Found Fantastic Buddhist Quote, Looking For Its Origin
August 21, 2009 8:15 AM   Subscribe

What is the origin of this quote - "We're as dead now as we'll ever be."?

I'm taking this Religion course called the Psychology of Religion and recently we've been discussing religious consciousness in Tibetan Buddhism. My professor tangentially referenced this quote - "We're as dead now as we'll ever be." The idea being that everyone is in a constant and eternal cycle of death and rebirth (samsara) and the only way to escape the cycle is through enlightenment in order to reach nirvana. I love the quote but when I asked my professor about it he only remember its source as "a Buddhist monk." The language is pretty colloquial so I'm assuming the monk is fairly modern. My professor is such a nut ball and space cadet so now I'm turning to MeFi. Anyone got any ideas either where this quote came from or even how I would go about finding its origin?
posted by jay.eye.elle.elle. to Religion & Philosophy (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
According to some guy on the internet, one person who said it was the alternate personality of Jane Roberts, a.k.a. 'Seth'.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 8:25 AM on August 21, 2009

I just checked some more and found a 1948 article where someone used a variation on the phrase. Jane Roberts was born in 1929; that would make her 19 when this phrase was used. So it's quite likely to have been in use for some time by then. This may be one of those phrases that was independently 'discovered' by many.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 8:37 AM on August 21, 2009

..and the link to the 1948 article joins us now via router.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 8:38 AM on August 21, 2009

The 1948 article is referencing an animal about to be killed and is only tangentially related to Buddhism in that vegetarianism is common amongst buddhists. If you don't get an answer here, I'd try asking at e-sangha - someone there is almost certain to know.

My random guess is Brad Warner - you could ask him.
posted by desjardins at 9:00 AM on August 21, 2009

In Buddhist terms, the statement is not really unique - I have heard Buddhist monks / teachers say very similar things, and I would imagine at one point or other many important teachers have said something very much like this in the context of learning to deal with the fear of death.
posted by aught at 9:09 AM on August 21, 2009

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