This one just came to my attention today. I spotted it in the feed of a Twitter user who is one of the worst offenders I know of where it comes to passing on Fake Buddha Quotes. As far as I’m aware it doesn’t resemble anything the Buddha is reported to have said in any scripture from any era — and it’s definitely not from the early scriptures, which are our best bet for an accurate representation of what the Buddha literally said.
It’s yet another quote taken from the Japanese book, “The Teaching of Buddha,” which is a Gideon Bible–like publication found in hotel bedrooms throughout Japan and published by Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai. There have been many, many editions of the book.
A fuller version of the quote reads:
It is the everlasting and unchanging rule of this world that everything is created by a series of causes and conditions and everything disappears by the same rule; everything changes, nothing remains without change.
It would be impossible to summarize here the Buddha’s teachings on change, impermanence, or inconstancy (anicca). But his approach was ruthlessly practical, and focused on how our inability to deal with the fact of change causes us suffering, and how we can find eace by learning to accept change.
Thanissaro has a good article on anicca, which he renders, rightly, I think, as inconstancy. I’d recommend reading it.