Chuang Tzu, also spelled Chuang-tsze, Chuang Chou, Zhuangzi, Zhuang Tze, Zhuang Zhou, Chuang Tsu, Chouang-Dsi, Chuang Tse, or Chuangtze

Tzu, also spelled Chuang-tsze, Chuang Chou, Zhuangzi, Zhuang Tze, Zhuang Zhou, Chuang Tsu, Chouang-Dsi, Chuang Tse, or Chuangtze
369 B.C.
286 B.C.

Chinese Taoist Philosopher and Teacher

Author Quotes

He who looks too hard at the outside gets clumsy on the inside.

To a mind that is still the whole universe surrenders.

The perfect man uses his mind as a mirror. It grasps nothing. It regrets nothing. It receives but does not keep.

So great is the confusion of the world that comes from coveting knowledge!

The Portal of God is Non-Existence. All things sprang from Non-Existence. Existence could not make existence existence. It must have proceeded from Non-Existence. And Non-Existence and Nothing are one.

When the shoe fits, the foot is forgotten; when the belt fits, the belly is forgotten; when the heart is right, “for” and “against” are forgotten. There is no change in what is inside, no following what is outside, when the adjustment to events is comfortable. One begins with what is comfortable and never experiences what is uncomfortable, when one knows the comfort of forgetting what is comfortable.

For we can only know that we know nothing, and a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

The wise man… when he must govern, know how to do nothing… In complete silence, his voice will be like thunder. His movements will be invisible, like those of a spirit, but the powers of heaven will go with them. Unconcerned, doing nothing, he will see all things grow ripe around him. Where will he find time to govern?

My opinion is that you never find happiness until you stop looking for it.

When I look at what the world does and where people nowadays believe they can find happiness, I am not sure that that is true happiness. The happiness of these ordinary people seems to consist in slavishly imitating the majority, as if this were their only choice. And yet they all believe they are happy. I cannot decide whether that is happiness or not. Is there such a thing as happiness?

Verily God does not reward man for what he does, but for what he is.

The living all find death unpleasant; men mourn over it. And yet, what is death, but the unbending of the bow and its return to its case?

Perfect happiness is the absence of happiness; perfect glory is the absence of glory.

In death, there are no rulers above and no subjects below. The course of the four seasons is unknown; our life is eternal. Even a king among men can experience no greater happiness than is ours… If I could restore your body to you, renew your bones and your flesh and take you back to your parents, your wife, and children and old friends, would you not gladly accept my offers?… Why should I throw away a happiness greater than a king’s to once again thrust myself into the troubles and anxieties of mankind?

He who knows the part which the Heavenly in him plays, and also knows that which the human in him ought to play, has reached the perfection of knowledge.

Great understanding is broad and unhurried; little understanding is cramped and busy.

Great wisdom is generous; petty wisdom is contentious.

Chance implies an absolute absence of any principle.

“True men”… are strong willed, have dignity in their demeanor, serenity in their expression. They are cool like autumn, warm like spring. Their passions arise like the four seasons, in harmony with the ten thousand creatures, and no one knows their limits.

Once upon a time, I, Chuang Tzu, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of following my fancies as a butterfly, and was unconscious of my individuality as a man. Suddenly, I awoke, and there I lay, myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man.

Grandeur of character lies wholly in force of soul, not in the force of thought, moral principles, and love, and this may be found in the humblest conditions of life.

Conscience is an oracle of the Divinity.

The great hope of society is individual character.

The essential and unbounded mercy of my Creator is the foundation of my hope, and a broader and surer the universe cannot give me.

It [the soul] is truly an image of the infinity of God, and no words can do justice to its grandeur.

Author Picture
First Name
Last Name
Tzu, also spelled Chuang-tsze, Chuang Chou, Zhuangzi, Zhuang Tze, Zhuang Zhou, Chuang Tsu, Chouang-Dsi, Chuang Tse, or Chuangtze
Birth Date
369 B.C.
Death Date
286 B.C.

Chinese Taoist Philosopher and Teacher