Sunday, June 04, 2017

Franky Planner Quotes, Take 2: What did Buddha say?

The Quotation on my Franklin Covey Planner this morning was

"Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it."  Attributed to Buddha.

This struck me as strange; it's a nice quote (sort of), but did not sound like something Siddhartha Gautama would have said.  As it happens, he didn't.

There is a meme on Facebook floating around that has a Chinese painting of what is supposed to be Confucius saying "I didn't say any of the s*** they quote me as saying."  I'm sure Mark Twain, the Buddha, and several others could say the same. 

I put it into the Google search engine and found a cite called "Fake Buddha quotes" that explained that it was written by a Buddhist, but not the original one.  Here is the site, which is quite entertaining (I would say enlightening, too, but that's a bad pun.)

Buddhism is both fascinating and dark to me.  It is not the point of this blog to insult others but to uphold Christ.  While I could see a secular, untrained person seeing parallels between the two faith systems, they appear to me to be tenuous.  Since, according to what I read, there were no texts about Buddha's life until a few centuries later, the opportunity for myth, and for other influences to enter into the oral tradition, seem possible. 

In other words, the Christian gospel got to India not long after the birth of the church, and some of the New Testament could have been mixed in with the already existing Buddhist teachings.  That seems more believable than the oral traditions of Buddhism getting over to Israel and the West and mixing with Christianity, since Christianity is by nature universal and evangelistic; part of being a Christian is to spread it, so the motivation to move the Christian message forward in inherently there. 

On a more snarky note, though, it struck me as odd that Buddha, who is always seen sitting and practicing extreme ascetism, would be the originator of a quote about finding work and working hard at it.  The whole story of the Buddha is about a different paradigm from the Christian one.  Buddhism's purpose seems to be internal; Christianity's external.

The quotation actually sounded suspiciously like a verse in I Corinthians and Ecclesiastes 9:10:  "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going."

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