Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
Search Quotes Search Sages Search Chapters

Chapter 45
Complete Perfection

The greatest perfection seems flawed
Yet has inexhaustible usefulness.
Perfectly full, it seems empty
Yet never runs dry.

True straightness looks crooked,
True skill looks clumsy,
True eloquence sounds tongue-tied.

Still, it overcomes the active;
Active, it overcomes the still.
Opposites complement each other
Becoming the peaceful and serene
That sets the universe in order.

Commentary

“When yang has reached its greatest strength, the dark power of yin is born within its depths; night begins at midday when yang breaks up and begins to change into yin.”

Fu Xi 伏羲 via Richard Wilhelm
c. 2852–2737 BCE
Emperor/shaman progenitor of civilization symbol
from I Ching

Comments: Click to comment

“Roads were made for journeys not destinations.”

Confucius 孔丘
(Kongzi, Kǒng Zǐ)
551 – 479 BCE
History's most influential "failure"

Themes: Travel

Comments: Click to comment

“Resolved to die one can be killed.
Resolved to live, one can be captured.
Quick to anger, one can be goaded.
Pure and honest, one can be shamed.
Loving the people one can be aggravated.

All five are excesses.”

Sun Tzu 孙武
(Sun Zi)
544 – 496 BCE
HIstory's supreme strategist

Comments: Click to comment

“He hewed the humans in two just as one cuts fruit for preservation… After that, with their natures hewn in two, each one missed the union with its other half… nor would it appear that we want anything else… cooperation and fusion - becoming one out of two. For this is the basis; this is our primeval nature, described as being whole.”

Plato Πλάτων
428 – 348 BCE

Themes: Oneness Marriage

Comments: Click to comment

“Everything in the world is full of signs. All events are coordinated. All things depend on each other. Everything breathes together.”

Plotinus
204 – 249 CE
from Enneads Ἐννεάδες Plotinus / Porphyry

Comments: Click to comment

“He who neglects to drink of the spring of experience is likely to die of thirst in the desert of ignorance.”

Li Bai 李白
(Li Bo)
701 – 762 CE

Themes: Ignorance

Comments: Click to comment

“Now I know the pearl of the Buddha-nature, know its use: a boundless perfect sphere”

Han Shan
(Cold Mountain)
c. 730-850 CE

Themes: Enlightenment

Comments: Click to comment

“Every single sight and sound is but the Buddha’s Eye of Wisdom.”

Huangbo Xiyun 黄檗希运
(Huangbo Xiyun, Huángbò Xīyùn, Obaku)
? - 850 CE

Comments: Click to comment

“Glance at the sun. See the moon and stars. Gaze at the beauty of the green earth. Now think.”

Hildegard of Bingen
1098 – 1179 CE

Comments: Click to comment

“I have never met a man so ignorant I could not learn something from him.”

Galileo
1564 – 1642 CE

Themes: Appreciation

Comments: Click to comment

“Without contraries is no progression. Attraction and repulsion, reason and energy, love and hate, are necessary to human existence.”

William Blake
1757 – 1827 CE

Comments: Click to comment

“Educate the senses to see the ordinary as extraordinary, the familiar as strange, the mundane as sacred, the finite as infinite.”

Novalis
1772 – 1831 CE

Comments: Click to comment

“Little minds are interested in the extraordinary; great minds in the commonplace.”

Elbert Hubbard
1856 – 1915 CE

Themes: Ordinary Mind

Comments: Click to comment

“Fortunately, some are born with spiritual immune systems that sooner or later give rejection to the illusory worldview grafted upon them from birth through social conditioning.”

Henri-Louis Bergson
1859 – 1941 CE
from Creative Evolution

Themes: Moral Freedom

Comments: Click to comment

“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances; if there is any reaction both are transformed.”

Carl Jung
1875 – 1961 CE

Themes: Friendship

Comments: Click to comment

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”

Martin Buber מרטין בובר‎‎
1878 – 1965 CE
from Ich und Du, I and Thou

Themes: Travel

Comments: Click to comment

“I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind.”

Kahlil Gibran
1883 – 1931 CE

Themes: Kindness

Comments: Click to comment

“There is not a human being from whom we cannot learn something if we are interested enough to dig deep.”

Eleanor Roosevelt
1884 – 1962 CE

Themes: Appreciation

Comments: Click to comment

“Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow.”

T.S. Eliot
1888 – 1965 CE

Themes: Moon

Comments: Click to comment

“We Sioux spend a lot of time thinking about everyday things… We see in the world around us many symbols that teach us the meaning of life.”

John Fire Lame Deer via Richard Erdoes
1903 – 1976 CE
from Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions

Comments: Click to comment

“The most important thing is to forget all gaining ideas, all dualistic ideas… Then eventually you will resume your own true nature. This is to say, your own true nature resumes itself.”

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi
1904 – 1971 CE

Comments: Click to comment

“Learn to see everyday life as a mandala in which one is the center and be free of the bias and prejudice of past conditioning, present desires, and future hopes and expectations… be natural and spontaneous, accept and learn from everything.”

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche དིལ་མགོ་མཁྱེན་བརྩེ།
1910 – 1991 CE
"Mind" incarnation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
from Maha Ati

Comments: Click to comment

“The past is but a present memory or condition, the future a present projection, and the present itself vanishes before it can be grasped.”

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche དིལ་མགོ་མཁྱེན་བརྩེ།
1910 – 1991 CE
"Mind" incarnation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
from Maha Ati

Themes: Projection

Comments: Click to comment

“Acoustic Space has the basic character of a sphere whose focus or center is simultaneously everywhere and whose margin is nowhere.”

Marshall McLuhan
1911 – 1980 CE

Comments: Click to comment

“Everything is true and not true about everything. That’s one thing I’ve learned.”

John Lennon
1940 – 1980 CE

Themes: Paradox

Comments: Click to comment

“the more desperately we try to be good and wonderful and perfect, the more Shadow develops a definite will to be black and evil and destructive.”

Haruki Murakami via Jay Rubin and Philip Gabriel
1949 CE –
from 1Q84

Themes: Projection

Comments: Click to comment

 

Comments (0)

Please log in or create an account to comment.