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Right speech, spirituality and the internet

Kerome

Kerome

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
12,748
Location
Europe
I just wanted to talk a little about a sutra of the Buddha which was about right speech. I’ve been wondering for a while what makes a good internet community, after observing some of the behaviour that goes on with modern Osho sannyasins... they bicker and fight and make snide comments, I just find it not conducive to a good conversation.

On most buddhist sites you won’t find behaviour like that, mainly because the Buddha spoke against it. In the Abhaya Sutra MN58, he said...

[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.
I thought it was a clear indication to prefer to be silent over speaking unnecessarily, to stay with things that are factual and true, and most importantly, to say things that are beneficial to others.

That is a good way to speak, because it means that which is meaningful and said for the benefit of all will be visible or audible. But it strikes me that very many people don’t seem to have the maturity to communicate in this way, that they either just talk about anything that enters their mind, or they answer perceived slights with deliberate insult. It’s rare that you will see people offer an apology on the internet.

I wish more people would take a little more care in their communication, making sure that they speak with compassion and from the heart...
 
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