Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Quotes (72)

“He knows peace who has forgotten desire.”

Vyasa व्यास 1 via Bhagavadgita (tr: Christopher Isherwood)
Hindu immortals, Vishnu avatar, 5th incarnation of Brahma
from Mahābhārata महाभारतम्

“The wise see themselves in all others and all others in themselves; and so, they refrain from harming others so that they do not harm themselves.”

Vyasa व्यास 1 via Bhagavad Gita (tr: Shan Dao)
Hindu immortals, Vishnu avatar, 5th incarnation of Brahma
from Mahābhārata महाभारतम्

Themes: Kindness Peace

“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 1 via Richard Wilhelm, Hexagram 11, "Peace and Harmony"
Emperor/shaman progenitor of civilization symbol
from I Ching

Themes: Peace Creativity

68. Joining Heaven & Earth

“Better beans and bacon in peace than cakes and ale in fear.”

Aesop 620 – 546 BCE via The Mouse and the Country Mouse
Hero of the oppressed and downtrodden
from Aesop's Fables, the Aesopica

Themes: Fear Peace

“Returning to the root brings a peace that recognizes no difference between self and other.”

Lao Tzu 老子 1 via Shan Dao, chapter #16
from Tao Te Ching 道德经 Dàodéjīng

Themes: Peace Egolessness

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”

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

Themes: Peace

61. Lying Low

“In peace prepare for war, in war prepare for peace. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Under no circumstances can it be neglected.”

Sun Tzu 孙武 544 – 496 BCE via James Clavell
(Sun Zi)
HIstory's supreme strategist
from Art of War 孙子兵法

Themes: Peace Strategy

“Nobody should be mad enough to choose war when there is peace. During times of peace, sons bury their fathers but in war fathers bury their sons.”

Herodotus Ἡρόδοτος 1
“The Father of History”
from Histories

Themes: Peace War

“To die is only not to be
Fallen from peace. All that men praise us for...
The thoughts of mine own heart, I craved no more.”

Euripides 480 – 406 BCE via Andromache (tr: Will Durant)
Ancient humanitarian influence continuing today
from Trojan Women

Themes: Emptiness Peace

“Sleep is a time of rest. Why spend this time worrying? When there is no self, there will be no dreams.”

Lie Yukou 列圄寇/列禦寇/列子 1 via Zhang Zhan (370 CE) / Eva Wong
(Liè Yǔkòu, Liezi)
from Liezi "True Classic of Simplicity and Perfect Emptiness”

Themes: Peace

“When the country is at peace, no one thinks about kindness and the people are free from desire. When the Tao prevails, kindness and justice vanish like the stars fading when the sun appears.”

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

18. The Sick Society

“An unjust peace is better than a just war.”

Cicero 106 – 43 BCE
from Epistola ad Atticum

Themes: Peace War

“The name of peace is sweet and the thing itself good, but between peace and slavery there is the greatest difference.”

Cicero 106 – 43 BCE

Themes: Slavery Peace

“When fire and water are at war, it is the fire that loses.”

Anonymous 1 via Spanish proverb
Freedom from the narrow boxes defined by personal history

Themes: Peace

“Death is not the enemy. Live life in joy and welcome death in peace.”

Jesus 3 BCE – 30 CE via Didymos Thomas
from Gospel According to Thomas

“When the outer has become as the inner, and the lower as the upper, then will this world find peace.”

Jesus 3 BCE – 30 CE via Didymos Thomas
from Gospel According to Thomas

“Seek peace in your own place, within the self… Once a person establishes peace within the self, that person is capable of establishing it throughout the world.”

Rabbinic Sages 20 – 200 CE via Rabbi Bunem
from Talmud

Themes: Peace

“I dream of one world in which all are prosperous and all can take care of their children, and in which there is no war.”

Marcus Aurelius 121 – 219 CE

Themes: Peace

“The purpose of all wars…is peace.”

Augustine ɔːɡəstiːn 354 – 430 CE
(Saint Augustine, Saint Austin, Augustine of Hippo)

Themes: War Peace

“When the mind is at peace, the world too is at peace.”

Layman Pang 龐居士 740 – 808 CE

Themes: Mind Peace

“True teachings pacify violent emotions, conflicting thoughts, and still these wave-like disturbances in meditation.”

Nirgunapa ནིརྒུ་ཎ་པ། 1 via Keith Dowman
"The Enlightened Moron" #57

“The essential way is to focus on one thing and in action find absolute peace with no desire; impartial, straightforward, tranquil, and all-embracing.”

Zhou Dunyi 周敦頤 1017 – 1073 CE via Shan Dao
(Chou Tun-i)
from Penetrating the Book of Changes

“Justice removes the obstacles to peace.”

Thomas Aquinas 1225 – 1274 CE

Themes: Peace Justice

“The origination of all great and lasting societies consisted not in the mutual good will men had toward each other, but in the mutual fear they had of each other.”

