Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Chapter 79
No Demands

If the resolution of a conflict
Leaves resentment and enmity,
How can it be called resolved?
And so the wise
Carefully fulfill their obligations
But aren’t concerned if others do or not.
They play no favorites
And only hold fast to the good.

Commentary

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.”

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

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“To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it.”

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

Themes: Memory

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“One who is injured ought not to return the injury, for on no account can it be right to do an injustice; and it is not right to return an injury, or to do evil to any man, however much we have suffered from him.”

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

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“When a man's eyes are sore his friends do not let him finger them, however much he wishes to, nor do they themselves touch the inflammation: But a man sunk in grief suffers every chance comer to stir and augment his affliction like a running sore; and by reason of the fingering and consequent irritation it hardens into a serious and intractable evil.”

Plutarch
(Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus)
46 – 120 CE

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“If anyone tells you that a certain person speaks ill of you, do not make excuses about what is said of you but answer, "He was ignorant of my other faults, else he would not have mentioned these alone."”

Epictetus Ἐπίκτητος
55 – 135 CE
from Discourses of Epictetus, Ἐπικτήτου διατριβαί

Themes: Projection

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“The good cultivate themselves, they don’t concern themselves with others.”

Lü Dongbin 呂洞賓 via Richard Wilhelm
(Lü Tung-Pin)
796 CE -

from Secret of the Golden Flower 太乙金華宗旨; Tàiyǐ Jīnhuá Zōngzhǐ

Themes: Projection

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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.”

Wang Anshi 王安石
1021 – 1086 CE

Themes: Integrity

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“Wisdom consists in doing the next thing you have to do, doing it with your whole heart, and finding delight in doing it.”

Meister Eckhart
(Eckhart von Hochheim)
1260 – 1328 CE

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“Remember to forget. The things we remember best are those better forgotten… Very often the only remedy for the trouble is to forget it, and all we forget is the remedy.”

Balthasar Gracian
1601 – 1658 CE

Themes: Forget

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“The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.”

Voltaire, François-Marie Arouet
1694 – 1778 CE

Themes: Complaint

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“The most sublime act is to set another before you.”

William Blake
1757 – 1827 CE

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“Folks who never do any more than they get paid for, never get paid for any more than they do.”

Elbert Hubbard
1856 – 1915 CE

Themes: Livelihood

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“A retentive memory may be a good thing, but the ability to forget is the true token of greatness.”

Elbert Hubbard
1856 – 1915 CE

Themes: Memory Forget

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“It takes a minute to have a crush on someone, an hour to like someone, and a day to love someone... but it takes a lifetime to forget someone.”

Kahlil Gibran
1883 – 1931 CE

Themes: Forget

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“When life does not find a singer to sing her heart she produces a philosopher to speak her mind.”

Kahlil Gibran
1883 – 1931 CE

Themes: Philosophy

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“On no account brood over your wrongdoing. Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean.”

Aldous Huxley
1894 – 1963 CE

Themes: Mistakes

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“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
1900 – 1944 CE

Themes: Inscrutable

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“In an age where there is so much talk about ‘being yourself,’ I reserve the right to forget about being myself, since in any case there is very little chance of my being anybody else.”

Thomas Merton
1915 – 1968 CE

Themes: True Self

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“I heard a definition once: ‘Happiness is health and a short memory!’ I wish I'd invented it, because it is very true.”

Audrey Hepburn
1929 – 1993 CE

Themes: Health Memory

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“This chapter is equally relevant to private relationships and to political treaties.”

Ursula Le Guin
1929 – 2018 CE

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“The purpose of all the major religious traditions is not to construct big temples on the outside, but to create temples of goodness and compassion inside, in our hearts.”

Dalai Lama XIV Tenzin Gyatso
1935 CE –

Themes: Religion

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“When I cannot sing my heart, I can only speak my mind.”

John Lennon
1940 – 1980 CE

Themes: Music

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