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Lao-Tzu

Lao-Tze or Laozi, 6th cent. BC ,  Chinese philosopher
Lao-TzuLao-Tzu or Laozi or Lao-Tze was an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer. He is known as the legendary author of the Tao Te Ching and the founder of philosophical Taoism, and as a deity in religious Taoism and traditional Chinese religions.
He is usually dated to around the 6th century BC and reckoned a contemporary of Confucius, but some historians contend that he actually lived during the Warring States period of the 5th or 4th century BC.

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Quotations

A variety of colors makes man's eye blind; a diversity of sounds makes man's ear deaf; a mixture of flavors makes man's palate dull.


He who knows others is wise, but he who knows himself is enlightened.


He who overcomes others is strong, but he who overcomes himself is mightier still.


Extreme straightness is as bad as crookedness. Extreme cleverness is as bad as folly. Extreme fluency is as bad as stammering.


Those who know do not speak; those who speak do not know.


Failure is the foundation of success, and the means by which it is achieved. Success is the lurking-place of failure; but who can tell when the turning-point will come?


He who acts, destroys; he who grasps, loses. Therefore the Sage does not act, and so does not destroy; he does not grasp, and so he does not lose.


There is nothing in the world more soft and weak than water, yet for attacking things that are hard and strong there is nothing that surpasses it, nothing that can take its place.


The truest sayings are paradoxical.


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


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 difficult things have their origin in that which is easy, and great things in that which is small.


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


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


If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.


Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.


Stop thinking, and end your problems.


The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long.


Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.


Respond intelligently even to unintelligent treatment.


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


Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing.


To lead people, walk beside them.


To a mind that is still the whole universe surrenders.


To understand the limitation of things, desire them.


Loss is not as bad as wanting more.


Muddy water, let stand, becomes clear.


What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly.


The way to do is to be.


Stop leaving and you will arrive. Stop searching and you will see. Stop running away and you will be found.


There is no greater danger than underestimating your opponent.


As soon as you have made a thought, laugh at it.


Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend.


Perfection is the willingness to be imperfect.


To see things in the seed, that is genius.


When nothing is done,
nothing is left undone.


New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.


If you wish to be out front, then act as if you were behind.


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


Violence, even well intentioned, always rebounds upon oneself.


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


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


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


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


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


Be the chief but never the lord.


He who is contented is rich.


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


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


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


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












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