Thomas Hobbes 1588 – 1679 CE
from Philosophical Rudiments (1651)

Themes: Fear Peace

“The first great rule of life - to put up with things – is half of all wisdom… We often have to put up with the most from those on whom we most depend… Out of patience comes forth peace, the priceless boon that is the happilness of the world.”

Balthasar Gracian 1601 – 1658 CE via Joseph Jacobs, Shan Dao chapter #159
from Art of Worldly Wisdom

61. Lying Low

“Live and let live. Peacemakers rule life, sleep without bad dreams, and live a long happy life without dispute.”

Balthasar Gracian 1601 – 1658 CE via Joseph Jacobs, Shan Dao chapter #192
from Art of Worldly Wisdom

Themes: Peace Longevity

“Peace is not the absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition of benevolence, confidence, justice.”

Baruch Spinoza 1632 – 1677 CE

30. No War

“Neither trust, nor contend, lay wagers, nor lend; and you’ll have peace until your life's end.”

Benjamin Franklin 1706 – 1790 CE
from Poor Richard's Almanack

Themes: Peace Strategy

57. Wu Wei

“I prefer liberty with danger than peace with slavery.”

Jean-Jacques Rousseau 1712 – 1778 CE

“With men, the state of nature is not a state of peace, but war; if not of open war, then at least ever ready to break out.”

Immanuel Kant 1724 – 1804 CE
from Perpetual Peace (1795)

Themes: War Peace

“War, in its fairest form, implies a perpetual violation of humanity and justice… The terror of the Roman arms added weight and dignity to the moderation of the emperors. They preserved peace by a constant preparation for war”

Edward Gibbon 1737 – 1794 CE
from Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire

Themes: Peace War

“Nothing can contribute more to peace of soul than the lack of any opinion whatever.”

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg 1742 – 1799 CE
One of history’s best aphorists

“Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace.”

Victor Hugo 1802 – 1885 CE
Literary pioneer, poet, and social justice provocateur

Themes: Peace Patience

“Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803 – 1882 CE
Champion of individualism

30. No War

“Truths for a new day: Equality between men and women. Prejudice of all kinds must be forgotten. Universal Peace.”

Bahá'u'lláh بهاء الله‎‎, 1817 – 1892 CE
("Glory of God")

Themes: Peace Equanimity

“You may either win your peace or buy it; win it by resistance to evil, buy it by compromise with evil.”

John Ruskin 1819 – 1900 CE
from The Two Paths

Themes: Peace Evil

“Peace can only come as a natural consequence of universal enlightenment... the elimination of egoism and pride which always plunges the world into primeval barbarism and strife”

Nikola Tesla Никола Тесла 1856 – 1943 CE

“The only way to abolish war is to make peace seem heroic.”

John Dewey 1859 – 1952 CE
The "Second Confucius"

Themes: Peace Warriors

“There can never be peace between nations until there is first known that true peace which... is within the souls of men.”

Black Elk 1863 – 1950 CE
(Heȟáka Sápa)

Themes: Peace

54. Planting Well

“Peace will come to the hearts of men when they realize their oneness with the universe. It is every where.”

Black Elk 1863 – 1950 CE
(Heȟáka Sápa)

39. Oneness

“Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace.”

Albert Schweitzer 1875 – 1965 CE
from Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech

“Peace is the inner nature of humankind. If you find it within yourself, you will then find it everywhere.”

Ramana Maharshi 1879 – 1950 CE

Themes: Peace

“What bird has done yesterday man may do next year, be it fly, be it moult, be it hatch, be it agreement in the nest.”

James Joyce 1882 – 1941 CE
from Finnegan's Wake

Themes: Peace

“I always had a book in my hand, sometimes Dante, sometimes Homer. As I read the immortal verses, I felt that man could become immortal and that the world's heterogeneous surfae of houses, people, joys, insults—the incoherent chaos we call life—was capable of uniting into harmony.”

Nikos Kazantzakis 1883 – 1957 CE via P. A. Bien
from Report to Greco

Themes: Peace

“Our human life is always a hell, says the poet (Dante) until wisdom (Virgil) purges us of evil desire, and love (Beatrice) lifts us to happiness and peace.”

Will Durant 1885 – 1981 CE via John Little
Philosophy apostle and popularizer of history's lessons
from Greatest Minds and Ideas of All Time, 1968

Themes: Peace Desire

“Obsessed by a fairy tale, we spend our lives searching for a magic door and a lost kingdom of peace.”

Eugene O'Neill 1888 – 1953 CE

Themes: Peace Delusion Magic

“What is dangerous about tranquillizers is that whatever peace of mind they bring is packaged peace of mind. where you buy a pill and buy peace with it, you get conditioned to cheap solutions instead of deep ones.”

Max Lerner 1902 – 1992 CE
(Maxwell Alan)

Themes: Medicine Peace

“It is always necessary to protect peaceful people from violence. In any state of society where crime can be profitable you have got to have a harsh criminal law and administer it ruthlessly.”

