Words of Wisdom–Laozi

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Laozi (translated as “Old Master”), also known as Lao Tzu, or Lao-Tze, proper name Li Er, was an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer. He’s the author of the Tao Te Ching, founder of Taoism, and a deity in religious Taoism and traditional Chinese religions.

He is usually portrayed as a 6th-century BCE contemporary of Confucius. Some modern historians believe he lived during the 4th century BCE.

Below we list words of wisdom by Laozi.

“For knowledge, add something every day. For wisdom…subtract.”

“Loving, hating, having expectations: all these are attachments. Attachment prevents the growth of one’s true being.”

“Rule your mind with serenity rather than with force and manipulation.”

“If a person seems wicked, do not cast him away. Awaken him with your words, elevate him with your deeds, repay his injury with your kindness. Do not cast him away; cast away his wickedness.”

“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.”

“Without the tao, Kindness and compassion are replaced by law and justice; Faith and trust are supplanted by ritual and ceremony.”

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

“Can you step back from your own mind and thus understand all things?”

“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.”

“One who believes in himself has no need to convince others.”

“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.”

“Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time’ is to say ‘I don’t want to.'”

“A good athlete can enter a state of body-awareness in which the right stroke or the right movement happens by itself, effortlessly, without any interference of the conscious will. This is a paradigm for non-action: the purest and most effective form of action. The game plays the game; the poem writes the poem; we can’t tell the dancer from the dance. It happens when we trust the intelligence of the universe in the same way that an athlete or a dancer trusts the superior intelligence of the body.”

“Whatever is flexible and living will tend to grow; whatever is rigid and blocked will wither and die.”

“If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself, if you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.”

“Those who know do not talk. Those who talk do not know.”

“When you accept yourself, the Universe accepts you.”

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

“There is no illusion great than fear.”

“Have patience. Wait until the mud settles and the water is clear. Remain unmoving until right action arises by itself.”

“The truth is not always beautiful, nor beautiful words the truth.”

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

“Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habit.”

“If you correct your mind the rest of your life will fall into place.”

“The sage does not hoard. The more he helps others, the more he benefits himself, Having bestowed all he has on others, he has yet more; having given all he has to others, he is richer still.”

“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.”

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