Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Rising Sun World

Throughout history and continuing until our day, forces for corruption, selfishness, ignorance, and aggression have vied against the influences of wisdom, compassion, and awakened mind. We categorized quotes on these two themes as "Setting Sun" and "Rising Sun."

Pessimists may be able to more frequently claim being right but optimists may more often claim happier lives. Politicians and religious leaders frequently use pessimism as a way of demoralizing opposition and discouraging challenges to their rule. Scam artists and business advertising frequently use optimism in similar ways.

The Rising Sun World approach blends clear-sighted realism with unfettered openness grounded in the experience of Basic Goodness and Sacred World. Normally, people think of the placebo effect as a kind of joke, a laughable con that makes us believe that something ineffective and neutral has important powers of healing, and in scientific experiments, a kind of failure. Now though, in the scientific world, there is a greater respect and appreciation for the physical results our brain activity can create, the neurotransmitters, endorphins, and dopamine it uses for therapeutic benefits.

Given the foundational perspective that the rising sun world isn’t anything that we create but rather the basic nature of reality, something we discover; the practice of “seeing all beings as Buddhas, all sounds as Mantra, and all thoughts as Wisdom” becomes—not any kind of self-imposed delusion; but rather, a skillful means to realizing who and what we really are.

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Quotes (81)

“They feel no wear, they feel no tear, they need no mending, no repair.”

Lao Tzu 老子 1 via Witter Bynner
from Way of Life According to Lao Tzu

“When you are living in darkness, why don't you look for the light?”

Buddha गौतम बुद्ध 563 – 483 BCE via Eknath Easwaran
(Siddhartha Shakyamuni Gautama)
Awakened Truth
from Dhammapada धम्मपद

“The sage honors his inborn, basic goodness rising in influence when sanity reigns in society; enduring protected by silence when the Way does not prevail.”

Zisi 子思 481 – 402 BCE via Daniel K. Gardner, Shan Dao
(Kong Ji or Tzu-Ssu)
Confucius' grandson and early influence on Neo-Confucianism
from Doctrine of the Mean, Maintaining Perfect Balance, Zhongyong 中庸

“Holiness is a word I love to hear. It sounds like wings to me, wings brushing the world, grazing my life.”

Euripides 480 – 406 BCE via Philip Vellacott
Ancient humanitarian influence continuing today
from Bacchae Βάκχαι

“If but one virtue—mutual love—could be made universal, the strong would not make prey of the weak; the many would not plunder the few, the rich would not insult the poor, the noble would not be insolent to the mean; and the deceitful would not impose upon the simple.”

Mozi 墨子 470 – 391 BCE via Friedrich Hirth, Shan Dao
Chinese personification of Newton, da Vinci, and Jesus

“When the ruler view his ministers as his hands and feet, they regard him as their heart and soul. When he views them as dirt and weeds, they regard him as an enemy and a thief.”

Mencius 孟子 372 – 289 BCE
from Book of Mencius 孟子

17. True Leaders

“Give a ceremonial bath to your mind!
Light comes from darkness, predicables from the formless, life springs into existence without a visible source, disappears into infinity.”

Chuang Tzu 莊周 369 – 286 BCE via Lin Yutang, Shan Dao

“Like small hills that pile up and become a mountain, like streams that flow into one another and become a great river; the good leader unites all and makes a unified effort and a unified nation possible”

Chuang Tzu 莊周 369 – 286 BCE via Lin Yutang, Shan Dao

from Zhuangzi

“Who then is free? The wise man who commands his passions, who fears not death, nor chain, firmly resisting his appetites and despising the honors of the world, who relies wholly on himself, whose angular points of character have all been rounded off and polished.”

Horace 65 – 8 BCE

“All other creatures look down toward the earth, but man was given a face so that might turn his eyes toward the stars and his gaze upon the sky.”

Ovid oʊvɪd 43 BCE – 18 CE
(Publius Ovidius Naso)
Great poet and major influence on the Renaissance, Humanism, and world literature

“The infinite universe stands always before your eyes.”

Jianzhi Sengcan 鑑智僧璨 529 – 606 CE
(Jiànzhì Sēngcàn)
from Hsin Hsin Ming

“Our very nature is buddha, and apart from this nature there is no other buddha.”

