Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Chapter 23
Nothing and Not

Nature doesn’t make long speeches,
Only simple and quiet words ripen by themselves.
A hurricane doesn’t last all morning,
A sudden cloudburst doesn’t last all day.
If even the greatest forces of nature
Can’t go on and on,
How much less so do people need to?

So whatever you do,
Be one with the Way.
When you succeed,
Be one with success.
When you fail,
Be one with failure.
To be appreciated, appreciate.

Commentary

“When you succeed, be one with success. When you fail, be one with failure.

Lao Tzu 老子 604 BCE - via Shan Dao
(Lǎozǐ)
from Tao Te Ching 道德经 Dàodéjīng

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“He who awaits his time, who submits
When his work is done,
In his life there is no room
For sorrow or rejoicing.”

Chuang Tzu 莊周 369 – 286 BCE
(Zhuangzi)

Themes: Patience

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“Words are illusions.”

Bodhidharma 菩提達磨 5th-6th C. CE
(Daruma)

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“To give up yourself without regret is the greatest charity.”

Bodhidharma 菩提達磨 5th-6th C. CE
(Daruma)

Themes: Anonymity

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“For ordinary man is Buddha… A foolish passing thought makes one an ordinary man, while an enlightened second though makes one a Buddha.”

Huineng 惠能 638 – 713 CE
(Huìnéng, Enō)
The Sutra of Hui Neng

Themes: Ordinary Mind

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“No self is the Way. Success. Failure. I don’t see how they differ.”

Lu Huiqing 1031 – 1111 CE

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“Even a good thing isn't as good as nothing.”

Mumon Ekai 無門慧開 1183 – 1260 CE
(Wumen Huikai)
from The Gateless Gate, 無門関, 無門關

Themes: Emptiness

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“Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself.”

Rumi مولانا جلال‌الدین محمد بلخی 1207 – 1283 CE
(Rumi Mawlānā Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Balkhī)
from Masnavi مثنوي معنوي‎‎) "Rhyming Couplets of Profound Spiritual Meaning”

Themes: Egolessness

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“Man has no greater enemy than himself.”

Petrarch 1304 – 1374 CE

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“Natural means free from success and therefore free from failure… If the wise do succeed or fail,there minds are not affected.”

Chiao Hung 1540 – 1620 CE
(Jiao Hung)

Themes: Success Failure

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“This verse explains how sages forget about words, embody the Tao, and change with the seasons.”

Deqing 1546 – 1623 CE
(Te-Ch’ing)

Themes: Forget

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“It is right it should be so:
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know
Through the world we safely go.”

William Blake 1757 – 1827 CE

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“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.”

Henry David Thoreau 1817 – 1862 CE
Father of environmentalism and America's first yogi
from Walden or Life in the Woods

Themes: Success

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“I would rather be able to appreciate things I cannot have than to have things I am not able to appreciate.”

Elbert Hubbard 1856 – 1915 CE

Themes: Appreciation

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“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

Winston Churchill 1874 – 1965 CE

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“The most extraordinary thing in the world is an ordinary man and an ordinary woman and their ordinary children.”

G. K. Chesterton 1874 – 1936 CE

Themes: Ordinary Mind

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“A stumbling block to the pessimist is a stepping-stone to the optimist.”

Eleanor Roosevelt 1884 – 1962 CE

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“As long as you are concerned about what you do, this is dualistic… If you are not concerned about what you do… When you sit, you will sit. When you eat, you will eat. That is all… your mind pervades your whole body.”

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi 1904 – 1971 CE

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“We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”

Carlos Castaneda 1925 – 1998 CE

Themes: Perseverance

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“Identify yourself with loss, failure, the obscure, the unpossessible, and you’ll be at home even there.”

Ursula Le Guin 1929 – 2018 CE

Themes: Failure

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“coemergent wisdom… refers to confusion and realization existing simultaneously, as opposed to confusion coming first and then realization taking over and cleaning out the confusion… confusion and realization are simultaneous.”

Chögyam Trungpa 1939 – 1987 CE via Sherab Chodzin, editor
from Illusion's Game

Themes: Confusion

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