Lao Tzu Quotes (290 Quotes)


    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.

    The sage does not hoard. The more he helps others, the more he benefits himself, The more he gives to others, the more he gets himself. The Way of Heaven does one good but never does one harm. The Way of the sage is to act but not to compete.

    A mans excellence is like that of water It benefits all things without striving It takes to the low places shunned by men. Water is akin to Tao.... In all the earth nothing weaker than water, Yet in attacking the hard, nothing superior, Nothing so certain in wearing down strength There is no way to resist it. Note then The weak conquer the strong, The yielding outlast the aggressors.

    Most of the world's religions serve only to strengthen attachments to false concepts such as self and other, life and death, heaven and earth, and so on. Those who become entangled in these false ideas are prevented from perceiving the Integral Oneness.

    Tao invariably takes no action, and yet there is nothing left undone.

    Nothing in the world is more flexible and yielding than water. Yet when it attacks the firm and the strong, none can withstand it, because they have no way to change it. So the flexible overcome the adamant, the yielding overcome the forceful. Everyone knows this, but no one can do it.

    When the people of the world all know beauty as beauty, There arises the recognition of ugliness. When they all know the good as good, There arises the recognition of evil.

    The Tao gives birth to One. One gives birth to yin and yang. Yin and yang give birth to all things.... The complete whole is the complete whole. So also is any part the complete whole.... But forget about understanding and harmonizing and making all things one. The universe is already a harmonious oneness just realize it.

    Abandon fancy theologies and imaginary ideas and do some ordinary daily work... Engage in this work with unswerving kindness and unending patience.

    ... integral wisdom involves a direct participation in every moment the observer and the observed are dissolved in the light of pure awareness, and no mental concepts or attitudes are present to dim that light.

    The highest truth cannot be put into words. Therefore the greatest teacher has nothing to say. He simply gives himself in service, and never worries.


    Related Authors


    Heraclitus - Confucius - Aristotle - Thomas Carlyle - Soren Kierkegaard - Mohammad Khatami - Mencius - Friedrich von Schelling - Baron de Montesquieu - Avicenna


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