Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu

A great man is hard on himself,
a small man is hard on others

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

People are difficult to govern because they have too much knowledge.

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

Seek not happiness too greedily, and be not fearful of happiness.

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

Manifest plainness,
Embrace simplicity,
Reduce selfishness,
Have few desires.

The softest things in the world overcome the hardest things in the world.
Through this I know the advantage of taking no action.

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.

There is no calamity greater than lavish desires.
There is no greater guilt than discontentment.
And there is no greater disaster than greed.

To be worn out is to be renewed.

I have three treasures. Guard and keep them:
The first is deep love,
The second is frugality,
And the third is not to dare to be ahead of the world.
Because of deep love, one is courageous.
Because of frugality, one is generous.
Because of not daring to be ahead of the world, one becomes the leader of the world.

To know that you do not know is the best.
To pretend to know when you do not know is a disease.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

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.

To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.

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

Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.

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.

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

Silence is a source of great strength.

Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.

Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.

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

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

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

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

Anticipate the difficult by managing the easy.

From caring comes courage.

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.

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.

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

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

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

Those who have knowledge, don’t predict. Those who predict, don’t have knowledge.

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.

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

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

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

He who does not trust enough, Will not be trusted.

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

The words of truth are always paradoxical.

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.

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.

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

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

Violence, even well intentioned, always rebounds upon oneself.

Respond intelligently even to unintelligent treatment.

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

To lead people walk behind them.

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

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

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.

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

Nature is not human hearted.

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

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.

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

Great acts are made up of small deeds.

He who talks more is sooner exhausted.

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.

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

Be the chief but never the lord.

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

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

From wonder into wonder existence opens.

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

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

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.’

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

Because of a great love, one is courageous.

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.

He who is contented is rich.

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.

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

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

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.

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

To see things in the seed, that is genius.

He who knows himself is enlightened.

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

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

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.

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