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Lao Tzu

Spiritual quotes of Lao Tzu

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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.

Daoism 8099 | 
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.

Daoism 8098 | 
Tao Te Ching, Chapter 8 

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

Daoism 8097 | 
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.

Daoism 8096 | 
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.

Daoism 7702 | 
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.

Daoism 7700 | 
chap. 8 

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

Daoism 7699 | 
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.

Daoism 7694 | 
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.

Daoism 7693 | 
chap. 42 

N o evil act is worse than an inordinate desire.

Daoism 7272 | 

J ogging overcomes cold; Quietude overcomes heat.

Daoism 7271 | 

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

Daoism 7270 | 

U gliness arises, when everybody knows what is beautiful.

Daoism 7269 | 

W hen goodness is lost there is morality.

Daoism 7268 | 

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

Daoism 7267 | 

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

Daoism 7266 | 

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.

Daoism 7265 | 

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

Daoism 7264 | 

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

Daoism 7263 | 

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

Daoism 7262 | 

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

Daoism 7261 | 

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

Daoism 7260 | 

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

Daoism 7259 | 

L ove is a decision - not an emotion!

Daoism 7258 | 

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.

Daoism 7257 | 

D o not conquer the world with force, for force only causes resistance. Thorns spring up when an army passes. Years of misery follow a great victory. Do only what needs to be done without using violence.

Daoism 7256 | 

B e like water.

Daoism 7255 | 

I f you wish to be out front, then act as if you were behind.

Daoism 7254 | 

A man who knows how little he knows is well, a man who knows how much he knows is sick. If, when you see the symptoms, you can tell, your cure is quick. A sound man knows that sickness makes him sick and before he catches it his cure is quick.

Daoism 7253 | 

S pring comes, and the grass grows by itself.

Daoism 7252 | 

T he Master takes action by letting things take their course. He remains as calm at the end as at the beginning. He has nothing, thus has nothing to lose. What he desires is non-desire; what he learns is to unlearn. He simply reminds people of who they have always been. He cares about nothing but the Tao. Thus he can care for all things.

Daoism 7251 | 

R ushing into action, you fail. Trying to grasp things, you lose them. Forcing a project to completion, you ruin what was almost ripe.

Daoism 7250 | 

I mmersed in the wonder of the Tao, you can deal with whatever life brings you, and when death comes, you are ready.

Daoism 7249 | 

S hape clay into a vessel; It is the space within that makes it useful. Cut doors and windows for a room; It is the holes which make it useful. Therefore benefit comes from what is there; Usefulness from what is not there.

Daoism 7248 | 

I n the end, the treasure of life is missed by those who hold on and gained by those who let go.

Daoism 7247 | 

N ew Beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.

Daoism 7246 | 

T ake care with the end as you do with the beginning.

Daoism 7245 | 

I f you look to others for fulfilment, you will never truly 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 whole world belongs to you.

Daoism 7244 | 

T he difficult problems in life always start off being simple. Great affairs always start off being small.

Daoism 7243 | 

S ome lose yet gain, others gain and yet lose.

Daoism 7242 | 

T he person of superior integrity does not insist upon his integrity. For this reason, he has integrity. The person of inferior integrity never loses sight of his integrity; For this reason, he lacks integrity.

Daoism 7241 | 

I f you are untrustworthy, people will not trust you.

Daoism 7240 | 

T here is a time for being ahead, a time for being behind; a time for being in motion, a time for being at rest; a time for being vigorous, a time for being exhausted; a time for being safe, a time for being in danger. The Master sees things as they are, without trying to control them. He lets them go their own way, and resides at the centre of the circle.

Daoism 7239 | 

D o you want to improve the world? I don’t think it can be done. The world is sacred. It can’t be improved. If you tamper with it, you’ll ruin it. If you treat it like an object, you’ll lose it.

Daoism 7238 | 

W ould you like to save the world from the degradation and destruction it seems destined for? Then step away from shallow mass movements and quietly go to work on your own self-awareness. If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself. If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.

Daoism 7237 | 

N ot seeking, not expecting, she is present, and can welcome all things.

Daoism 7236 | 

I f there is to be peace in the world, There must be peace in the nations. If there is to be peace in the nations, There must be peace in the cities. If there is to be peace in the cities, There must be peace between neighbours. If there is to be peace between neighbours, There must be peace in the home. If there is to be peace in the home, There must be peace in the heart.

Daoism 7235 | 

L ove is of all the passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart, and the senses.

Daoism 7234 | 

W hen pure sincerity forms within, it is outwardly realized in other people’s hearts.

Daoism 7233 | 

W hat is a good man but a bad man’s teacher? What is a bad man but a good man’s job? If you don’t understand this, you will get lost however intelligent you are. It is the great secret.

Daoism 7232 | 

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On other page(s):  Life et teaching of Lao Tzu

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