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July 7, 2014 10:36 AM   Subscribe

“Those who are awake live in a state of constant amazement.”-Fake Buddha Quotes is your one-stop shopping for all quotes misattributed to The Buddha.
posted by Navelgazer (48 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
"Don't follow leaders....watch your parking meters"
posted by thelonius at 10:41 AM on July 7 [5 favorites]


Fake quotes drive me crazy, so this is delightful. Don't people notice clearly modern syntax and wording when they see it? Now if we can just get someone to do Mark Twain.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:42 AM on July 7 [4 favorites]


"lmao butts" - Abraham Lincoln
posted by entropicamericana at 10:44 AM on July 7 [8 favorites]


"Blue is the background of this world, grey the color of the next. But white is really more professional."
posted by gwint at 10:45 AM on July 7 [6 favorites]


Of course, proof-texting the Buddha implies an appeal to personal authority that the Buddha explicitly rejected. I can't be bothered to look up the sutra where he makes the rejection, so I'm just asserting he rejects it. It doesn't really matter either way.
posted by reverend cuttle at 10:59 AM on July 7 [4 favorites]


Also, this sort of pointing out the errors of others is only satisfying because of ego-driven need to be correct. The sort of need to be correct that drives me to point out the delightful irony of this blog's existence. Sigh.
posted by reverend cuttle at 11:01 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


The blog's list of real Buddha quotes and bibliography is really nice, and I like the discussion after each quote explaining where the quote really comes from. Thanks! *adds five Bhikkhu Bodhi translations to a wishlist*
posted by Elementary Penguin at 11:05 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


reverend cuttle, I believe you're thinking of the Kalama Sutta.

- Todd Lokken
posted by desjardins at 11:07 AM on July 7 [6 favorites]


reverend cuttle: actually the blog in one entry goes into the fact that Siddhartha asked the followers of Dharma (I am not one, for the record) specifically to correct the matter when quotes would be misattributed to him, and this blog is pretty gentle about it.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:07 AM on July 7 [4 favorites]


If you meet the Buddha on the road, misquote him.
posted by jfuller at 11:08 AM on July 7 [4 favorites]


I love this! Fake quotes drive me nuts, and in particular fake quotes where some damn attributor decided to paraphrase this part or change the wording meaning there's no some stupid aphorism just floating out there to be put on someones facebook page. Good find!
posted by Carillon at 11:11 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


... and then a retired U.S. marine read the blog, stood up, unplugged the Internet, and said he didn't fight ACLU insurgents just so effete intellectuals could undermine his grandmother's email forwards. Then he led AmericaOnline in prayer with the help of Billy Graham and Olympic speed skater Dan Jansen.
posted by reverend cuttle at 11:20 AM on July 7 [3 favorites]


Don't people notice clearly modern syntax and wording when they see it?

If that's the logic we're following, what tipped me off is the fact that they're in English.

A modern translation of an ancient text would have good reason to be in modern syntax.
posted by howfar at 11:21 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


This is great. My dad has spent significant blog-ink over the past few years on the "whiskey's for drinkin', water's for fightin' over" Mark Twain misquote and I think that has given me a fondness for these sort of things.
posted by NoraReed at 11:25 AM on July 7


Fake quotes annoy me on some level, but not a whole lot. However, one recent one really got to me:

One of my friends recently posted to Facebook a picture of Albert Einstein along with a quote that it attributed to him:
Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.
This really bothered me. It's like... like... like attributing a quote by Strom Thurmond to MLK.
posted by Flunkie at 11:28 AM on July 7 [6 favorites]


"Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated."

