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. » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:42 pm

Goofaholix wrote:
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.
I agree. Did you happen to see the OP of this Topic? We might not always be able to predict what another will take personally. This does not mean we should never take personal responsibility for the words we speak.
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.
It speaks to interest in Dhamma. On this forum, speech is what we have. Everything we encounter here is speech. My mind is inclined to Dhamma, and I really had hoped these topics would lead to Dhamma discussion about right speech, rather than to recriminations.
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.
I think you are joking here.
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.
Then can you imagine the quandary retrofuturist is in? He has to draw the line constantly as to other people's posts in furtherance of enforcing TOS. Your approach in the paragraph above is admirable. However, I happen to agree with retrofuturist that it is best for me and all of us to "play the ball, not the person" or "play the ball, not the man" if you prefer. The question is, what is the best way to do this? Perhaps your answer is to simply ignore comments which play the person instead of the ball.
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 11:49 pm

Greetings L.N.,
L.N. wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:42 pm
The question is, what is the best way to do this? Perhaps your answer is to simply ignore comments which play the person instead of the ball.
A good place to start, is to not assume that literally everything anyone says is a "personalized attack".

For example, I called an analysis of yours "overwrought" yesterday and you instantly took that to be an attack on your mindstate etc.

You eventually stepped down from that reaction, once you realised that it was not applicable to the situation (and I for one appreciated that), but nonetheless, you had needlessly introduced "reactivity" into the conversation - a "reactivity" founded in seeing the worst in others, and in taking things personally. That reactivity is detrimental to the conversation, and I assume it can't be much fun for you either.

It's for this reason, I feel the advice that Goofaholix gave was invaluable, and with that advice having come from someone other than me, I'm hoping that you'll actually take it in the spirit it was given.

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 11:59 pm

retrofuturist wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:49 pm
A good place to start, is to not assume that literally everything anyone says is a "personalized attack".
Agreed.
For example, I called an analysis of yours "overwrought" yesterday and you instantly took that to be an attack on your mindstate etc.
No, I took it to be commentary which played the person, not the ball. You then said you didn't intend it that way, and I accepted your words.
You eventually stepped down from that reaction, once you realised that it was not applicable to the situation (and I for one appreciated that), but nonetheless, you had needlessly introduced "reactivity" into the conversation - a "reactivity" founded in seeing the worst in others, and in taking things personally. That reactivity is detrimental to the conversation, and I assume it can't be much fun for you either.
Don't you see that words might elicit reactivity in others? That is part of what this discussion is about. Repeatedly, we may intentionally or unintentionally speak words with elicit reactivity in others. Some words are more likely to elicit reactivity than others. We are not responsible for the listener's reaction, but we are responsible for the words we speak.

Whether or not I personally am reactive is irrelevant. While I appreciate your concern for me, I am not trying to start these topics because of reactivity. I am trying to start these topics because it appears there are significant differences in viewpoints regarding Right Speech and taking personal responsibility for one's words. I think this is a ripe area for Dhamma discussion. I think you keep on reading into these comments something that is not there.
It's for this reason, I feel the advice that Goofaholix gave was invaluable, and with that advice having come from someone other than me, I'm hoping that you'll actually take it in the spirit it was given.
I believe that I have. I appreciate these comments and your comments above. I hope I have conveyed something which helps to explain why the topics are not about me.

I think there was some good potential in the Topics for actual discussion on the issues presented. This potential has not been realized, in my opinion.

Please also note that I have intentionally and genuinely tried to express appreciation even for those with whom I disagree. As you said, the forum is not a hug festival (or whatever the term was).

You and I have a legitimate difference of opinion regarding what constitutes personalized speech, and the degree to which one should take personal responsibility for one's words. Let's agree to disagree in a mutually respectful and friendly way, unless that is asking too much.
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 » 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.
“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 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:17 am

Greetings L.N.,
L.N. wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:59 pm
Don't you see that words might elicit reactivity in others? That is part of what this discussion is about.
There's a spectrum of possible responses, none of which are in the control of the speaker. If enough people go on to read a certain innocuous comment, someone in that group is bound to take offense.

In this context, even the Buddha was blamed, despite being blameless. If he was blamed, what hope do we mere Buddhists have, in not being blamed for our speech? For this reason, I respect the intellectual and spiritual autonomy of others to determine their own speech, and whether it is Right. Whether others choose to afford this interpersonal respect to others is up to them.

The only way the speaker could totally avoid eliciting reactivity through their words, is to speak none. I guess that's how Buddhism came to have the phenomenon of the paccekabuddha. But even then, some people will be prone to interpret the silence in a certain way too. We live in a world of the "eight worldly winds"... but it's up to the individual to decide whether to be affected by them.

See: AN 8.6: Lokavipatti Sutta

The majority of active members here have known me long enough, to know where I'm coming from when I say something. But like I said above, "there's a spectrum of possible responses, none of which are in the control of the speaker. If enough people go on to read a certain innocuous comment, someone in that group is bound to take offense.". By virtue of my role, and my degree of participation, quite a few people will read what I say... and it only takes a small handful on the reactive end of the spectrum, to create a brouhaha over that which the majority (especially those who have known me for years) could understand in the way in which it was intended and spoken.

