World  Sacred  Scriptures

The wisdom of Lao Tzu

220  quote(s)  | Page 1 / 9

T he good man is like water; Water benefits all things but does not compete with them. It dwells in (the lowly) places that all disdain - Wherein it comes near to the Tao.

Tao Te Ching, Chapter 8 

T emper a (sword-edge) to its very sharpest, But the edge will not last long. Fill your house with gold and jade, But you will not be able to keep them forever. To be proud with wealth and honour Is to sow the seeds of your own downfall. Retire when your work is done, Such is Heaven's way.

Tao Te Ching, Chapter 8 

A wise person will not be broadly knowledgeable. A broadly knowledgeable person will not be wise.

Tao Te Ching, Chapter 81 

T he Sage manages affairs without action; He preaches the doctrine without speaking. All things take their rise, but he does not turn away from them; He gives them life, but does not take possession of them; He acts, but does not appropriate; Accomplishes, but claims no credit.

Tao Te Ching, Chapter 2 

H e who seeks power and position in order to serve all mankind well can be entrusted with the task of ruling the world. He who wishes to maintain his optimal physical condition for the welfare of all people in the world can be given the custody of the world.

chap. 13 

T he highest virtue is like water. Water nourishes all beings without competing with them, settles where none would like to be and thus approximates the Way. Wherever such a virtuous person exists, the place will be improved. Their mind is calm like a deep pool. They treat people with impartial love and their words can be trusted. They govern effectively with righteousness. They deal with matters appropriately, and are good at utilising their strengths and seizing opportunities. Only in the absence of competition will we all live in peace.

chap. 8 

T he Way of heaven nourishes without any harm. The Way of sages accomplishes without competing with anyone.

chap. 81 

H eaven attained oneness and therefore became clear. Earth attained oneness and therefore became tranquil. Spirits attained oneness and therefore became divine. Valleys attained oneness and therefore became fertile. All beings attained oneness and therefore flourished. Leaders attained oneness and therefore rectified the world.

chap. 39 

T he Way produced One. One produced Two (yin and yang). Two produced Three. Three produced all beings. All beings comprise yin and yang, and the balance of which is harmony.

chap. 42 

O utstanding achievement seems imperfect, yet its function is not compromised.


U gliness arises, when everybody knows what is beautiful.


T he hard and mighty lie beneath the ground whiles the tender and weak dance on the breeze above.


I f you want to lead them you must place yourself behind them.


T he master observes the world but trusts his inner vision. He allows things to come and go. He prefers what is within to what is without.


A good traveller leaves no tracks. Good speech lacks fault-finding.


J ust remain in the centre; watching. And then forget that you are there.


T rue words are not fancy. Fancy words are not true. The good do not debate. Debaters are not good.


T he wise man does not lay up his own treasures. The more he gives to others, the more he has for his own.


H e who defends with love will be secure; Heaven will save him, and protect him with love.


L et it be still, and it will gradually become clear.


T o bear and not to own; to act and not lay claim; to do the work and let it go: for just letting it go is what makes it stay.


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On other page(s):  History and calligraphy of Lao Tzu

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