Björk says “F@$k the Buddhists…”

Thanks to John/ Jack from Zen Dirt, Zen Dust for bringing this to our attention.

Seems our nutty friend, and musician, Björk has open mouth and insert foot disease. A quote has been tied to her via an article on The Guardian.

What she said is this “The Buddhists say we come back as animals and they refer to them as lesser beings. Well, animals aren’t lesser beings, they’re just like us. So I say fuck the Buddhists.” What?

Now I do agree that Buddhism says this, but it’s been taken way out of context, like most things people say about something they don’t know about. In Buddhism it is believed that animal realms are a lower realm than that of the human realm, but in no way does it imply Buddhists don’t care for animals.

By saying animals are born in a “lower” realm, it’s not meant as disrespect or lack of caring for an animal, but is based on the idea that animals experience more pain and suffering than humans and thus are born into a lower realm. A human birth is believed to be a precious birth because we have the opportunity to do alot of things in this form to benefit all beings and even, if we work heard enough, reach our goal of achieving Enlightenment or Bodhisattvahood. Although animals are put in this “lower” realm category, they share something very important in common with humans, and that is they are sentient beings. Buddhists believe all sentient beings are worth saving and caring for, and that they should not suffer.

Maybe I’m wrong, could very well be, but I just wish people with such a high profile would read a bit more on a subject before opening their mouths and implying a certain group believes something which they do not, or at least not in the way the speaker is talking of.


  1. @Homer: Wow! You don’t really know anything at all about Buddhism, do you? I don’t blindly swallow all of the Buddhist tenets I’ve read about. For instance, I don’t believe that animals are a lower form of life than humans. But I think there is a lot of wisdom in Buddhist teachings, and your arguments are all straw men–because what you are describing is not Buddhism. Please educate yourself before you attempt to pass yourself off as an expert. Anyway, Buddhism as it is practiced by many is more of a philosophy than a religion.

  2. I think that perhaps the article explains a little more to me about what Buddhists believe. I wasn’t aware that a lower being is deffined as such because they will suffer more in their lives, but I don’t believe animals, in a natural state, really do suffer more that humans. We have evolved to a point that we do not recognize any state as natural and have fallen out of harmony with our environment, not to mention that we have very complicated (some would assert needlessly complicated) emotions and thought processes, both of wich causes people all kinds of pain that another animal may never experience. Its like the saying goes; ignorance is bliss. Most other animals will never have to experience existential angst or feel horror at things happening in remote places from them, these are pains that are (I would Think) unique to our species. I would say the simpler the animal the less pain they CAN experience. Suffering itself is most accute in a complex emotional creature. We can say a tree suffers, but its experience of suffering is entirely different from that of, say, a child.
    So in summation I guess I don’t believe the lower realms really do belong to the so called lower animal life forms. They seem to find natural equilibrium with eachother and their environments..perhaps it is really US who are lowest on the Karmic Totem Pole. Animals are natural bodhisatvas in my opinion. No concerns above the immediate, They try to just Be, and don’t even need to contemplate that, they just do it. Very zen.

  3. Put aside what religions proclaimz or what people want to say of the truths of each religion. It does not matter, because they have more
    lies than truths.

    In a society where people reject christianity becos of these christian lack of integrity, people turn to alternative religion like Buddhism. But Buddhism does no better and their integrity are not even above average masses or showing sign of improvement.

    Anyone without religious brainwashed can observe this clearly. It is time we give Buddhism a double thumb down.

  4. Think of how the society grows when women are thought to have “karmic defilement” meaning that they could not enter Buddhism’s most sacred sites, or that only men can enter the higher states after death, since rebirth as a woman resulted from bad karma. Oh, and also brings bad karma on the family that has daughters.
    Oh, and on the subject of “being born a certain way due to “bad karma””, think where that path leads. You were born poor? Well, you must have been a bad person in your past life, be pious and hope you get reborn as a rich person in the next (oh, and that includes listening to the king?.as he must have been really good in his past life to be reincarnated as a king). ?same goes for the def, dumb, disabled, ect. Talk about “Original Sin”.
    Arg, I could go on with that, but surfice to say you can read more from Hitchens ‘God is Not Great’, as he touches on this better than I could.

    I’m a religion hater….Nay, a superstition hater. And Buddhism is an Anti-reason movement.
    A Belief in magical karma. An Aversion towards life,because life IS suffering (ya, that?s a positive outlook).
    Clap Trap nonsense (the blind eye sees clear, blah blah) is treated as enlightenment.
    Mindfulness as promised to cure all problems while generally only creating more strain on the mind. Meditation being promised a cure for many psychological problems which it never solves or does only temporary.
    Belief that desire is bad causing people to get depressed(no desire = depression easily).
    Non-dual teachings that make people passive, indifferent and easily fallen under suppression of government(although always denied and instead marketed as being a source of compassion, truth and wisdom). Built upon a promotion of the master-student relationship where student follows everything blindly.

    Belief that all bad things are caused by Karma and that one should not be cured but left to suffer to “purify” oneself.
    Selfish escapism.
    Impossible ideals that only cause inner tension as they go against our nature and cause us to suppress the shadow to amazing extent.
    False hope given to people.
    Self righteousnesses.
    Masked utilitarianism.
    Constant chase of happiness resulting in paradox because when you chase happiness it causes sadness. Happiness only happens as byproduct but never as the goal.
    Thinking of this reality as almost hell

    So Ya, fuck Buddhism

  5. on the flip side, i think of rock stars as being in the god realm. which puts her in a ‘higher’ realm. but being in a higher realm is not considered ‘better’ than being in the human realm. or that gods are better or more worth caring for.

    similarly i don’t blame her for confusing lower with worse or less important; we usually conflate those adjectives. hope she’s enjoying the god realm.

  6. Aha…one more twist!

    On the blog of one of the organizers of the Atheist Ireland campaign, he has posted 25 blasphemous quotes in order to challenge the Irish law.

    He quotes a longer version of the Bjork quote, where includes the section where Bjork praised Buddhism (I knew I had read it).

    This however doesn’t seem to be from the original Ray Gun interview, but alas, Atheist Ireland have chosen to include it in their statement.

    13. Bjork, 1995: “I do not believe in religion, but if I had to choose one it would be Buddhism. It seems more livable, closer to men… I’ve been reading about reincarnation, and the Buddhists say we come back as animals and they refer to them as lesser beings. Well, animals aren’t lesser beings, they’re just like us. So I say fuck the Buddhists.”

  7. Hi,

    Yes, Bjork hardly chose her words carefully, but she was standing up for animals, and though she doesn’t quite get what Buddhism teaches on this, that’s a good thing.

    You know, I sometimes feel like saying much the same as her, especially after Dharma meetings where I see people who, one minute, are vowing to save all sentient beings and then, the next minute, are specifically asking someone to bring them the slaughtered body of those beings.

    What Buddhism teaches is that the chicken you are ordering could have been (probably was) a relative of yours. And even if not, the fact you are putting bits of its body into your mouth not only caused its awful torturted life of suffering, but also creates a karmic link that will take goodness knows how long to play out.

    Thankfully, in my experience, Buddhism brings about a greater awareness of this and it’d be good if Bjork could look at that side of things (but she’s right to point out the hypocracy of Buddhists who eat the bodies of other beings).

    Wishing you and all beings everywhere happiness,


  8. I’m almost certain that in the original article that Bjork quote comes from she starts off by praising Buddhism, saying she accepts alot of what it says then proceeds to the “Fuck the Buddhists” line.

    I’ll try and dig it out.

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