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Quotes by Laozi

Quotes by Laozi

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.


A good manager is best when people barely know that he exists. Not so good when people obey and acclaim him. Worse when they despise him.


Let your workings remain a mystery. Just show people the results.


Once upon a time a man whose axe was missing suspected his neighbor's son. The boy walked like a thief, looked like a thief and spoke like a thief. But the man found his axe while digging in the valley, and the next time he saw his neighbor's son, the boy walked, looked and spoke like any other child.


There is no calamity greater than lightly engaging in war.


He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.


Face the simple fact before it comes involved. Solve the small problem before it becomes big.


If there is to be peace in the world,

There must be peace in the nations.

If there is to be peace in the nations,

There must be peace in the cities.

If there is to be peace in the cities,

There must be peace between neighbors.

If there is to be peace between neighbors,

There must be peace in the home.

If there is to be peace in the home,

There must be peace in the heart.


The perfect square lacks corners.


The world is won by those who let it go.


The mark of a moderate man is freedom from his own ideas. Tolerant like the sky, all-pervading like sunlight, firm like a mountain, supple like a tree in the wind, he has no destination in view and makes use of anything life happens to bring his way.


To become learned, each day add something. To become enlightened, each day drop something


Truly, only those who see illness as illness can avoid illness.


When life begins we are tender and weak When life ends we are stiff and rigid All things, including the grass and trees, are soft and pliable in life and dry in brittle in death So the soft and supple are the companion of life While the stiff and unyielding are the companions of death An army that cannot yield will be defeated A tree that cannot bend will crack in the wind Thus by Nature's own decree the hard and strong are defeated while the soft and gentle are triumphant


The wise stand out because they see themselves as part of the Whole. They shine because they don't want to impress. They achieve great things because they don't look for recognition. Their wisdom is contained in what they are, not their opinions. They refuse to argue, so no-one argues with them.



People aren't against you; they are for themselves. The most dangerous risk of all - the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later. He who conquers others is strong, he who conquers himself is mighty.


Those who know do not talk. Those who talk do not know.


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


There is a time to go ahead and a time to stay behind. There is a time to breathe easy and time to breathe hard. There is a time to be vigorous and a time to be gentle. There is a time to gather and a time to release. Can you see things as they are And let them be all on their own?


In order to eliminate the negative influences, simply ignore them.


Do you think that you can clear your mind by sitting constantly in silent meditation? This makes your mind narrow, not clear. Integral awareness is fluid and adaptable, present in all places and at all times. That is true meditation. ... The Tao is clear and simple, and it doesn't avoid the world.


Thirty spokes meet in the hub,

but the empty space between them

is the essence of the wheel.

Pots are formed from clay,

but the empty space within it

is the essence of the pot.

Walls with windows and doors

form the house,

but the empty space within it

is the essence of the home.


The Master views the parts with compassion, because he understands the whole. His constant practice is humility. He doesn't glitter like a jewel but lets himself be shaped by the Tao, as rugged and common as a stone.


Stop trying to control. Let go of fixed plans and concepts, and the world will govern itself.


Why are the people starving?-

Because their grain is being eaten up by the taxes

That's why they're starving

Why are people rebellious?-

Because those above them meddle in their lives

That's why they're rebellious

Why do people regard death so lightly?-

Because they are so involved with their own living

That's why they regard death so lightly

In the end,

The treasure of life is missed by those who hold on

and gained by those who let go