Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Chapter 68
Joining Heaven & Earth

During golden ages
The best soldiers were never angry,
The best generals were never aggressive.
They overcame enemies without fighting.

The best victors didn’t compete,
The best employers served their employees.
This is the goodness of no struggle, no striving, no gaining ideas;
The best use of ability;
The joining of heaven and earth.


“Hell has three gates: lust, anger and greed.”

Vyasa व्यास c. 3000 BCE
Hindu immortals, Vishnu avatar, 5th incarnation of Brahma
from Mahābhārata महाभारतम्

Themes: Greed Anger

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“Yin, the receptive, earth above; Yang, the creative, heaven below: This hexagram denotes a time in nature when heaven seems to be on earth. Heaven has placed itself beneath the earth and so their powers unite in deep harmony. Then peace and blessings descend upon all living things.”

Fu Xi 伏羲 c. 2852–2737 BCE via Richard Wilhelm, Hexagram 11, "Peace and Harmony"
Emperor/shaman progenitor of civilization symbol
from I Ching

Themes: Creativity

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“You will not be punished for your anger; you will be punished by your anger.”

Buddha गौतम बुद्ध 563 – 483 BCE
(Siddhartha Shakyamuni Gautama)
Awakened Truth

Themes: Anger Conflict

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“The hottest love has the coldest end.

Socrates 469 – 399 BCE
One of the most powerful influences on Western Civilization

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“Those who govern others with worthiness never win them over. Those who serve others with worthiness never fail to gain their support.”

Lie Yukou 列圄寇/列禦寇/列子 4th C. BCE
(Liè Yǔkòu, Liezi)
from Liezi "True Classic of Simplicity and Perfect Emptiness”

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“Those who honor the Way and Virtue… are angered by nothing. They use kindness among neighbors and virtue among strangers. They conquer their enemies without fighting and command through humility.”

Heshang Gong 河上公 202 – 157 BCE
(Ho-shang Kung or "Riverside Sage”)

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“In ancient times, when sage kings ruled, their government and education were egalitarian, and their charity extended to all. Those above and those below were of like mind.”

Liú Ān 劉安 c. 179–122 BCE via Thomas Cleary
from Huainanzi

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“How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.”

Marcus Aurelius 121 – 219 CE
from Meditations Τὰ εἰς ἑαυτόν

Themes: Anger Karma

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“The ignorant mind, with its infinite afflictions, passions, and evils, is rooted in the three poisons. Greed, anger, and delusion.”

Bodhidharma 菩提達磨 5th-6th C. CE

Themes: Greed Anger

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“a radical, refined nondualism that does not grasp at any of the highly subtle distinctions to which our familiar mental workings are prone and which estranges us from our experience.”

Hóngzhì Zhēngjué 宏智正覺 1091 – 1157 CE via Dan Leighton
from Cultivating the Emplty Field

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“Many winds full of anger, lust and greed move rubbish around. The solid mountain of true nature however, stays where it's always been.”

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

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“Only when yang descends and yin rises does everything flourish… When sages are above the people, and their hearts are below, we call this uniting with Heaven.”

Deqing 1546 – 1623 CE

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“The light which puts out our eyes is darkness to us. Only that day dawn to which we are awake is there more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.”

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

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“Private property has made us so stupid and partial that an object is only ours when we have it, when it exists for us as capital … Thus all the physical and intellectual senses have been replaced by … the sense of having.”

Karl Marx 1818 – 1883 CE

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“No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.”

Frederick Douglass 1818 – 1895 CE
International symbol of social justice

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“Those who tell of two ways and praise one are recognized as prophets or great teachers. They save men from confusion and hard choices. They offer… simple schemes, but truth is not so simple.”

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

Themes: Confusion Truth

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“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.”

Albert Einstein 1879 – 1955 CE

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“Let woman out of the home, let man into it, should be the aim of education. The home needs man, and the world outside needs woman.”

Pearl Buck 1892 – 1973 CE

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“Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the overcompensations for misery. And, of course, stability isn't nearly so spectacular as instability. And being contented has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune, none of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or a fatal overthrow by passion or doubt. Happiness is never grand.”

Aldous Huxley 1894 – 1963 CE
from Brave New World

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“But Zen can be dangerous to innocent minds…that may easily see Zen as something good or special by which they can gain something. This attitude can lead to trouble.”

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi 1904 – 1971 CE
from Crooked Cucumber: the Life and Zen Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki

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“It might be said that it is the ideal of the employer to have production without employees and the ideal of the employee is to have income without work.”

E. F. Schumacher 1911 – 1977 CE
The “People's Economist”

Themes: Business

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“Ignorance, hatred and greed are killing nature.”

Masanobu Fukuoka 福岡 正信 1913 – 2008 CE via Larry Korn
from One Straw Revolution

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“downstream in this river of life, our children will pay for our selfishness, for our greed, and for our lack of vision.”

Oren Lyons 1930 CE –

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“When the focus of your practice becomes like the light of the sun penetrating a magnifying glass so sharply that it makes a fire, it dissolves greed, anger, and ignorance, the three great obstacles to our original heart/mind.”

Jakusho Kwong 1935 CE –
from No Beginning, No End: The Intimate Heart of Zen

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“if you can live with the sadness of human life , if you can be willing to feel fully and acknowledge continually your own sadness and the sadness of life, but at the same time not be drowned in it… you experience balance and completeness, joining heaven and earth, joining vision and practicality.”

Pema Chödrön 1936 CE –
(Deirdre Blomfield-Brown)
First American Vajrayana nun

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“Struck by the arrows of greed, we don’t see that it is our own desire for conveniences… that actually supports the wars that are devastating our world.”

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche རྫོང་གསར་ འཇམ་དབྱངས་ མཁྱེན་བརྩེ་ རིན་པོ་ཆེ། 1961 CE –
(Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche)
"Activity" incarnation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
from What Makes You Not a Buddhist

Themes: Greed War

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“In an individual, selfishness uglifies the world; for the human species, selfishness is extinction.”

David Mitchell 1969 CE –
from The Bone Clocks

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