George Orwell 1903 – 1950 CE
English, poet, humanist, apostle of doubt, and powerful political influence

“A little hypocrisy and a little compromise oils the wheels of social life”

Gregory Bateson 1904 – 1980 CE
from Steps to an Ecology of the Mind

Themes: Lies Peace

“No one is really working for peace unless he is working primarily for the restoration of wisdom… From an economic point of view, the central concept of wisdom is permanence. We must study an economics of permanence.”

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

78. Water

“Bliss and radiance occur of themselves when the mind is tranquil.”

Freda Bedi, Sister Palmo 1911 – 1977 CE

“Now that man has acquired the physical means of self-obliteration, the question of peace obviously looms larger than ever before in human history. And how could peace be built without some assurance of permanence with regard to our economic life?”

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

Themes: Peace

69. No Enemy

“The mere absence of war is not peace... Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.”

John Kennedy 1917 – 1963 CE via address to United Nations
Modern America's most popular president

Themes: Peace

“Daily the world grows smaller, leaving [wisdom] the only place where peace can find a home.”

Huston Smith 1919 – 2016 CE

Themes: Wisdom Peace

“If you want peace you must learn to drink cha from an empty cup.”

James Clavell 1921 – 1994 CE
Fictionalizing and fictional historian
from Shōgun, 1975

Themes: Non-Thought Peace

“One day, may we all meet together in the light of understanding.”

Malcolm X الحاجّ مالك الشباز‎‎ 1925 – 1965 CE

Themes: Peace

“When we have peace, then we have a chance to save the planet. But if we are not united in peace, if we do not practice mindful consumption, we cannot save our planet.”

Thích Nhất Hạnh tʰǐk ɲɜ̌t hɐ̂ʔɲ 1926 CE –

Themes: Consumerism Peace

“Peace of mind produces right values, right values produce right thoughts. Right thoughts produce right actions and right actions produce [meaningful] work”

Robert M. Pirsig 1928 – 2017 CE
from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Themes: Livelihood Peace

“Violence brings only temporary victories; violence, by creating many more social problems than it solves, never brings permanent peace.”

Martin Luther King Jr. 1929 – 1968 CE
Leading world influence for equality, peace, non-violence, and poverty alleviation

Themes: Peace

“If as Sun Tzu says, ‘Deception is the art of war,’ it follows that being genuine and authentic is the art of peace.”

Shan Dao 山道 1933 CE –

57. Wu Wei

“These cultural mind prisons. . . . have been crippling to human moral and spiritual growth… freedom of thought.. and clearly a barrier to world peace. So long as we continue to attach more importance to our own narrow group membership than to the ‘global village’ we will propagate prejudice and ignorance.

Jane Goodall 1934 CE –

18. The Sick Society

“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.”

Dalai Lama XIV Tenzin Gyatso 1935 CE –

Themes: Conflict Peace

30. No War

“Peace is not something you wish for; It's something you make, Something you do , Something you are, And something you give away.”

John Lennon 1940 – 1980 CE

Themes: Peace

61. Lying Low

“The longer you practice nonviolence…, the more likely you are to do something intelligent”

Joan Baez 1941 CE –

“I’ve been locked up and I know you got to disturb the peace when you can’t get no peace.”

Aretha Franklin 1942 – 2018 CE
“Greatest Singer of All Time”

Themes: Peace

“Every thought, every word, and every action that adds to the positive and the wholesome is a contribution to peace.”

Aung San Suu Kyi အောင်ဆန်းစုကြည် 1945 CE –

Themes: Peace

59. The Gardening of Spirit

“It is better to win the peace and to lose the war.”

Bob Marley 1945 – 1981 CE

Themes: Peace War Victory

30. No War

“Open-mindedness is the sibling of peace.”

Salman Rushdie 1947 CE –
Fearless antagonist of Islamic fundamentalism

Themes: Peace Openness

“Traveling makes your mind roll thunder like a train moving down the track. Except you don't know where the fuck that mind train is headed. And then all of a sudden, an idea shits in your head. And you think that shit smells good. Peace is a beautiful but shitty idea.”

Neil Gaiman 1960 CE –
Myth-transmitting creative maelstrom
from American Gods

Themes: Peace Travel

“True wisdom is free of the dramas of culture or religion and should bring us only a sense of peace and happiness.”

Dzogchen Pönlop 1965 CE –

“fight terrorism like there is no negotiation, and negotiate peace like there is no terrorism.”

Deepak Malhotra 1
"Professor of the Year"

from Peacemaker's Code

Themes: Peace

“May you find peace where it exists and create peace where it does not.”

Deepak Malhotra 1
"Professor of the Year"

from Peacemaker's Code

Themes: Peace


Peacemaker's Code

by Deepak Malhotra

"Professor of the Year"

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