The Perfect Speech Models The Action Models | The Perfect Internet Behavior Models

Very closely related to the action models are those models that imagine that enlightened beings will always say exactly the right thing in a perfectly kind and appropriate way. It is not that right speech as a practice and part of the eightfold path isn’t important; it very much is, but here I am talking about models regarding results. It is not that insight practice can’t help us to recognize our intention to speak before we speak and thus provide an increased ability to internally edit the mental script before it translates to actual words. It is not that insight practices can’t slowly transform our ways of being in the world into somewhat healthier ones, as they often do.

However, the ideals that people have around right speech almost always conform to their own personal vision of exactly what proper speech and etiquette are and how everything should be said, ideals that are part of their own individual and cultural conditionings, which vary widely. Chances are slim that any two people, even awakened ones, would agree on exactly what would be the perfect thing to say and the perfect way to say it in any given situation, and that also includes awakened beings. Styles of communication, agendas, and goals for speaking vary widely. There is little chance that you will understand exactly what someone else is trying to accomplish when they say something, and even less of a chance that anyone will always know exactly how someone will interpret what they say.

I am a big fan of the moral training in right speech. Here are some key features of training in right speech: abstaining from lying, divisive speech, abusive speech, idle chatter (SN 45.8), and speaking at the right time, speaking truth, speaking kindly and helpfully with a mind of goodwill (AN 5.198). That said, plenty assume that success in insight training will necessitate success in right speech training, and this is unfortunately not the case.

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