Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Wang Anshi 王安石

1021 – 1086 CE

Poet, economist, statesman, and one of China’s most famous prime ministers during a time of rampant nepotism and an extreme imbalance between the rich and the poor; Wang initiated major reforms to break up monopolies, expand the civil service examination system, increase currency, and begin social welfare programs to “prevent the working classes from being ground into dust by the rich.” Although removed from power and imprisoned by political rivals, his reforms still ripple through Chinese history. He started public orphanages and hospitals, set up price and wage controls, pension funds for the old, poor, and unemployed — all while writing commentaries on Lao Tzu and some of China’s most famous poems.


Quotes by Wang Anshi (9 quotes)

“Among ten people, three seek life because they hate death, three seek death because they hate life, and three live as if they were dead.”

Chapters: 50. Claws and Swords

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“Directness can be used in governing, but nowhere else. Deception can be used in warfare, but that is all. Only those who practice non-action are fit to rule the world.”

Chapters: 57. Wu Wei

Themes: Wu Wei Deception

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“There is nothing that is not the Tao. When good people seek it, they are able to find it. When bad people seek it, they are able to avoid punishment.”

Chapters: 62. Basic Goodness

Themes: Punishment

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“Those concerned with taxes cannot avoid making claims on others and thus cannot prevent disputes. This is why they lack virtue.”

Chapters: 79. No Demands

Themes: Integrity

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“Through austerity, we learn to stop. When we know when to stop, we are always content.”

Chapters: 67. Three Treasures

Themes: Less is More

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“through compassion, we learn to be soft. When we are soft, we can overcome the hardest thing in the world.”

Chapters: 67. Three Treasures

Themes: Power Compassion

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“Yin and yang take turns. The four seasons come and go. The moon waxes and wanes. All things have their time. They don’t have to be summoned to come.”

Chapters: 73. Heaven’s Net

Themes: Middle Way Moon

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“Sages create but do not possess what they create. They succeed but do not claim success. Because they do not lose themselves, they do not lose others.”

Chapters: 2. The Wordless Teachings

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“The state should take the entire management of commerce, industry and agriculture into its own hands , with a view to succoring the working classes and preventing them from being ground into dust by the rich.”

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Quotes about Wang Anshi (1 quotes)

“One of China's most famous prime ministers, [Wang Anshi's] attempt to introduce sweeping reforms directed against merchants and landowners galvanized Chinese intellectuals into a debate that continues to this day. He was also one of China's great poets and prose writers.”

Red Pine 1943 CE –
( Bill Porter)
Exceptional translator, cultural diplomat
from Lao-Tzu's Taoteching

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