[Buddha-l] What Buddhist is Emerson paraphrasing?

lemmett at talk21.com lemmett at talk21.com
Thu Apr 14 11:53:18 MDT 2011

Hello. Of course I don't know but Nietzsche mentions this http://www.nietzschespirit.com/files/Buddha's_'Religion'_-_a_Kind_of_Hygiene.html

ha :-)


--- On Thu, 14/4/11, Richard Hayes <rhayes at unm.edu> wrote:

> From: Richard Hayes <rhayes at unm.edu>
> Subject: [Buddha-l] What Buddhist is Emerson paraphrasing?
> To: "Buddhist discussion forum" <buddha-l at mailman.swcp.com>
> Date: Thursday, 14 April, 2011, 18:21
> A colleague of mine, Russell Goodman,
> is a scholar of American philosophy and has asked me if I
> know of any Buddhist source of a quote that Ralph Waldo
> Emerson attributes to Buddhists. Emerson writes:
> "The Buddhist expresses the true law of hospitality when he
> says, 'Do not flatter your benefactors.'  The bread
> that you give me is not thine to give, but mine when the
> great Order of Nature has seated me today at your table."
> According to Professor Goodman, the quote "first appears in
> his journals for 1840 (Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks
> v. 7, p. 337), then in 'The Transcendentalist' (1841), then
> near the end of Emerson's essay "Gifts" in the second series
> of essays (1844.) It's also used in his letters."
> The quote in 'The Transcendentalist' goes:  "The
> Buddhist, who thanks no man, who says 'Do not flatter your
> benefactors," but who, in his conviction that every good
> deed can by no possibility escape its reward, will not
> deceive the benefactor by pretending that he has done more
> than he should, is a Transcendentalist." (p. 337 in the old
> riverside edition of E's works).
> I can think of nothing in any Buddhist texts I have read
> that sounds like this. If any of you can think of something,
> please let me know so I can pass it on to Russell Goodman.
> Richard Hayes
> Department of Philosophy
> MSC03 2140
> 1 University of New Mexico
> Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
> rhayes at unm.edu
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