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To cunningly praise ourselves while dispar­aging others is foolish

I got this piece of advice on a Buddhist site (http://buddhismnow.com/advice/) but it did not quote the originator. Is disparaging others, always motivated by self praise? I think at least partly so.

Comments

  • It usually feels that way when I am doing it.
  • howhow Veteran
    An identity view where one succeeds or fails over someone else is predicated on the delusion that there is a separation between self and other.
    EvenThird
  • robot said:

    It usually feels that way when I am doing it.

    Yes, I too have done it way too often. It almost feels like second nature. I like the quote because it reminds me what I am truly doing, and in that light, examine my motives.

  • how said:

    An identity view where one succeeds or fails over someone else is predicated on the delusion that there is a separation between self and other.

    Very true, underlying is that delusion. There is also a desperate attempt a stratisfying too. Not only is he/she different from me, but I am superior to them.

  • " Is disparaging others, always motivated by self praise? I think at least partly so." (the italics are mine)

    Well, I think it depends.
    First, there must be a consensus as to what "disparaging someone" means. Talking trash?
    Or rationally discussing someone who has real problems- but speaking the truth?
    And most importantly, what's the motivation and intent behind this talk?
    Who are you 'disparaging' and why?
    Who are you talking to about this person?

    Now after I wrote the above, I noticed that the OP said "disparaging others" not disparaging
    someone (as in a singular/particular person).
    That might put a very different spin on things - if the OP meant disparaging a group of people - you know, by way of stereotypes and/or bigotry or bias.

    Maybe I need more clarification on this one.....

    EvenThird
  • The lojong slogans (tonglen sayings) call this ' don't elevate yourself on others wounded limbs'

    Another slogan is 'give victory to others and defeat to yourself'.

    Very hard to do but if you just make a tiny crack in the edifice of ego then ultimately you are the one who benefits and perhaps the most benefit of all.
  • Another way I look at it, I feel disparaging others, is a cunning way to praise ourselves.
    MaryAnne said:

    " Is disparaging others, always motivated by self praise? I think at least partly so." (the italics are mine)

    Well, I think it depends.
    First, there must be a consensus as to what "disparaging someone" means. Talking trash?
    Or rationally discussing someone who has real problems- but speaking the truth?
    And most importantly, what's the motivation and intent behind this talk?
    Who are you 'disparaging' and why?
    Who are you talking to about this person?

    Now after I wrote the above, I noticed that the OP said "disparaging others" not disparaging
    someone (as in a singular/particular person).
    That might put a very different spin on things - if the OP meant disparaging a group of people - you know, by way of stereotypes and/or bigotry or bias.

    Maybe I need more clarification on this one.....

    I would think, either or group, or any other. A definition of disparaging would be:
    "To speak of in a slighting or disrespectful way; belittle."
    Any time we attempt to belittle a group or an individual, we hurt ourselves.
  • how said:

    An identity view where one succeeds or fails over someone else is predicated on the delusion that there is a separation between self and other.

    Indeed.

    Self disparaging can be a way of elevating others but taking it too far beyond basic humility and it can be a subtle pride.
    The ideal is the natural exuberance of Fat Buddha.

    image
  • does he have a little joint in his mouth?
  • Does he have a toe missing?
  • MaryAnneMaryAnne Veteran
    edited November 2013
    Let me give an example, @AllbuddhaBound , just off the top of my head-

    I could say to Bobby's sister:

    "You know Suzy, I think your brother Bobby has some real issues.... have you noticed he's been very angry lately, and very mean to your mother? He's been acting very badly towards her; aggressive and lashing out all the time; and that's not right. Maybe something is going on with him and he needs help of some kind. You should talk to him, see if he'll open up to you and tell you what's wrong... "

    Now someone walking by may overhear that small portion of conversation and think MaryAnne is talking disparagingly about Bobby. But in reality, MaryAnne's motives have nothing at all to do with disparaging Bobby, or "boosting her own ego" by disparaging someone else. She is discussing a "truth" of (her) observation. Probably because she cares about Bobby and his sister and family....

    That's what I meant when I said *sometimes* what someone may think is disparaging talk really isn't and there needs to be a consensus about what actually IS disparaging....
    And that's why I italicized the word "always" in your OP because how can anyone judge what is always going on with everyone in their head?

    Never say never as they say....
    the world isn't black and white and one can't make black and white statements to cover ALL possibilities - all the time. That would be speaking in absolutes. (and it would also be making some pretty big assumptions and judgements of your own, wouldn't it?)

    But hey- maybe I'm just over-thinking the whole question/statement you made in the OP? Could be. Yeah, I probably have. LOL Maybe I've had too much coffee today? ;)
    JeffreyEvenThird
  • @MaryAnne, point made, but I believe the example with Suzy and Bobby, would tend to be the exception rather than the rule. Now if the intent is to have Suzy correct Bobby offered in a spirit of win/win, I get your point exactly. Where the problem would be, is if it was offered with no intent of Bobby ever hearing it, then I feel it would be more about ego than making things better.
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    Yes, it is! That is why "not disparaging others" is precept number 7 of the ten Bodhisattva precepts. In this context "not disparaging" mean not being abusive. The word disparaging is often translated as abusive or promoting ill-will, etc.

    From the Brama Net sutra.


    7. Seventh Major Precept

    On Praising Oneself and Disparaging Others

    A disciple of the Buddha shall not praise himself and speak ill of others, or encourage others to do so. He must not create the causes, conditions, methods, or karma of praising himself and disparaging others. As a disciple of the Buddha, he should be willing to stand in for all sentient beings and endure humiliation and slander -- accepting blame and letting sentient beings have all the glory. If instead, he displays his own virtues and conceals the good points of others, thus causing them to suffer slander, he commits a Parajika offense.
    Bodhidharma's commentary on it.
    Self-nature is subtle and mysterious. In the realm of the equitable Dharma, not dwelling upon I against you is called the Precept of Not Praising Yourself While Abusing Others.
    There is more commentary on it if you do an internet search for "Bodhisattva precepts".
    AllbuddhaBound
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