“I saw it on Facebook; it must be a real Buddha quote!”
DesireeGrace posted the following on Twitter this morning:
We’re the same as plants, trees, other people, the rain that falls. We consist of that [which] is around us, we’re the same as everything.Buddha
This is so totally alien to the idiom the Buddha used — and the concepts he used — that I assumed Desiree had made some kind of slip in attributing it to the Buddha, especially with the word “Buddha” tacked on awkwardly at the end.
But I wrote to her and she replied:
@Bodhipaksa But it is really a quote from the Buddha. 🙂 I found it here: http://ktotheb.com/blog/2009/03/29/everything-is-spiritual/
Although she was probably joking, I describe this as the “I saw it on the web so it must be true” argument.
This is an interesting quote since it seems to be relatively new. At least so far I haven’t been able to find it in Google Books, where a lot of Fake Buddha Quotes have their origins. However, Google says that there are 490 web pages that contain the first words of the quote: “”We are the same as plants, as trees, as other people, as the rain that falls.”
I think it’s quite possible that the quote started life here, an SFSU web page, mainly because it’s not attributed to the Buddha, but is part of a paraphrase of the Buddha’s teachings. This web page (according to archive.org) goes back at least to 2000, which probably makes it old enough to be the urtext for this particular Fake Buddha Quote. We may never know who the first person was to lift this quote and mistakenly attribute it to he Buddha himself.
It’s only a matter of time now until this Fake Buddha Quote makes in onto one of the many Quotes sites that deface the internet. Once it’s on one, it’ll be copied to the others. And then it’ll start appearing in books, lending the quote a false air of authority.