Inspiring hiri-ottappa in others

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Re: Inspiring hiri-ottappa in others

Postby Individual » Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:18 pm

Jechbi wrote:Is it generally appropriate to try to awaken hiri-ottappa in others through the practice of criticizing their behavior publicly? Personally, I think the answer is no. But I suspect many of us have tried to do this from time to time. Thoughts?

Sometimes, but usually not.

Peter wrote:
Jechbi wrote:I'd be interested in hearing more about those times when people feel it is appropriate.

I'd say if I thought the person respected my opinion and responded well to criticism, then it can be appropriate.

Precisely.

Otherwise... (from the Dhammapada)
It's easy to see
the errors of others,
but hard to see
your own.
You winnow like chaff
the errors of others,
but conceal your own —
like a cheat, an unlucky throw.

If you focus on the errors of others,
constantly finding fault,
your effluents flourish.
You're far from their ending.
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
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Re: Inspiring hiri-ottappa in others

Postby rowyourboat » Thu Jul 30, 2009 5:07 pm

I think it takes a very poor intelligence to need psychology/science to understand or justify what is going on underneath the hood. Sometimes the evidence is missing or misleading (or research is too simplistic) - and we end up taking a partial truth to be the complete truth. Science itself denies having a final answer, yet we misread research findings as the absolute truth. If we know from mindfulness of our own minds and actions what actually happens we dont need psychology to somehow 'prove' it as well.

Society would do away with fines, prison and probation if punishment didnt help. If we look into ourselves we know that the threat of punishment, and the inevitability of it after the act has been committed, weighs into the decision whether we do something wrong or not. A person would be more inclined to do a bad deed if there was a chance that he/she would not be found out-say on a desert island- hence no punishment/consequence call it what you will. Where would you park your car if you would not be fined? Punishment and the threat of it works despite pop psychology.

As to how we can remind other to have hiri and otappa- well modelling good behavior comes to mind, setting ethical standards- saying them out loud before the fact helps, having deterents help, rewarding/praising good behaviour, frowning upon bad behaviour, direct advice in an appropriate setting (all about loosing face) if that is your role and/or if the person trusts you/is close to you. Contemplations which help remind people of morality help as well (meditation class setting). Reviewing (own) precepts help in improving them.

The concept of what it means to be intelligent also includes morality in the buddhas teaching, among other things:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
With Metta

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Mudita
& Upekkha
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Re: Inspiring hiri-ottappa in others

Postby Pannapetar » Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:01 am

rowyourboat wrote:Society would do away with fines, prison and probation if punishment didnt help. [...] Punishment and the threat of it works despite pop psychology.


I can't really blame you or anyone else for coming to this conclusion, because that is how society works and that is what society has conditioned you to think. However, your understanding is perhaps lacking in this point. Wrongdoing mainly exists because of ignorance and punishment likewise exists because of ignorance. They are just two jigsaw pieces of samsara. I don't expect society to become perfect anytime soon, but we already have moved from the concept of retribution to the concept of correction. That is progress. There is hope that one day we will move to the concept of rehabilitation, I mean not just the concept but its actual implementation.

Moralism, deterrents, blaming, judging and retribution are all signs of a relatively primitive mindset. Basically you expressed this yourself when you said: "The concept of what it means to be intelligent also includes morality in the Buddha's teaching". Exactly my point.

Cheers, Thomas
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Re: Inspiring hiri-ottappa in others

Postby rowyourboat » Fri Jul 31, 2009 12:06 pm

Hi Thomas,
It is easy to state what the ideal situation should be (I agree with you what the ideal situation is), but the reality is far removed from our idealism. The reality is that there are people going around who don't have the time nor the inclination to think about morality, just going about the business of living. They are not mindful, nor are they religious or idealistic. This is ignorance, like you said. The Buddha could not eradicate ignorance in all human, so we are not going to succeed either. So then how do we make certain such people don't cause too much trouble? We build walls, we put in alarms, we have criminal records and fines- deterrents and punishments. That is how it is done. The Buddha understood very well the mind and behaviour of the unenlightened- if you look at the monastic code for monks you will see many rules and punishments for those monks who's conduct was not up to scratch. This is the only way defilements can be controlled - unless they take up the path to purification -then it is possible to have a society with no rules or regulations -as was the case with the early arahanths.
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