Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Bob Dylan

1941 CE –

Though thought of in many different ways by different people, at heart, Bob Dylan may most essentially represent a modern-day Taoist sage, a continuation of Lao Tzu’s lineage. Awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016 and called the “Shakespeare of his generation,” he wrote over 500 songs recorded by more than 2000 singers and sold tens of millions of albums. Though world famous for decades and beyond “successful” in numerous ways, his humility and refusal to make a big deal out of himself remains. His music and message transcends his voice and culture. As relevant today as it was in the 60’s, it continues as a major influence on our cultural conscience and consciousness. And this influence shows all signs of continuing far into the future.

Eras

Sources

Bringing it all Back Home

Unlisted Sources

Chronicles

John Wesley Harding, 1967

Mixed Up Confusion

Mr. Tambourine Man

My Back Pages (1964)

Quotes by Bob Dylan (32 quotes)

“And if my thought-dreams could be seen... they'd probably put my head in a guillotine.”

Chapters: 41. Distilled Life

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“Come you masters of war
You that build the big guns
You that build the death planes
You that build all the bombs…
But there's one thing I know
Though I'm younger than you
That even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do.”

Chapters: 31. Victory Funeral

Themes: War Aggression

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“Don’t follow leaders, watch the parking meters.”

Chapters: 38. Fruit Over Flowers

Themes: Leadership Wu Wei

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“For them that must obey authority
That they do not respect in any degree
Who despise their jobs, their destinies
Speak jealously of them that are free
Do what they do just to be
Nothing more than something
They invest in.”

Chapters: 72. Helpful Fear

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“He not busy being born is busy dying.”

Chapters: 24. Unnecessary Baggage

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“I know I had no understanding of anything. Something had just gone haywire in the country and they were applauding the song. And I couldn't understand why they were clapping, or why I wrote the song. I couldn't understand anything. For me, it was just insane.”

Chapters: 36. The Small, Dark Light

Themes: Fame

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“It’s getting dark, too dark to see
A big black cloud is coming down
I feel like I’m knocking on heaven’s door.”

Chapters: 22. Heaven's Door

Themes: Letting Go

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“Let me ask you one question,
Is your money that good?
Will it buy you forgiveness?
Do you think that it could?
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul.”

Chapters: 53. Shameless Thieves

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“May you always know the truth and see the lights surrounding you…Forever young, forever young, May you stay forever young.”

Chapters: 55. Forever Young

Themes: Truth Longevity

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“Money doesn't talk, it swears.”

Chapters: 46. Enough

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“The answer is blowing in the wind.”

Chapters: 34. An Unmoored Boat

Themes: Wu Wei

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“The first will be last and the last will be first; the times they are a changin’.”

Chapters: 36. The Small, Dark Light
7. Lose Yourself, Gain Your Soul

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“The first will be last and the last will be first.”

Chapters: 76. The Soft and Flexible

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“There’s no success like failure, and failure’s no success at all.”

from Bringing it all Back Home

Chapters: 2. The Wordless Teachings

Themes: Success Failure

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“While preachers preach of evil fates
Teachers teach that knowledge waits
Can lead to hundred-dollar plates
Goodness hides behind its gates
But even the President of the United States sometimes must have
To stand naked.”

Chapters: 71. Sick of Sickness

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“You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”

Chapters: 38. Fruit Over Flowers

Themes: Belief

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“Advertising signs that con you
Into thinking you're the one
That can do what's never been done
That can win what's never been won
Meantime, life outside goes on
All around you”

from Bringing it all Back Home

Themes: Deception Victory

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“But I mean no harm, nor put fault on anyone that lives in a vault. But it's alright, Ma, if I can't please him.”

from Bringing it all Back Home

Chapters: 72. Helpful Fear

Themes: Conformity

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“He hands you a nickel, he hands you a dime, he asks you with a grin if you're havin' a good time... I ain't gonna work for Maggie's brother no more”

from Bringing it all Back Home

Themes: Livelihood

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“I try my best to be just like I am but everybody wants you to be just like them... I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more

from Bringing it all Back Home

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“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.”

Themes: Success Strategy

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“Feel like falling in love with the first woman I meet... putting her in a wheel barrow and wheeling her down the street.”

Themes: Marriage

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“Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.”

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“Dostoevsky, too, had lived a dismal and hard life. The czar sent him to a prison camp in Siberia in 1849. Dostoevsky was accused of writing socialist propaganda. He was eventually pardoned and wrote stories to ward off his creditors. Just like in the early '70s I wrote albums to ward off mine.”

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“As I went out one morning to breathe the air around Tom Paine’s, I spied the fairest damsel that ever did walk in chains… I'm sorry, sir, he said to me, I’m sorry for what she's done”

from John Wesley Harding, 1967

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“I dreamed I saw St. Augustine alive as you or me
Tearing through these quarters in the utmost misery
Searching for the very souls whom already have been sold”

from John Wesley Harding, 1967

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“It wasn't that I was anti-popular culture or anything and I had no ambitions to stir things up. i just thought of popular culture as lame as hell and a big trick. It was like the unbroken sea of frost that lay outside the window and you had to have awkward footgear to walk on it.”

from Chronicles

Themes: Culture

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“Songs, to me, were more important that just light entertainment. They were my preceptor and guide into some altered consciousness of reality, some different republic, some liberated republic.”

from Chronicles

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“I got mixed up confusion… my head’s full of questions, my temperature’s rising fast, I’m looking for some answers but I don’t know who to ask.”

from Mixed Up Confusion

Themes: Confusion

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“Leave your stepping stones behind, something calls for you. Forget the dead you've left, they will not follow you... Strike another match, go start anew.”

from Bringing it all Back Home

Themes: Creativity Forget

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“Take me for a trip upon your magic swirlin' ship
All my senses have been stripped
And my hands can't feel to grip
And my toes too numb to step
Wait only for my boot heels to be wanderin'
I'm ready to go anywhere I'm ready for to fade
On to my own parade”

from Mr. Tambourine Man

Themes: Magic

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“Equality
I spoke the word
As if a wedding vow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I'm younger than that now.”

from My Back Pages (1964)

Themes: Equality

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Quotes about Bob Dylan (0 quotes)

Comments (1)

  1. Shan Dao
    Shan Dao 3 years ago
    This is what John Lennon said about Bob Dylan: "You didn't have to hear what Bob Dylan's saying, you just have to hear the way he says it, like the medium is the message...I respected him, I respected him a lot."