I understand some will be reactive, and I don't expect it to be otherwise, but I don't have to be appreciative of faithless reactivity either, nor do I need to pander to it, and I certainly won't be forced into silence by weaponized outrage. I hope others aren't coerced into silence by such reactivity either, and feel free to speak their truth, as it comes to them.

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 Dinsdale » Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:16 am

lyndon taylor wrote:
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!!
To be fair, this sutta sets a high standard for speech, one which I certainly fail to meet on occasion. Clearly the intention behind what we say is of pivotal importance - are we really trying to be helpful, or is it more about winning an argument, scoring points, trying to be right or sound clever, and so on?
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Re: Right Speech: The Person in the Ball

Post by binocular » Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:10 pm

L.N. wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:49 pm
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
"What do you think, Rahula: What is a mirror for?"
/.../
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 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.

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.
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 find that the suttas give a far more detailed and comprehensive take on the matter than you have so far.

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?

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Re: Right Speech: The Person in the Ball

Post by L.N. » Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:44 pm

retrofuturist wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:17 am
L.N. wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:59 pm
Don't you see that words might elicit reactivity in others? That is part of what this discussion is about.
There's a spectrum of possible responses, none of which are in the control of the speaker. If enough people go on to read a certain innocuous comment, someone in that group is bound to take offense.

In this context, even the Buddha was blamed, despite being blameless. If he was blamed, what hope do we mere Buddhists have, in not being blamed for our speech? For this reason, I respect the intellectual and spiritual autonomy of others to determine their own speech, and whether it is Right. Whether others choose to afford this interpersonal respect to others is up to them.
Absolutely correct. I have thought of posting about the Buddha's words on the effect that there is nobody in this world without blame. Even so, this does not abrogate the benefit of taking personal responsibility for one's own words/actions.

Moreover, to the extent posts in the various Topics have been directed personally at my perceived "reactivity," "bitterness," etc. I have never, ever blamed anyone else for any reaction I might have. These topics were intended to inspire a dialogue about how one can conduct oneself skillfully for one's own benefit and the benefit of others.
The only way the speaker could totally avoid eliciting reactivity through their words, is to speak none. I guess that's how Buddhism came to have the phenomenon of the paccekabuddha. But even then, some people will be prone to interpret the silence in a certain way too. We live in a world of the "eight worldly winds"... but it's up to the individual to decide whether to be affected by them.

See: AN 8.6: Lokavipatti Sutta
Absolutely correct. We cannot be responsible for the reactivity of others. However, we can take personal responsibility or the words we speak and the volitional actions we take which might be harmful to self or others.
The majority of active members here have known me long enough, to know where I'm coming from when I say something. But like I said above, "there's a spectrum of possible responses, none of which are in the control of the speaker. If enough people go on to read a certain innocuous comment, someone in that group is bound to take offense.". By virtue of my role, and my degree of participation, quite a few people will read what I say... and it only takes a small handful on the reactive end of the spectrum, to create a brouhaha over that which the majority (especially those who have known me for years) could understand in the way in which it was intended and spoken.
That may well be the case. However, as you may have noticed, I have intentionally and genuinely tried to show appreciation for you despite our disagreements. The fact is, to the extent you wish to discuss me personally, my internal reactions have been primarily puzzlement over the negativity of the responses to my posts, and an ongoing sense of a duty to speak out when I see such words directed at others (such as chownah by way of just one example), and admittedly some annoyance when, at every turn, my attempts to start Dhamma discussions are met with recriminations against me personally. But in the end, I have deep and abiding respect for every person who posts here.
I understand some will be reactive, and I don't expect it to be otherwise, but I don't have to be appreciative of faithless reactivity either, nor do I need to pander to it, and I certainly won't be forced into silence by weaponized outrage.
Nor should you. However, "faithless reactivity" is the lens through which you may choose to see others. You cannot know whether (a) the other person is indeed reactive in the way you imagine, or (b) even if reactive, that such perceived reactivity is faithless. Can't you see how your interpretation might possibly color your own reactivity in a manner which is not fitting to the occasion?
I hope others aren't coerced into silence by such reactivity either, and feel free to speak their truth, as it comes to them.
I know that others have felt coerced into silence by the negativity directed at them when they speak their mind. It has never been my intention to coerce anybody into silence. Rather, it has been my intention to have communication about Right Speech, including the role of taking personal responsibility for the words one speaks/writes. Unfortunately, these efforts have variously been denounced as my "obsession," as my "fixation," as "meta-discussion," as "behavioral analysis," etc., all of which appears to me to be a method of avoiding any meaningful discussion of whether it is beneficial Dhamma practice to take personal responsibility for one's volitional actions/words.
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. » Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:49 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:16 am
lyndon taylor wrote:
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!!
To be fair, this sutta sets a high standard for speech, one which I certainly fail to meet on occasion. Clearly the intention behind what we say is of pivotal importance - are we really trying to be helpful, or is it more about winning an argument, scoring points, trying to be right or sound clever, and so on?
This is an excellent point. In response to some of the personal recriminations and personal commentary, I try to give others the benefit of the doubt, but I don't always succeed.
Where my actions have caused suffering, may I be forgiven.

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

Dy firrinagh focklagh
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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.
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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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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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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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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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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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Cittasanto
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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.

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In Truth
Cittasanto
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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.
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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?

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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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