The 4th Precept & Disclosure

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Training of Sila, the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).

The 4th Precept & Disclosure

Postby danieLion » Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:03 am

Does following the fourth precept mean you have to be transparent?

It seems to me disclosing too much or to the wrong people, or in the wrong context, is unskillful. But it also requires concealment of private affairs, which could be interpreted and deception, and therefore wrong speech.
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Re: The 4th Precept & Disclosure

Postby ground » Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:19 am

Lying is wrong. "Not lying" does not mean disclosing everything.

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Re: The 4th Precept & Disclosure

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:27 am

danieLion wrote:Does following the fourth precept mean you have to be transparent?

It seems to me disclosing too much or to the wrong people, or in the wrong context, is unskillful. But it also requires concealment of private affairs, which could be interpreted and deception, and therefore wrong speech.
DanieLion :heart:


Hi DanieLion,

I've always found the following to be the best guide when contemplating how best to prcatice samma vaca and bypass the dilemma of which you speak:

[1] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial (or: not connected with the goal), unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

[2] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

[3] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, but unendearing & disagreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them.

[4] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.

[5] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.

[6] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, and endearing & agreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them. Why is that? Because the Tathagata has sympathy for living beings."


Source: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/sacca/sacca4/samma-vaca/index.html

May you be well!
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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Re: The 4th Precept & Disclosure

Postby danieLion » Wed Dec 07, 2011 8:04 am

Khalil Bodhi wrote:
danieLion wrote:Does following the fourth precept mean you have to be transparent?

It seems to me disclosing too much or to the wrong people, or in the wrong context, is unskillful. But it also requires concealment of private affairs, which could be interpreted and deception, and therefore wrong speech.
DanieLion :heart:


Hi DanieLion,

I've always found the following to be the best guide when contemplating how best to prcatice samma vaca and bypass the dilemma of which you speak:

[1] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial (or: not connected with the goal), unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

[2] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

[3] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, but unendearing & disagreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them.

[4] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.

[5] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.

[6] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, and endearing & agreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them. Why is that? Because the Tathagata has sympathy for living beings."


Source: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/sacca/sacca4/samma-vaca/index.html

May you be well!

I practice this (and the 5 precepts). The quote implies a lot of concealment (deception?) to me. So, omitting is okay if it's skillful? In fact, with the five samma vaca conditions, you have to omit. E.g., it's usually not wise to share banal murderous impulses, or ordinary sexual cravings, etc... with just any body at any time.

The one that gives me the most pause is "endearing & agreeable to others" because it requires the most guessing. Wouldn't you have to be able to see into the future or read minds to apply it without fail? It, with the other four, makes me think the Buddha was basically saying in most cases and most times it's usually--if not always--best to keep your mouth shut as much as possible--which I have no issue with. It does suggest even more concealment (deception?) though.
D :heart:
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Re: The 4th Precept & Disclosure

Postby nameless » Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:38 pm

Intention is important. Omitting something because there is no need to talk about it is different from concealing something with the intent to deceive.
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Re: The 4th Precept & Disclosure

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:50 pm

nameless wrote:Intention is important. Omitting something because there is no need to talk about it is different from concealing something with the intent to deceive.

:thumbsup:
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

Uposatha Observance Club:http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=148031379279&v=info
Kiva-Theravada Buddhists:http://www.kiva.org/team/theravada_buddhists
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