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Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching quotes & eBook download

Spiritual Quotes

Lao Tzu (570-490 BC)

Around 500 BC was an amazing time in the history of mankind.  Greece had Plato and Pythagoras, India had Buddha, and China had Confucius and Lao Tzu.

Lao Tzu’s name literally means ’The Old Master’.  He has written Tao Te Ching, a classic manual on the art of living, that contains deep wisdom, and is one of the most influencial books ever written.

Download the eBook of Tao Te Ching

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tao te ching chinese characters

The legend of its creations says that Lao Tzu was leaving his home-town, travelling on a buffalo.  A gate-keeper recognised him and realised that Lao Tzu was leaving for-good.  He asked him to write his wisdom for posterity.  The result of this request was Tao Te ChingLao Tzu left and was never seen again.

The Tao had been formatted into 81 chapters.  81 is seen to be the ultimate Yang number.


  • 3 in Chinese ’san’ has a sound of a word that means ’to grow’ and give birth (sheng)
  • Three is mentioned in the Tao as the last stage of creation

Tao Te Ching Quotes

Tao Te Ching is a short text of aphorisms written in Classical Chinese that is difficult to understand even for the well-educated native speakers.  The only way to fully comprehend the beauty of this ancient text is to compare the work of different translators or to read the work in its original.

Lao Tsu: Tao Te Ching 1st stanza -  1st translation About Tao

The tao that can be told
is not the eternal .

The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.

The unnameable is the eternally real.

Naming is the origin
of all particular things.

Free from desire, you realize the mystery.
Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.

Yet mystery and manifestations
arise from the same source.

This source is called darkness.
Darkness within darkness.

The gateway to all understanding.

Lao Tsu: Tao Te Ching 1st stanza - 2nd translation About Tao

The Tao is too great to be described by the name "Tao".
If it could be named so simply, it would not be the eternal Tao.

Heaven and Earth began from the nameless (Tao),
but the multitudes of things around us were created by names.

We desire to understand the world by giving names to the things we see,
but these things are only the effects of something subtle.

When we see beyond the desire to use names,
we can sense the nameless cause of these effects.

The cause and the effects are aspects of the same, one thing.
They are both mysterious and profound.

At their most mysterious and profound point lies the "Gate of the Great Truth".

Lao Tsu: Tao Te Ching 1st stanza in Chinese

tao te ching chinese charactes

Other motivational quotes from Tao Te Ching About Peace in the World

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.

Lao Tsu Quotes about Way of Nature

Mastery of the world is achieved
by letting things take their natural course.
If you interfere with the way of Nature,
you can never master the world.

Tao Te Ching quotes about not doing

When people see some things as beautiful,
other things become ugly.

When people see some things as good,
other things become bad.

Being and non-being create each other.
Difficult and easy support each other.

Long and short define each other.
High and low depend on each other.
Before and after follow each other.

Therefore the Master
acts without doing anything
and teaches without saying anything.

Things arise and she lets them come;
things disappear and she lets them go.

She has but doesn't possess,
acts but doesn't expect.

When her work is done, she forgets it.
That is why it lasts forever.

Tao Te Ching quotes about Tao and God

The Tao is like a well:
used but never used up.

It is like the eternal void:
filled with infinite possibilities.

It is hidden but always present.
I don't know who gave birth to it.

It is older than .
The Tao doesn't take sides;
it gives birth to both good and evil.

The Master doesn't take sides;
she welcomes both saints and sinners.

The Tao is like a bellows:
it is empty yet infinitely capable.

The more you use it, the more it produces;
the more you talk of it, the less you understand.
Hold on to the center.

Tao Te Ching quotes on Great Mother

The Tao is called the Great Mother:
empty yet inexhaustible,
it gives birth to infinite worlds.

It is always present within you.
You can use it any way you want.

Tao Te Ching quotes on Tao

The Tao is infinite, eternal.
Why is it eternal?
It was never born;
thus it can never die.
Why is it infinite?
It has no desires for itself;
thus it is present for all beings.
The Master stays behind;
that is why she is ahead.
She is detached from all things;
that is why she is one with the.
Because she has let go of herself,
she is perfectly fulfilled.

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