Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

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

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

"He who knows himself is enlightened. "

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

"From wonder into wonder existence opens. "

"Great acts are made up of small deeds. "

"He who does not trust enough will not be trusted. "

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

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

"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."

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

"Respond intelligently even to unintelligent treatment. "

"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. "

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

"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. "

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. "

"Music in the soul can be heard by the universe. "

"Silence is a source of great strength. "

"The words of truth are always paradoxical. "

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

"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. "

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

"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished."

"When the best leader’s work is done the people say: We did it ourselves."

"To see things in the seed, that is genius."

"A simple disability does not make one a cripple. "

"A man may know the world without leaving his own home. From his windows he can see the supreme heaven, and the farther he goes afield the less likely he is to find it."

"Act without doing; work without effort. "

"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. "

"Action overcomes cold; inaction overcomes heat. "

"Adversity and prosperity have no fixed road; they are evoked by men themselves. "

"Acting without design, occupying oneself without making a business of it, finding the great in what is small and the many in the few, repaying injury with kindness, effecting difficult things while they are easy, and managing great things in their beginnings: this is the method of Tao."

"Failure is the foundation of success; success is the lurking-place of failure. "

"Freedom from desire leads to inner peace. "

"By purifying, by cleansing, by profound intuition, one can be free from faults. "

"Favor humiliates. "

"Be sparing of speech and things will come right of themselves. "

"Good words shall again you honor in the marketplace; but good deeds shall gain you friends among men. "

"Do not see with your eyes, don't hear with your ears, don't think with your mind, embrace the primal one, no knowledge, no self, go with nature, participate in nature, be one with nature and a long life will come naturally."

"Great devotion requires great sacrifice. "

"Great wealth implies great loss. "

"He does not quarrel therefore no one in the world can quarrel with him. "

"He who follows the path of virtue becomes as a little child. "

"He who stands on tiptoe does not stand firm."

"He who is self-approving does not shine. He who boasts has no merit. He who exalts himself does not rise high."

"He who is great must make humility his base. He who is high must make holiness his foundation. "

"He who lightly promises will seldom keep his word. "

"He who understands others is learned. He who knows himself is wise. He who conquers others has muscular strength. He who subdues himself is strong. He who is content is wealthy. He who does not lose his soul will endure. "

"Heaven arms with pity those whom it would not see destroyed. "

"Here are my three treasures. Guard and keep them. The first is pity, the second frugality, the third refusal to be foremost of all things under heaven."

"Heaven has no favourites; it always aids the good man. "

"I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men. "