Lao Tzu

  • Chinese philosopher

Laozi (UK: ; US: ; Chinese: 老子 Mandarin pronunciation: [làu̯.tsɨ]; literally "Old Master"), also rendered as Lao Tzu ( or ) and Lao-Tze (), was an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer. He is the reputed author of the Tao Te Ching, the founder of philosophical Taoism, and a deity in religious Taoism and traditional Chinese religions. A semi-legendary figure, Laozi was usually portrayed as a 6th-century BC contemporary of Confucius, but some modern historians consider him to have lived during the Warring States period of the 4th century BC.

Sincere words are not fine; fine words are not sincere.

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

Silence is a source of great strength.

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

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.

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

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.

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

From wonder into wonder existence opens.

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.

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

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

Man takes his law from the Earth; the Earth takes its law from Heaven; Heaven takes its law from the Tao. The law of the Tao is its being what it is.

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

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

He who is contented is rich.

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.

The words of truth are always paradoxical.

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

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

From caring comes courage.

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.

All things in the world come from being. And being comes from non-being.

Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.

Respond intelligently even to unintelligent treatment.

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