e g r e g o r e s

"Graciously bestow upon all men felicity, the summit of which is the knowledge of the Gods." [Julian, Oration to the Mother of the Gods]

Fake "Buddha" Quote?

This one has been making the rounds on teh internets recently:

“Suffering, if it does not diminish love will transport you to the furthest shore.”

It appears to come from a cnn.com article from several days ago: Huston Smith’s Painful Spiritual Odyssey, by John Blake (dated November 23, 2009). According to the article, Smith “recalled” the above words as “a quote from Buddha”.

This just doesn’t sound right to me. I’d be willing to bet that this is at best a very sloppy paraphrase. Maybe the Buddha might have come up with this if he ever worked for Hallmark Cards. Otherwise, not so much. But I can believe that Smith tried to pawn it off on some reporter as the real thing.

One response to “Fake "Buddha" Quote?

  1. Denis November 27, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    "transport you to the furthest shore" — Even if we assume that he means the Paramitas, suffering is not one of them. If we look at the list provided in the wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P%C4%81ramit%C4%81#Canonical_sources) the closest one is patience, which still makes a big difference. Patience is an act of will while suffering is external influence. Smith's version sounds like an apology of masochism. But then, I am not a Buddhist.

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