Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Walden or Life in the Woods

By Henry David Thoreau

Quotes from Walden or Life in the Woods

“… men labor under a mistake. The better part of the man is soon polished into the soil for compost… they are employed laying up treasures which moth and rust will corrupt and thieves break through and steal. It is a fool’s life, as they will find when they get to the end of it, if not before.”

Chapters: 29. Not Doing

Themes: Business Greed

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“A love of nature keeps no factories busy.”

Chapters: 72. Helpful Fear

Themes: Livelihood

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“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.”

Chapters: 46. Enough
67. Three Treasures

Themes: Letting Go Wealth

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“As for doing good, that is one of the professions which are full… There is no odor so bad as that which arises from goodness tainted… If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life”

Chapters: 67. Three Treasures

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“As with out colleges, so with a hundred ‘modern improvements’; there is an illusion about them. Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things.”

Chapters: 80. A Golden Age

Themes: Materialism

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“be yourself- not your idea of what you think somebody else's idea of yourself should be.”

Chapters: 33. Know Yourself

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“Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new… The head monkey in Paris puts on a traveler’s cap, and all the monkeys in America do the same.”

Chapters: 65. Simplicity: the Hidden Power of Goodness

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“Goodness is the only investment that never fails.”

Chapters: 21. Following Empty Heart

Themes: Integrity

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“Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”

Chapters: 9. Know When to Stop

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“I am convinced that if all men were to live as simply as I then did, thieving and robbery would be unknown These take place only in communities where some have got more than is sufficient while others have not enough.”

Chapters: 19. All Methods Become Obstacles

Themes: Less is More

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“I have never yet met a man who was quite awake… with an infinite expectation of the dawn… the day is a perpetual morning… I went to the woods… to see if I could learn what it had to teach and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

Chapters: 35. The Power of Goodness

Themes: Meaningfulness

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“I have traveled a great deal in Concord.”

Chapters: 47. Effortless Success

Themes: Travel

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“I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”

Chapters: 44. Fame and Fortune

Themes: Simplicity

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“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”

Chapters: 42. Children of the Way

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“if I repent of anything,it is very likely to be my good behavior… Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something.”

Chapters: 18. The Sick Society

Themes: Moral Freedom

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“if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams… In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness.”

Chapters: 47. Effortless Success

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“In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita, … in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial… I lay down the book and go to my well for water, and lo! there I meet the servant of the Bramin, priest of Brahma and Vishnu and Indra… The pure Walden water is mingled with the sacred water of the Ganges.”

Chapters:

Themes: Hinduism Water

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“It is never too late to give up your prejudices.”

Chapters: 71. Sick of Sickness

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“It is remarkable how easily and insensibly we fall into a particular route, and make a beaten track for ourselves… how worn and dusty, how deep the ruts of tradition and conformity!”

Chapters: 20. Unconventional Mind

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“It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.”

Chapters: 14. Finding and Following the Formless Form

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“Men have become the tools of their tools… have settled down on earth and forgotten heaven.”

Chapters: 80. A Golden Age

Themes: Technology

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“Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.”

Chapters:

Themes: Consumerism

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“My greatest skill in life has been to want but little.”

Chapters: 53. Shameless Thieves

Themes: Skillful Means

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“Sometimes I ceased to live and began to be.”

Chapters:

Themes: Wu Wei

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

Chapters: 23. Nothing and Not

Themes: Success

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“that seemingly wealthy, but most terribly impoverished class of all, who have accumulated dross, but know not how to use it… and thus have forged their own golden or silver fetters.”

Chapters: 44. Fame and Fortune

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“The arts and sciences, and a thousand appliances: the wind that blows is all that anybody knows.”

Chapters: 38. Fruit Over Flowers

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“The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.”

Chapters: 37. Nameless Simplicity

Themes: Business Money

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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.”

Chapters: 68. Joining Heaven & Earth

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“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation… the laboring man has not leisure for a true integrity… he has no time to be anything but a machine.”

Chapters: 72. Helpful Fear

Themes: Integrity

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“The universe is wider than our views of it.”

Chapters: 71. Sick of Sickness

Themes: Openness

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“Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.”

Chapters: 2. The Wordless Teachings

Themes: Success

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“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.”

Chapters: 40. Returning

Themes: Here and Now

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