Justsit wrote: ↑Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:55 pm
There is a difference between wanting to hide something and an expectation of privacy. A person's financial and medical information should not be available without express consent. Nothing to do with hiding or guilt and shame, and certainly not "therapeutic" to have it published or used for illicit or illegal purposes.
Where does the expectation of privacy come from?
In monotheistic religions, after the fall of Adam and Eve from heaven and descended into earth, they looked for fig leaves to cover themselves. An allegorical yet powerful story in my opinion.
At a very early age, we are taught that different body parts hold different meaning. Sexual organs for example are treated differently than the rest of the body and even if you go to the beach or to a swimming pool, you are allowed to expose all of your body except certain areas (we call them private parts) hence the idea of consent is emphasized in sexual relationships. And you might have noticed that sexual scandals have been used frequently as a blackmailing tool.
Not long ago, the BBC broadcasted a series called "shaming". There are groups on the internet (mainly from Morocco) who make a living by acting as if they were an attractive female by using a fabricated video, and they ask their victims to chat on Skype, then they film them masturbating and then blackmail them by threatening them to publish the video if they do not pay. As a matter of fact, the vast majority of human beings masturbate, and yet, if this becomes a public knowledge, it becomes a scandal. Strange, is it not!
As the body is divided into parts holding different meanings, the human psyche seems to be equally divided. You might have noticed that most comments on this thread were related to how we associate certain information with certain people. For example, pilgrim said "I won't post on FB what I won't tell my secretary", and No_Mind said "We do not mind if those of whom we approve know of us" and you said "A person's financial and medical information should not be available without express consent".
What i am trying to say is that living in a society that is based on "role playing" created this fragmentation in our psyche. Living with people brings about many benefits, but also comes at a great expense. Just look at human insecurities both physically and psychologically. Our "self" which is a reflection of our social interactions is divided, somehow we get too involved in the game to the extent that it becomes real through identification with the roles we play.
If the purpose of Buddhist practice is to end psychological fear, then understanding the idea of "privacy" becomes essential in my opinion. It is beneficial if (and only if) it is understood from practical point of view as you and other discussant already stated. However, if it seen to be something real (rather than a mere convention) it is a cause of suffering. This is somehow similar to the idea of "human rights", it is something we invented and it can be useful (but also at an expense which is a sense of entitlement and lack of gratitude), but if taken to be more than what it is, it turns into suffering.
To sum up, ideally, a wise man has nothing to hide except for practical reasons, and if for whatever reason his/her privacy has been breached, it won't be a cause of suffering as it is no longer believed to be something real in the first place.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
This was the last word of the Tathagata.