- The Buddha
posted by crazylegs at 11:28 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Some of the comments are quite interesting. I particularly like the exchange with a Sri Lankan Buddhist here which reflects the different approaches to lineage and tradition that different Buddhists take. And also reveals of course that calling yourself a Buddhist doesn't mean you're not also an unjustifiably condescending twerp.
posted by 1adam12 at 11:46 AM on July 7


And I say, 'Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know.' And he says, 'Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.' So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

-- The Buddha
posted by shakespeherian at 11:50 AM on July 7 [5 favorites]


“Those who are awake on mushrooms live in a state of constant amazement.”
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:59 AM on July 7


The central tenet of Buddhism is still "Every man for himself," right?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:01 PM on July 7 [4 favorites]


"If nCode is greater than or equal to zero, it is highly recommended that you call CallNextHookEx and return the value it returns; otherwise, other applications that have installed WH_CALLWNDPROC hooks will not receive hook notifications and may behave incorrectly as a result." -- the Buddha
posted by Foosnark at 12:05 PM on July 7 [4 favorites]


Wes Studi, as the Sphinx in 1999's "Mystery Men", used Moebius strip aphorisms such as " He who questions training only trains himself at asking questions'" and " He who does not master his rage will be mastered by his rage" etc. O.K., not quite Buddha, but when I saw the movie I remember thinking "Whoa! Wait! What did he just say?!? Is there something THERE?
posted by TDavis at 12:07 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


"Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man." -- The Buddha
posted by demonic winged headgear at 12:14 PM on July 7 [3 favorites]


I became friends with a monk in a Zen monastery who had translated a bunch of texts into English (he was originally from the States and, as the son of Christian missionaries, had grown up in Tokyo in the 1960's), who said it always drove him crazy that the popular Buddhism books were always "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance," and he was always bemused with how Zen was used for different purposes far from the original essence of the philosophy.

Anyway, the one book that he did like of the genre was "Zen in the Art of Archery."
posted by KokuRyu at 12:15 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


"Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."
posted by newton at 12:20 PM on July 7


Flunkie: Quote Investigator looked into that one. It's quite the rabbit hole.
posted by dhartung at 12:24 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Wes Studi, as the Sphinx in 1999's "Mystery Men", used Moebius strip aphorisms such as " He who questions training only trains himself at asking questions'" and " He who does not master his rage will be mastered by his rage" etc. O.K., not quite Buddha, but when I saw the movie I remember thinking "Whoa! Wait! What did he just say?!? Is there something THERE?
One of my favorite scenes
posted by Flunkie at 12:29 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


"When you learn to balance a tack hammer on your head, you will head off your foes with a balanced attack."
posted by murphy slaw at 12:41 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Buddha's aight, but everyone knows the most prolific source of epigrams is "Ghandi"
posted by threeants at 12:45 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


also "Bhudda"
posted by threeants at 12:45 PM on July 7


A modern translation of an ancient text would have good reason to be in modern syntax.

For some reason I am reminded of a book which I found on my shelf recently -- I plucked it out of a box of books that was sitting on the curb waiting for garbage pickup and discovered it years later to be a comic masterpiece: Hamlet in Everyday English.
Shall I continue it live or not? This is the momentous decision I am called upon to make.
One of the delights is that so many lines from Hamlet have been repurposed as book and movie titles. I delight in thinking of a world where Shakespeare wrote in memo-flat English, leading to David Foster Wallace's Endless Fund of Humour, Joe Haldeman's My Many Misdoings, and the films Star Trek VI: The Unknown Land, the 1998 Robin Williams flick The Visions That May Disturb This Final Slumber, the 1987 Bette Midler/Shelley Long movie Cruel Fate, or the fabulous 1978 Nick Lowe single, "Though My Conduct To You May Seem Harsh, It Is Solely For Your Benefit That It Is So."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:52 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


"When you learn to balance a tack hammer on your head, you will head off your foes with a balanced attack."

"And why am I wearing watermelons on my feet?"
posted by BrashTech at 1:05 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Part of the modern syntax too is that often they're paraphrasing older quotations by other people. Not sure why, but it means that even figuring out what the original quotation is can be a pain. I guess sometimes it's to cut down the length or to make it easier but it leads to confusion there as well. You'd think people would actually start citing their work heh.
posted by Carillon at 1:17 PM on July 7


"...only one thing counts in this life:
Get them to sign on the line which is dotted."

