lao tzu Quotes

Lao Tzu Quotes

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Quotes

    • The Tao that can be expressed is not the eternal Tao; The name that can be defined is not the unchanging name. Non-existence is called the antecedent of heaven and earth; Existence is the mother of all things. From eternal non-existence, therefore, we serenely observe the mysterious beginning of the Universe; From eternal existence we clearly see the apparent distinctions. These two are the same in source and become different when manifested. This sameness is called profundity. Infinite profundity is the gate whence comes the beginning of all parts of the Universe.
    • The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao; The name that can be named is not the eternal name. The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth. The named is the mother of ten thousand things. Ever desireless, one can see the mystery. Ever desiring, one can see the manifestations. These two spring from the same source but differ in name; this appears as darkness. Darkness within darkness. The gate to all mystery.
    • The tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao The name that can be named is not the eternal Name. The unnameable is the eternally real. Naming is the origin of all particular things. Free from desire, you realize the mystery. Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations. Yet mystery and manifestations arise from the same source. This source is called darkness. Darkness within darkness. The gateway to all understanding.
    • The tao that can be described is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be spoken is not the eternal Name. The nameless is the boundary of Heaven and Earth. The named is the mother of creation. Freed from desire, you can see the hidden mystery. By having desire, you can only see what is visibly real. Yet mystery and reality emerge from the same source. This source is called darkness. Darkness born from darkness. The beginning of all understanding.
    • The Tao is like a well: used but never used up. It is like the eternal void: filled with infinite possibilities. It is hidden but always present. I don't know who gave birth to it. It is older than God.
    • The Tao is like a bellows: it is empty yet infinitely capable. The more you use it, the more it produces; the more you talk of it, the less you understand.
    • The Tao is called the Great Mother: empty yet inexhaustible, it gives birth to infinite worlds.
    • The universe is deathless; Is deathless because, having no finite self, it stays infinite. A sound man by not advancing himself stays the further ahead of himself, By not confining himself to himself sustains himself outside himself: By never being an end in himself he endlessly becomes himself.
    • A leader is best when people barely know that he exists, not so good when people obey and acclaim him, worst when they despise him. Fail to honor people, They fail to honor you. But of a good leader, who talks little, when his work is done, his aims fulfilled, they will all say, 'We did this ourselves.'
    • Since before time and space were, the Tao is. It is beyond is and is not. How do I know this is true? I look inside myself and see.
    • There is a thing inherent and natural, Which existed before heaven and earth. Motionless and fathomless, It stands alone and never changes; It pervades everywhere and never becomes exhausted. It may be regarded as the Mother of the Universe. I do not know its name. If I am forced to give it a name, I call it Tao, and I name it as supreme.
    • Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.
    • Scholars of the highest class, when they hear about the Tao, take it and practice it earnestly. Scholars of the middle class, when they hear of it, take it half earnestly. Scholars of the lowest class, when they hear of it, laugh at it. Without the laughter, there would be no Tao.
    • 'Block the passages, shut the doors, And till the end your strength shall not fail. Open up the passages, increase your doings, And till your last day no help shall come to you.'
    • He who knows does not speak; he who speaks does not know.
    • The more laws and order are made prominent, the more thieves and robbers there will be.
    • The mark of a moderate man is freedom from his own ideas. Tolerant like the sky, all-pervading like sunlight, firm like a mountain, supple like a tree in the wind, he has no destination in view and makes use of anything life happens to bring his way.
    • Governing a large country is like frying a small fish.
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    • Wise men don't need to prove their point; men who need to prove their point aren't wise. The Master has no possessions. The more he does for others, the happier he is. The more he gives to others, the wealthier he is. The Tao nourishes by not forcing. By not dominating, the Master leads.
    • A true traveller has no fixed plan, and is not intent on arriving.
    • Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength; loving someone deeply gives you courage.
    • By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try, the world is beyond the winning.
    • Governing a large country is like frying a small fish. You spoil it with too much poking.
    • He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.
    • He who obtains has little; he who scatters has much.
    • I am not at all interested in immortality, only in the taste of tea.
    • The true free living human-being is the one that achieves his dream without depending on someone.
    • To lead people walk behind them.
    • To see things in the seed, that is genius.
    • When a nation is filled with strife, then do patriots flourish.
    • When you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete, everybody will respect you.
    • When the center does not hold, the circle falls apart. [References 'The Second Coming' by William Butler Yeats]
    • The wise man looks into space and does not regard the small as too little, not the great as too big, for he knows that, there is no limit to dimensions.
    • Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. - This is was commonly mistakely to be discribed as Laozi's, but this is a rumor.
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