Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Tao-te-chen-ching yi-chieh

By Li Xizhai

Quotes from Tao-te-chen-ching yi-chieh

“Better than disks of jade followed by teams of horses would be one good word or one good deed to keep the people from losing sight of the good.”

Chapters: 62. Basic Goodness

Themes: Meaningfulness

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“dispassion means to rest, and rest is the root of victory… passion means to act, and action is the basis of defeat.”

Chapters: 31. Victory Funeral

Themes: Victory

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“Everyone knows about daring to act but not about daring not to act. Those who dare to act walk on the edge of a knife Those who dare not to act walk down the middle of a path.”

Chapters: 73. Heaven’s Net

Themes: Middle Way

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“For the wise, knowledge is not limited to form… Name is not limited to matter… Success is not limited to action… they don’t have to do anything.”

Chapters: 47. Effortless Success

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“If people knew that all creatures are the Way, and children are the mother, they would find the source in everything they meet.”

Chapters: 52. Cultivating the Changeless

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“If those above take too much, those below will be impoverished. If those above use too much force, those below will rebel.”

Chapters: 75. Greed

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“Lao-tzu's 5000-word text clarifies what is mysterious as well as what is obvious. It can be used to attain the Tao, to order a country, or to cultivate the body.”

Chapters: 2. The Wordless Teachings

Themes: Taoism

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“Outside, we govern others. Inside, we care for Heaven. In both, nothing surpasses the gardening of spirit… Only if we are still does virtue have a place to collect.”

Chapters: 59. The Gardening of Spirit

Themes: Integrity Virtue

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“punishments cannot be relied upon for governing… the more people we kill, the more people break the law. Thus, punishment is not the answer.”

Chapters: 74. The Great Executioner

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“The Tao is also hard to understand and hard to put into practice… because all words are wrong, because it cannot be learned, and because the mind only leads us astray. Effortless stillness is not necessarily right, and actionless activity is not necessarily wrong.”

Chapters: 70. Inscrutable

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“The wise know they have everything they need within themselves. Hence, they do not seek anything outside themselves.”

Chapters: 44. Fame and Fortune

Themes: Hope Desire

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“The yang we embrace is one. The yin we turn away from is two. Where yin and yang meet and merge is three.”

Chapters: 42. Children of the Way

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“Those who cultivate the Tao yet still think about themselves are like people who overeat or overwork.”

Chapters: 24. Unnecessary Baggage

Themes: Anonymity

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“Understanding depends on things. Hence, it involves fabrication. Not understanding returns to the origin. Hence, it approaches the truth.”

Chapters: 71. Sick of Sickness

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“What passes for learning in the world never ends. For every truth found, two are lost.”

Chapters: 20. Unconventional Mind

Themes: Progress

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“When inferior people hear of the Tao, even the ancient sages can’t keep them from laughing. Everyone in the world thinks existence is real. Who wouldn’t shake their head and laugh if they were told that existence wasn’t real and that non-existence was?”

Chapters: 41. Distilled Life

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“When the government leaves power with the people… makes no demands, the people respond with openness instead of deception. When the government makes demands, the people use every means to escape.”

Chapters: 58. Goals Without Means

Themes: Openness Power

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“When the ruler possesses the Tao, soldiers become farmers. When the ruler does not possess the Tao, farmers become soldiers.”

Chapters: 46. Enough

Themes: War Agriculture

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