Lao Tzu, ne Li Urh, also Laotse, Lao Tse, Lao Tse, Lao Zi, Laozi, Lao Zi, La-tsze

Tzu, ne Li Urh, also Laotse, Lao Tse, Lao Tse, Lao Zi, Laozi, Lao Zi, La-tsze
c. 604 B.C.
c. 531 B.C.

Chinese Philosopher, Founder of Taoism, Author of Tao Te Ching (The Book of the Way and Its Power) and Hua Hu Ching

Author Quotes

If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will hold onto. If you aren't afraid of dying, there is nothing you can't achieve. Trying to control the future is like trying to take the master carpenter's place. When you handle the master carpenter's tools chances are that you'll cut your hands.

If among thoughts they value those that are profound, if in friendship they value gentleness, in words, truth; in government, good order; timeliness – in each case it is because they prefer what does not lead to strife.

He who knows he has enough is rich.

From above it is not bright; from below it is not dark; an unbroken thread beyond description. It returns to nothingness.

Charity has no label, compassion no religion, wisdom no dogma, empathy no rules. Integrity needs no laws, enlightenment no temples. Living in total harmony with Tao is beyond culture, oneness with Tao beyond philosophy. Emptiness and silence cannot be defined. The Way has no name, for it is Tao.

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

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.

Abide at the center of your being, for the more you leave it, the less you learn.

Lay plans for the accomplishment of the difficult before it becomes difficult; make something big by starting with it when small.

The true master understands that enlightenment is not the end but the means. Realizing that virtue is her goal, she accepts the long and often arduous cultivation that is necessary to attain it. She doesn’t scheme to become a leader, but quietly shoulders whatever responsibilities fall to her. Unattached to her accomplishments, taking credit for nothing at all, she guides the whole world by guiding the individuals who come to her. she share her divine energy with her students, encouraging them, creating trials to strengthen them, scolding them to awaken them, directing the streams of their lives toward the infinite ocean of the Tao.

Weapons are tools of fear; a decent man will avoid them except in the direst necessity and, if compelled, will use them only with the utmost restraint. Peace is the highest value.

Of the best rulers the people (only) know that they exist; the next best they love and praise; the next they fear; the next they revile. When they do not command the people’s faith, some will lose faith in them, and then they resort to oaths! But (of the best) when their task is accomplished, their work done, the people all remark, “We have done it ourselves.”

The world is ruled by letting things take their course.

When the effective leader is finished with his work, the people say it happened naturally.

On the one hand, loss implies gain; on the other hand, gain implies loss.

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... The Master sees things as they are, without trying to control them. She lets them go their own way, and resides at the center of the circle.

Would you like to liberate yourself from the lower realms of life? Would you like to save the world from degradation and destruction it seems destined for? Then step away from the 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... Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.

Purity and stillness are the correct principles for mankind.

There is no greater disaster than greed.

Requite anger with virtue.

There is no guilt greater than to sanction ambition.

The chaff from winnowing will blind a man’s eyes so that he cannot tell the points of the compass. Mosquitoes will keep a man awake all night with their biting. And just in the same way this talk of charity and duty to one’s neighbor drives me nearly crazy. Sir! strive to keep the world to its own simplicity. And as the wind bloweth where it listeth, so let virtue establish itself. Wherefore such undue energy, as though searching for a fugitive with a big drum?

This is the nature of the unenlightened mind: the sense organs, which are limited in scope and ability, randomly gather information. This partial information is arranged into judgments, which are based on previous judgments, which are usually based on someone’s else’s foolish ideas. These false concepts and ideas are then stored in a highly selective memory system. Distortion upon distortion: the mental energy flows constantly through contorted and inappropriate channels, and the more one uses the mind, the more confused one becomes.

The greatest wisdom seems like stupidity. The greatest eloquence like stuttering. Movement overcomes cold, but staying overcomes heat. So he by his limpid calm puts everything right under heaven.

Throw away holiness and wisdom and people will be a hundred times happier. Throw away morality and justice, and people will do the right thing. Throw away industry and profit, and there won’t be any thieves.

Author Picture
First Name
Last Name
Tzu, ne Li Urh, also Laotse, Lao Tse, Lao Tse, Lao Zi, Laozi, Lao Zi, La-tsze
Birth Date
c. 604 B.C.
Death Date
c. 531 B.C.

Chinese Philosopher, Founder of Taoism, Author of Tao Te Ching (The Book of the Way and Its Power) and Hua Hu Ching