The Jedi Way and Buddhism - Part 10

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11 Jun 2009 20:48 #23362 by Garm
Right Speech

Padame uses right speech when she reminds Anakin that his anger is only natural and that it is not his fault that his mother died. Not only are these words true, they were also kind and loving. Right speech requires the use of truthful, loving words intended to inspire self-confidence, joy, and hope in others.

When Palpatine had finally obtained what he was after – emergency powers to rule the Republic like a tyrant his first words were the darkest of lies. “It is with great reluctance that I agreed to this calling. I love democracy – I love the Republic. The power you give me I will lay down when the crisis has abated.” Of course he never intended to relinquish his authority and, instead goes on to rule through terror for decades.

Violation of right speech is not a “sin” in the sense used by Judaism and Christianity. The price of lying is suffering. “All beings are the owners of their deeds, and the heirs of the outcomes of these deeds.”

Palpatine’s deeds, his lies and deception, do not wait to produce suffering. They bring him suffering in the midst of his rule as Emperor. He can find no joy in the authority he achieved through guile and so he sits in the dark, a shriveled figure, scheming and suffering.

Along with avoiding speech of dissension and falsehood it wise to abstain from vain and idle talk. With right speech, words are viewed as a treasure that should only be brought out when they are useful and when the time is right. The meaningless babble of Jar Jar fail to meet this criterion. By not continuously speaking, we are listening to others, and then we can hear what they are saying and what is being left unsaid. This affords us the opportunity to find the “right” thing to say, the loving and supportive words that lessen the burdens of others.

The Abhaya Sutta elaborates:
In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial (or: not connected with the goal), unendearing and disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, unendearing and disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

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

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

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

In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, and endearing and 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.

MTFBWUA

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