[Buddha-l] What Buddhist is Emerson paraphrasing?

Curt Steinmetz curt at cola.iges.org
Thu Apr 14 13:06:53 MDT 2011

And Walter Kaufmann, in a footnote, indicates that Nietzsche almost 
certainly got it from Emerson. See page 191 of Kaufmann's translation 
(Random House 1974 edition):



On 4/14/11 1:53 PM, lemmett at talk21.com wrote:
> 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 :-)
> Thanks
> Luke
> --- 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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