- the Buddha
posted by blueberry at 1:19 PM on July 7


It drives me slightly nuts when I see this sort of thing, because it's a symptom of the popular American approach to Buddhism/Daoism/Confucianism/etc. -- that they're grab-bags of affirmations, rather than diverse and complicated religions practiced by actual people.

I have a hard time imagining anyone circulating an image of a sunset with the words

"When 900 years old you reach, look so good you will not."
    -- Jesus of Nazareth

posted by bokane at 1:22 PM on July 7 [6 favorites]


though the popularity of those goddamn scripture quote a day books and shit does sort of show that Americans are also pretty happy to treat their own religion as a grab-bag of affirmations (though obviously they do not do this to the exclusion of all other knowledge about the religions and philosophies that they don't happen to practice)
posted by NoraReed at 1:24 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Fake quotes and quoteminers are really enjoyable to me because they are so transient. It really shines a light on the whole "what you think you think you know you know" phenomenon that is existence in a society that relies so much on information that just kinda sits there.

How does my car work? I don't know, i just put the key in and push the foot thing and turn the hand thing and oh dang I'm at work for another 8 hours so I can pay off my car bills.

How do my mental heuristics work? I don't know, I just put the quote thingie in the algorithm and use the name that is attached to justify its use and what do you know, I have a memo to send out so I can pay off my school bills.

Fake quotes, and quote mining, are like the clown cars of mental heuristics.
posted by rebent at 1:34 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Buddha's aight, but everyone knows the most prolific source of epigrams is "Ghandi"

Er, I almost made that error when compiling last week's This Week Tonight FanFare post. (embarrassed) Making those posts has been good training for just searching things out and getting names spelled right.
posted by JHarris at 1:39 PM on July 7


One of the delights is that so many lines from Hamlet have been repurposed as book and movie titles.

Not Hamlet, but still Shakespeare. The local video store (this was 25 years ago) advertised on their "recent arrivals" board a then-popular Kenneth Branagh movie they called "Henry, Part 5."
posted by KokuRyu at 3:30 PM on July 7


The local video store (this was 25 years ago) advertised on their "recent arrivals" board a then-popular Kenneth Branagh movie they called "Henry, Part 5."

I was working in an arthouse cinema when it came out. We referred to it as "Henry the Vee," which led to it being known as Henry the Vandal/Henry the Vintner/Henry the Visiting Lecturer/Henry the Vizier/Henry the Vestal Virgin/Henry the Vigilante/Henry the Vagrant, etc.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:44 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Here's a real shocker. Murphy's Law was NOT first said by a man named Murphy.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:46 PM on July 7


it always drove him crazy that the popular Buddhism books were always "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance," and he was always bemused with how Zen was used for different purposes far from the original essence of the philosophy.

To be fair to Pirsig, he wasn't actually writing a book about Zen, and was pretty explicit about that fact. As the preface says: "it should in no way be associated with that great body of factual information relating to orthodox Zen Buddhist practice. It's not very factual on motorcycles, either."

Pirsig does have something of a grab-bag approach, but he has raided Eastern and Western traditions with equal disregard for propriety. I'd argue that this makes his work more entertaining, but much less coherent and convincing. Given his honesty about it, I therefore think it's vastly more his problem than it is Buddhism's.
posted by howfar at 4:34 PM on July 7


Coffee is for closers. —the Buddha

Wasn't Bhudda a Bowery B'hoy?
posted by XMLicious at 6:01 PM on July 7




"Cats are people too!" - Noam Chomsky
posted by Navelgazer at 8:59 PM on July 7


"Yes, Madam, and you are ugly; but in the morning I will be sober." - Buddha
posted by Segundus at 9:49 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


"No leg is too short to reach the ground"

"Sick yaks leave light tracks"
posted by iotic at 3:16 AM on July 8


Here's a real shocker. Murphy's Law was NOT first said by a man named Murphy.

Well duh. It was said by another man of the same name.
posted by Palindromedary at 5:34 AM on July 8


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