Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

1742 – 1799 CE

One of history’s best aphorists

Youngest of 17 children, scientist, professor of physics, satirist, and hunchback; Lichtenberg had a major influence on the culture of his times that extends into the modern world. He discovered tree-like electrical patterns now called Lichtenberg figures or fractals, the basic principles used now for copy machine technology, a “Compass of Motives” praised by Freud and also standardized the paper sizes now used in most of the world. Considered one of history’s best aphorists, he was read and admired by wisdom lineage holders like Arthur Schopenhauer, Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, Leo Tolstoy, and even Chinese scholars like Qian Zhongshu.


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Quotes by Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (17 quotes)

“Just as we outgrow a pair of trousers, we outgrow acquaintances, libraries, principles, etc., at times before they're worn out and at times—and this is the worst of all—before we have new ones.”

Themes: Golden Chains

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“With most people, disbelief in a thing is founded on a blind belief in some other thing.”

Themes: Belief Fanaticism

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“What most clearly characterizes true freedom and its true employment is its mis-employment.”

Themes: Freedom

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“There is no greater impediment to progress in the sciences than the desire to see it take place too quickly.”

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“A person reveals his character by nothing so clearly as the joke he resents.”

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“The greatest events occur without intention playing any part in them; chance makes good mistakes and undoes the most carefully planned undertaking. The world's greatest events are not produced, they happen.”

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“Nothing makes one old so quickly as the ever-present thought that one is growing older.”

Themes: Longevity Reason

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“Nothing can contribute more to peace of soul than the lack of any opinion whatever.”

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“We accumulate our opinions at an age when our understanding is at its weakest.”

Themes: Education

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“The first step toward wisdom is to question everything - and the last is to accept everything.”

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“I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better.”

Themes: Change

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“To make a vow is a greater sin than to break one.”

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“You can make a good living from sooth-saying but not from truth-saying”

Themes: Livelihood Truth

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“I forget most of what I read, just as I do most of what I have eaten, but I know that both contribute no less to the conservation of my mind and my body on that account.”

Themes: Forget Memory

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“There is no mistaking a good book when one meets it. It is like falling in love.”

Themes: Books

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“Perhaps in time the so-called ‘Dark Ages’ will be thought of as including our own.”

Themes: Civilization

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“Judge men not by their opinions but by what their opinions have made of them.”

from Aphorisms

Themes: Opinion

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