Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu

Laozi (also Lao-Tzu, literally "Old Master") was an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer. He is known as the reputed author of the Tao Te Ching, the founder of philosophical Taoism, and a deity in religious Taoism and traditional Chinese religions.

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When I let go of what I am I become what I might be.

If you are depressed you are living in the past.  If you are anxious you are living in the future.  If you are at peace you are living in the present.

Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.

He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need.

Treat those who are good with goodness and also treat those who are not good with goodness. Thus goodness is attained. Be honest to those who are honest and be also honest to those who are not honest. Thus honesty is attained.

Love is of all passions the strongest for it attacks simultaneously the head the heart and the senses.

In dwelling live close to the ground. In thinking keep to the simple. In conflict be fair and generous. In governing don't try to control. In work do what you enjoy. In family life be completely present.

A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.

A leader is best when people barely know he exists. When his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.

He who does not trust enough will not be trusted.

Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend. Non-being is the greatest joy.

I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.

If you would take, you must first give, this is the beginning of intelligence.

Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.

In the world there is nothing more submissive and weak than water. Yet, for attacking that which is hard and strong, nothing can surpass it.

Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.

He who knows does not speak. He who speaks does not know.

He who obtains has little. He who scatters has much.

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

The words of truth are always paradoxical.

He who talks more is sooner exhausted.

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

He who conquers others is strong, He who conquers himself is mighty.

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

Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.

Anticipate the difficult by managing the easy.

Simulated disorder postulates perfect discipline, simulated fear postulates courage, simulated weakness postulates strength.

The more laws and order are made prominent the more thieves and robbers there will be.

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.

Truthful words are not beautiful, beautiful words are not truthful. Good words are not persuasive, persuasive words are not good.

When a nation is filled with strife then do patriots flourish.

For the wise man looks into space and he knows there is no limited dimensions.

Great acts are made up of small deeds.

To see things in the seed that is genius.

Of all that is good sublimity is supreme. Succeeding is the coming together of all that is beautiful. Furtherance is the agreement of all that is just. Perseverance is the foundation of all actions.

How could man rejoice in victory and delight in the slaughter of men?

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.

He who knows himself is enlightened.

The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.

It is better to do one's own duty however defective it may be than to follow the duty of another however well one may perform it. He who does his duty as his own nature reveals it never sins.

To lead people walk behind them.

The people are hungry: It is because those in authority eat up too much in taxes.

An ant on the move does more than a dozing ox.

Be the chief but never the lord.

If the Great Way perishes there will morality and duty. When cleverness and knowledge arise great lies will flourish. When relatives fall out with one another there will be filial duty and love. When states are in confusion there will be faithful servants.

From caring comes courage.

A scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.

To know yet to think that one does not know is best, Not to know yet to think that one knows will lead to difficulty.

The career of a sage is of two kinds: He is either honored by all in the world Like a flower waving its head Or else he disappears into the silent forest.

I do not concern myself with gods and spirits either good or evil nor do I serve any.

The wicked leader is he who the people despise. The good leader is he who the people revere. The great leader is he who the people say 'We did it ourselves.'

If you realize that all things change there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying there is nothing you cannot achieve.

To the mind that is still the whole universe surrenders.

Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.

Man's enemies are not demons but human beings like himself.

The softest things in the world overcome the hardest things in the world.

Because of a great love one is courageous.

Violence even well intentioned always rebounds upon oneself.

Respond intelligently even to unintelligent treatment.

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.

One can not reflect in streaming water. Only those who know internal peace can give it to others.

The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white. Neither need you do anything but be yourself.

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.

Life and death are one thread the same line viewed from different sides.

Governing a great nation is like cooking a small fish - too much handling will spoil it.

He who is contented is rich.

Those who have knowledge don't predict. Those who predict don't have knowledge.

Great indeed is the sublimity of the Creative to which all beings owe their beginning and which permeates all heaven.

When virtue is lost benevolence appears when benevolence is lost right conduct appears when right conduct is lost expedience appears. Expediency is the mere shadow of right and truth, it is the beginning of disorder.

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them - that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.

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

Nature does not hurry yet everything is accomplished.

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.

Manifest plainness embrace simplicity reduce selfishness have few desires.

At the center of your being you have the answer, you know who you are and you know what you want.

One who is too insistent on his own views finds few to agree with him.

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.

When you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete everybody will respect you.

Govern a great nation as you would cook a small fish. Do not overdo it.

From wonder into wonder existence opens.

Nature is not human hearted.

Knowing others is wisdom knowing yourself is Enlightenment.

When the best leader's work is done the people say 'We did it ourselves.'

Ambition has one heel nailed in well, though she stretch her fingers to touch the heavens.

People in their handlings of affairs often fail when they are about to succeed. If one remains as careful at the end as he was at the beginning there will be no failure.

To realize that you do not understand is a virtue, Not to realize that you do not understand is a defect.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

The power of intuitive understanding will protect you from harm until the end of your days.

He who controls others may be powerful but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.

All difficult things have their origin in that which is easy and great things in that which is small.

Silence is a source of great strength.