasant consequences, pleasant results, then any bodily action of that sort is fit for you to do.

"While you are doing a bodily action, you should reflect on it: 'This bodily action I am doing — is it leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Is it an unskillful bodily action, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it is leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both... you should give it up. But if on reflection you know that it is not... you may continue with it.

"Having done a bodily action, you should reflect on it: 'This bodily action I have done — did it lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Was it an unskillful bodily action, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it led to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it was an unskillful bodily action with painful consequences, painful results, then you should confess it, reveal it, lay it open to the Teacher or to a knowledgeable companion in the holy life. Having confessed it... you should exercise restraint in the future. But if on reflection you know that it did not lead to affliction... it was a skillful bodily action with pleasant consequences, pleasant results, then you should stay mentally refreshed & joyful, training day & night in skillful mental qualities.
Our actions can lead to the affliction of others. Our speech can lead to the affliction of others. Even though one is responsible for one's own kamma, this does not render us incapable of harming others. Another teaching on taking personal responsibility for the results of one's actions and/or words, even if the results are not intended.
I am aware of my wish to foster happiness and reduce suffering for myself and for others.

I am aware, too, of the imperfections that may hinder this wish.

Where my actions have caused suffering, may I be forgiven.

Where my actions conflict with those others would choose, may they understand.

I am grateful that the next in-breath marks a new beginning.
Source.
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.
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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 L.N. » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:51 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:46 am
It appears that all parties involved?? have broken that rule!!
Well again, I don't think it's about imposing rules (other than applying TOS in a fair manner). Rather, this is supposed to be a Dhamma discussion about what I think is an appropriate question: where to draw the line between "playing the person" and "playing the ball." Unfortunately, some here don't appear to understand the basic issue which is the topic of this Topic.
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 L.N. » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:54 pm

So if anybody is interested in posting comments actually responsive to the OP, perhaps there are other suggestions/examples of where to draw the line between "playing the ball" and "playing the person." Obviously most people who have posted here believe I have drawn the line in the wrong place. I created the topic for the purpose of discussing how to "play the ball, not the person" in the context of Right Speech.
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 retrofuturist » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:55 pm

Greetings L.N.,
L.N. wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:41 pm
I believe it was retrofuturist who originally used the term "play the ball, not the man" in another Topic. Clearly, as stated in the OP, different people might have different opinions.
Yes, it was me who mentioned this phrase.
L.N. wrote:So if anybody is interested in posting comments actually responsive to the OP, perhaps there are other suggestions/examples of where to draw the line between "playing the ball" and "playing the person." Obviously most people who have posted here believe I have drawn the line in the wrong place.
I was looking for a post where I've said something similar before (but I couldn't find it, so I'll say it again here, maybe in more detail)... things wouldn't be so complicated and over-wrought, if the topics you created were simply about ideas, concepts, sutta, Dhamma teachings etc. Instead, you create topics, where you (to borrow your phrase) have put a "person in the ball". When you create topics about what other people are doing, or have done, how they're not meeting your satisfaction in terms of speech codes etc. there is no possible mode of participation for anyone, which does not involve the person. - i.e. someone will either "play the man", or they will "play the ball (which has had a person put inside it)"... and either way, no matter what they say, they commit a foul, according to your criteria.

This is what I mean by over-wrought. It's so many layers of complication and conflation, and it's exacerbated greatly when it's combined with an instantly triggered response that everyone else's comments are "personalized", "name-calling", "insults" or whatever... the way the conversation is set up, prevents the conversation from being a good one in the first place. With such conditions, how could a conversation ever hope to be productive?

:shrug:

If you really genuinely want to have good Dhamma conversations, just start talking about the Dhamma... not starting topics, which are literally the airing of grievances against others that you've been unable to let go of.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Right Speech: The Person in the Ball

Post by L.N. » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:20 pm

retrofuturist wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:55 pm
Instead, you create topics, where you (to borrow your phrase) have put a "person in the ball". When you create topics about what other people are doing, or have done, how they're not meeting your satisfaction in terms of speech codes etc. there is no possible mode of participation for anyone, which does not involve the person. - i.e. someone will either "play the man", or they will "play the ball (which has had a person put inside it)"... and either way, no matter what they say, they commit a foul, according to your criteria.

This is what I mean by over-wrought. It's so many layers of complication and conflation, and it's exacerbated greatly when it's combined with an instantly triggered response that everyone else's comments are "personalized", "name-calling", "insults" or whatever... the way the conversation is set up, prevents the conversation from being a good one in the first place. With such conditions, how could a conversation ever hope to be productive?

:shrug:

If you really genuinely want to have good Dhamma conversations, just start talking about the Dhamma... not starting topics, which are literally the airing of grievances against others that you've been unable to let go of.
This is actually a helpful comment, but I do not understand why you and others have taken the topics in this way. Following are the topics. None was meant to air grievances. All were meant in friendship and with mutual respect. The one where I mentioned Sam Vara in the OP was intended recognize his invitation, and I thought (incorrectly) that a friendly discussion would ensue.

Please point out in any of the OPs of these topics where I have engaged in the conduct that you complain of. Each OP was set up for the purpose of Dhamma discussion. What followed in most instances was quite a bit of trash talk which I found surprising.

Right Speech: Getting Personal. (Please note that Sam Vara initially said the Topic "looks better" and things got off to a good start and did not go completely off the rails until you, retrofuturist, hijacked the thread to make repeated personal comments.)

Right Speech: Insensitive Speech.

Right Speech: Virtue Signaling.

Would certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths.

Have a great day everyone!.

Please point out which OP among the above created a Topic in which it would have been impossible to have a constructive discussion?

This is not about what I can or cannot "let go," as you put it. I am interested in Dhamma. I came to this forum for Dhamma discussion. That is what I thought I was doing in each of the above. Your responses in particular have been surprising in their degree of negativity.
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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Goofaholix
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Location: New Zealand

Re: Right Speech: The Person in the Ball

Post by Goofaholix » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:32 pm

L.N. wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:41 pm
I agree that these would be ways to phrase the comments in a manner less likely to be taken personally. However, regardless of whether the comment begins with "your words" or "those words," notice that the subject is still the words, not the speaker's state of mind or character. This is the crucial distinction.
That depends on the readers state of mind and how he/she reacts to what is being read, an initial reaction to the words You/Your may colour how the rest of the sentence is interpreted, ie it may be interpreted as personal. You could argue that it then shouldn't be the writers problem as the writer can't control the readers reaction, this has been my argument all along.

I try to review my posts to take out personal language whenever I have the time and presence of mind to do so.
L.N. wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:11 am
If it's not interest to you, then no need to participate. However, my impression is that there is an enormous difference between (a) commenting about someone's words, and (b) commenting about the character or state of mind of the speaker.
I would suggest that there is an enormous difference between multiple posts about one precept/factor of the eightfold path compared with multiple posts about the precepts/eightfold path in general, or each of the five/eight individually. It speaks to fixation.

If this precept is so publicly flaunted can you imagine what is happening behind closed doors when in the privacy of Dhammawheelers homes? Now there's a crusade worth fighting for.
L.N. wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:11 am
It appears your opinion is that the line between "playing the person" and "playing the ball" is drawn in a different place than what is proposed in the OP.
Possibly, I can't draw the line with regards to other peoples posts as it's not my job and I don't know their intentions or state of mind of the writer so i prefer not to and instead interpret every post impersonally. Even obvious attempts to goad a reaction out of me, surely if anything anatta should teach us that. I call it being an adult.
“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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