this is a thread that took its origin in another thread.
It doesn't matter who asked what and who replied what, as I don't want the involved persons to feel exposed, embarrassed or shamed, that's what we're trying to get away from when we follow the teachings of the Buddha and right speech.
That said, I would appreciate a general, impersonal discussion.
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Anna,
X response may be challenging, and therefore not easy and comfortable for Y to take on board, but if Y does as X has suggested, he will have a far better understanding of kamma than he had previously. If this is what Y wants, then what X provided should prove very helpful and I see none of the "crushes him, ridicules him" variety of malice you attribute to him.
If Y wanted to be molly-coddled, then there won't be much in X response for him. Molly-coddling however, won't help someone differentiate what the Buddha taught about kamma, from erroneous understandings of kamma held by Hindus, some Mahayanists and popular culture. To that end, is molly-coddling really as kind and caring and connected with someone's welfare as it might superificially seem?
Thank you, Retro, I appreciate your input.
Imo, to pass on information, all that is needed is the naked information that was asked for, and nothing else.
All other additions are
A.) OT, (for instance comments about the asking person), and
B.) serve another purpose (that we will take a closer look at later).
To illuminate the issue at hand some more, let us
1. acknowledge the results of psychological studies first, and
2. keep in mind that the Buddha was an excellent 'psychologist'.
1. Modern psychology:
Studies have shown that children 'shut down' and stop asking questions, if the question is shaming them -often publicly, by things like: "What a crazy question! How can you even think something like this? Shows your ignorance. But I know, and now listen. "
Children thus belittled will carefully avoid to make themselves targets for this type of reaction again.
They will either stop asking certain people, or asking entirely, because they feel their ability to predict replies is insufficient, or people are unpredictable.
What's worse, even if a reply contained a valuable truth, passed on in a poor way, the child will often not be able to absorb it, due to stress.
Even if a child could absorb the truth, it will refuse to accept something from a person who caused it a defeat and totally unnecessary pain.
It's probably no big surprise that adults react in the same way children do.
Conclusion: To add personally belittling comments about the asking person is 100% counterproductive to passing on knowledge, so why is it given at all?
Well, psychology gives us many reasons, but I will name only 3:
A. The replying person lacks insight in the counterproductive character of it's reply,
B. The person has insight, but lacks skills.
C. The person is attempting to boost his ego at the expense of another, since an opportunity arose. This may not be intentional!!
However, if a person has the information that was asked for, has insight in "right speech" and is skilled enough to manifest it, then his reply will necessarily only contain the information that was asked for, and will be passed on in a way that is devoid of both offenses and "molly-coddling". It rests in the neutral "middle" (path).
There is no need to arise for any of the 2.
Now, how do the Buddha's teachings tie into those psychological insights?
Buddha knew all this and taught it:
Five keys to right speech
"Monks, a statement endowed with five factors is well-spoken, not ill-spoken. It is blameless & unfaulted by knowledgeable people. Which five?
"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."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... index.html
Those who discuss when angered, dogmatic, arrogant, following what's not the noble ones' way, seeking to expose each other's faults, delight in each other's misspoken word, slip, stumble, defeat. Noble ones don't speak in that way. If wise people, knowing the right time, want to speak, then, words connected with justice, following the ways of the noble ones: That's what the enlightened ones speak, without anger or arrogance, with a mind not boiling over, without vehemence, without spite. Without envy they speak from right knowledge. They would delight in what's well-said and not disparage what's not. They don't study to find fault, don't grasp at little mistakes. don't put down, don't crush, don't speak random words. For the purpose of knowledge, for the purpose of [inspiring] clear confidence, counsel that's true: That's how noble ones give counsel, That's the noble ones' counsel. Knowing this, the wise should give counsel without arrogance."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Right speech is harder to follow than most of Buddhas advice, I once read. And I agree.
We can only manifest it according to our insight and practice, but I can confirm that it has helped to improve my human relationships tremendously, and continues to do so, since I am still far from perfect in application.
But I wish to encourage anybody to carefully read the links I posted, in case they are new to you.