Lao Tzu Quotes (290 Quotes)

    Clay is fashioned into vessels; but it is on their empty hollowness, that their use depends.

    Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles and the water is clear?

    Under heaven all can see beauty as beauty only because there is ugliness. All can know good as good only because there is evil.

    Hope and fear are both phantoms that arise from thinking of the self. When we don't see the self as self, what do we have to fear?

    If you try to change it, you will ruin it. Try to hold it, and you will lose it.

    It is because he is thus free from striving that therefore no one in the world is able to strive with him.

    Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.

    So it is that some things are increased by being diminished, and others are diminished by being increased.

    The reason why heaven and earth are able to endure and continue thus long is because they do not live of, or for, themselves.

    The Wise Man is square but not sharp, honest but not not malign, straight but not severe, bright but not dazzling.

    A vessel is formed from a lump of clay with care, however, it is the empty space within the vessel that makes it useful.

    If one has love in battle one is victorious. If one has it in defense one is invincible. Whom Heaven wants to save him he protects through love.

    When one gives whatever one can without restraint, the barriers of individuality break down. It no longer becomes possible to tell whether it is the student offering himself to the teacher, or the teacher offering herself to the student. One sees only two immaculate beings, reflecting one another like a pair of brilliant mirrors.

    He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.

    Manifest plainness, embrace simplicity, reduce selfishness, have few desires.

    If you look to others for fulfillment, you will never be fulfilled. If your happiness depends on money, you will never be happy with yourself. Be content with what you have rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the world belongs to you.

    Great form has no shape. The Eternal is hidden and nameless. Yet it is The Eternal alone that skillfully provides for all And brings them to perfection.

    If you go searching for the Great Creator, you will come back empty-handed. The source of the universe is ultimately unknowable, a great invisible river flowing forever through a vast and fertile valley. Silent and uncreated, it creates all things.

    If your virtue is especially radiant, it can be possible to open a pathway to the subtle realm and receive these celestial teachings directly from the immortals.

    To lead people walk behind them.

    Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.

    It reverts to nothingness. This is called shape without shape, Form without object. It is The Vague and Elusive.

    The Way of Heaven does not compete, and yet it skillfully achieves victory.

    ... These are notions of the mind, which is like a knife, always chipping away at the Tao, trying to render it graspable and manageable. But that which is beyond form is ungraspable, and that which is beyond knowing is unmanageable. There is, however, this consolation She who lets go of the knife will find the Tao at her fingertips.

    The sense organs, which are limited in scope and ability, randomly gather information. This partial information is arranged into judgments, which are based on previous judgments, which are usually based on someone else's foolish ideas. These false concepts and ideas are then stored in a highly selective memory system.

    Clay is molded to form a cup, But it is on its non-being that the utility of the cup depends. Doors and windows are cut out to make a room, But it is on its non-being that the utility of the room depends. Therefore turn being into advantage, and turn non-being into utility.

    The higher the sun ariseth, the less shadow doth he cast; even so the greater is the goodness, the less doth it covet praise; yet cannot avoid its rewards in honours.

    The sage wears clothes of coarse cloth but carries jewels in his bosom He knows himself but does not display himself He loves himself but does not hold himself in high esteem

    Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.

    Practice non-action. Work without doing.

    The truth often sounds paradoxical.

    From wonder into wonder existence opens.

    ... The sage works without recognition. He achieves what has to be done without dwelling on it. He does not try to show his knowledge.

    If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.

    As soon as you have made a thought, laugh at it.

    Without stirring abroad, One can know the whole world; Without looking out of the window One can see the way of heaven. The further one goes The less one knows.

    Violence, even well intentioned, always rebounds upon oneself.

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    - Tao Te Ching

    Related Authors

    Lao Tzu - Friedrich Nietzsche - Aristotle - Thales - Swami Sivananda - Soren Kierkegaard - Robert M. Pirsig - Protagoras - Plotinus - Martin Heidegger

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