Revealing a cheating spouse: Wrong Speech?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Spiny Norman
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Re: Revealing a cheating spouse: Wrong Speech?

Post by Spiny Norman »

LXNDR wrote:when one is not sure, it's best to refrain from action, at least this way one's safer in terms of acquiring bad new kamma
Perhaps, but how often are we really sure about anything when it comes to making decisions involving other people? Invariably the information we have is partial and subjective. Sometimes it's trying to work out which might be the least harmful course of action.
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lonewolf
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Re: Revealing a cheating spouse: Wrong Speech?

Post by lonewolf »

Spiny Norman wrote:
LXNDR wrote:when one is not sure, it's best to refrain from action, at least this way one's safer in terms of acquiring bad new kamma
Perhaps, but how often are we really sure about anything when it comes to making decisions involving other people? Invariably the information we have is partial and subjective. Sometimes it's trying to work out which might be the least harmful course of action.
Do not add to suffering seems like a good place to start when considering action.
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Sam Vara
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Re: Revealing a cheating spouse: Wrong Speech?

Post by Sam Vara »

Spiny Norman wrote:
LXNDR wrote:when one is not sure, it's best to refrain from action, at least this way one's safer in terms of acquiring bad new kamma
Perhaps, but how often are we really sure about anything when it comes to making decisions involving other people? Invariably the information we have is partial and subjective. Sometimes it's trying to work out which might be the least harmful course of action.
I think we can be sure of our intentions. We may not know what the effects of our speech are going to be, but we can at least know that our intentions are beneficent. I have often thought that I am "doing the right thing", but then realised on reflection that I am using conventional moral rules to indulge part of myself that is better restrained. If, as you say, we can work out which might be the least harmful course of action, then we are at least engaging in reflection upon our intentions. Then, let the consequences fall as they may.

I love the quote from the Russian philosopher Chaadayev:
Our first rule ought to be not to avoid disaster but not to deserve it
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Anagarika
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Re: Revealing a cheating spouse: Wrong Speech?

Post by Anagarika »

I'm with Bhikkhu Pesala on this issue. I've had the fortune ( or misfortune) to work in family law. Responses to these situations should be driven by the individual facts of the case. I've seen innocent women raising young children be left homeless and moneyless when a longterm cheating husband suddenly ran off with a paramour, draining the bank accounts and moving to another state. Had she some awareness of the impending risks, she might be in a better position to protect herself and her children. I have also seen women in longterm abusive marital relationships, who turn to a colleague or friend for intimacy and emotional support. Were the husband to learn of the affair, he'd be likely to harm her. Silence in this case would be more appropriate. These are examples, and the genders can be reversed in these examples.

Silence in the face of impending harm to innocents may be, in a sense, being complicit in the harm. A bit of meditative insight and wisdom applied to individual facts should give most meditators a sense of the right path, whether to intervene or stay silent.
lonewolf
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Re: Revealing a cheating spouse: Wrong Speech?

Post by lonewolf »

Anagarika wrote:I'm with Bhikkhu Pesala on this issue. I've had the fortune ( or misfortune) to work in family law. Responses to these situations should be driven by the individual facts of the case. I've seen innocent women raising young children be left homeless and moneyless when a longterm cheating husband suddenly ran off with a paramour, draining the bank accounts and moving to another state. Had she some awareness of the impending risks, she might be in a better position to protect herself and her children. I have also seen women in longterm abusive marital relationships, who turn to a colleague or friend for intimacy and emotional support. Were the husband to learn of the affair, he'd be likely to harm her. Silence in this case would be more appropriate. These are examples, and the genders can be reversed in these examples.

Silence in the face of impending harm to innocents may be, in a sense, being complicit in the harm. A bit of meditative insight and wisdom applied to individual facts should give most meditators a sense of the right path, whether to intervene or stay silent.
Let me play a devil's advocate here. If she had taken those actions to protect her finances, what assurance is there that the "villain" would not take that as a hostile action and retaliate, possibly violently towards her, and/or the children? Or that she would do something irrational, and possibly do great harm to the "villain"? Assuming rational behavior on the part of the involved party is a big stretch.

One thing I do realize is some have never been in that situation, and have no idea the state of mind in those situations. Minds, and especially those that are completely oblivious to reality, are very unpredictable. Civilization polishes one on the outside, but one turns barbaric more often than not when one's dillusions unravel. It takes meditation to transform the mind into truly civilized.

Have the minds been all trained, and somewhat evolved, it would be different. I have no trust in an untrained mind.
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Mkoll
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Re: Revealing a cheating spouse: Wrong Speech?

Post by Mkoll »

lonewolf wrote:I have no trust in an untrained mind.
Well, we've all got to start somewhere. :tongue:
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Spiny Norman
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Re: Revealing a cheating spouse: Wrong Speech?

Post by Spiny Norman »

Sam Vara wrote: I think we can be sure of our intentions.
Yes, good point. Though it can be difficult to be objective about our motivation if we're personally involved in a situation.
Buddha save me from new-agers!
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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Revealing a cheating spouse: Wrong Speech?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala »

Also, before you say anything, check out the Rādha Jātaka
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