Huineng 惠能 638 – 713 CE
(Huìnéng, Enō)
The Sutra of Hui Neng

35. The Power of Goodness

“How miraculous and wondrous, hauling water and carrying firewood!”

Layman Pang 龐居士 740 – 808 CE

34. An Unmoored Boat

“Not holding on to reality, not getting stuck in the void, you are neither holy nor wise, just an ordinary person”

Layman Pang 龐居士 740 – 808 CE

“Out of the ground that is our actual nature, pure pleasure spontaneously arises”

Medhini མེ་དྷི་ནཱི། 1 via Ken Dowman
(The Tired Farmer)
Mahasiddha #50

“Bei Zhu was able to contest this case forcefully at court and did not pretend acquiescence. If every matter is handled this way, what cause will there be to worry about misgovernment?”

Sima Guang 司马光 1019 – 1086 CE via Wm. Theodore de Bary and Irene Bloom

"Greatest of all Chinese historians”
from Book of History

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

Li Xizhai 1 via Red Pine
(Li Hsi-Chai)
from Tao-te-chen-ching yi-chieh

52. Cultivating the Changeless

“Since these enlightened qualities—identical in permeating all buddhas and ordinary beings alike—are already and forever present, they are not obscure by the darkness of flaws and faults.”

Longchenpa ཀློང་ཆེན་རབ་འབྱམས་པ། 1308 – 1364 CE via Padma Translation Committee
(Longchen Rabjampa, Drimé Özer)
from The Basic Space of Phenomena

“At rest, however, in the middle of everything is the sun.”

Copernicus, Nicolaus​ 1473 – 1543 CE
Creator of one of history's greatest revolutions
from De revolutionibus orbium coelestium

“The wise rule the world through selflessness. All things come to them because they are one with all things.”

Deqing 1546 – 1623 CE

35. The Power of Goodness

“This very earth is the Lotus Land of purity,
And this very body is the Body of the Buddha.”

Hakuin Ekaku 白隠 慧鶴 1686 – 1769 CE

“The most important decision you make is to be in a good mood.”

Voltaire, François-Marie Arouet 1694 – 1778 CE

50. Claws and Swords

“I do believe we shall continue to growl, to multiply and prosper until we exhibit an association, powerful, wise and happy, beyond what has yet been seen by men.”

Thomas Jefferson 1743 – 1826 CE
from Letter to John Adams, 1812

“He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses joy as it flies by
Will live in eternity's sunrise.”

William Blake 1757 – 1827 CE

34. An Unmoored Boat

“Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life. The evening beam that smiles the clouds away, and tints tomorrow with prophetic ray.”

Lord Byron 1788 – 1824 CE
(George Gordon Byron)
The first rock-star style celebrity

“although the absurd, as a rule, predominates, and it seems impossible that the voice of the individual can ever penetrate through the chorus of the befooling and the befooled, there yet remains to the genuine works of every age, a quite peculiar, silent, slow, and powerful influence and, as if by a miracle, we see them rise at last out of the turmoil like a balloon that floats up out of the thick atmosphere of this globe into purer regions”

Arthur Schopenhauer 1788 – 1860 CE
from The World as Will and Idea (1844)

“Swift as a spirit hastening to his task
Of glory and of good, the Sun sprang forth
Rejoicing in his splendor, and the mask
Of darkness fell from the awakened Earth.”

Percy Bysshe Shelley 1792 – 1822 CE
from The Triumph of Life

“A day will come when there will be no battlefields, but markets opening to commerce and minds opening to ideas. A day will come when the bullets and bombs are replaced by votes, by universal suffrage, by the venerable arbitration of a great supreme senate which will be to Europe what Parliament is to England, the Diet to Germany, and the Legislative Assembly to France.”

Victor Hugo 1802 – 1885 CE
Literary pioneer, poet, and social justice provocateur
from Opening address, Peace Congress, 1875

“Great men are they who see that spiritual is stronger than any material force, that thoughts rule the world.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803 – 1882 CE
Champion of individualism
from Progress of Culture

“Up, up, up and up!
Face your game and play it!
The night is past, behold the sun!
The idols fall, the lie is done!”

Charles Kingsley 1819 – 1875 CE
Founder of Christian Socialism in England
from Alton Locke, 1848

“the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive, for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on un-historic acts, and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life and rest in unvisited tombs.”

George Eliot 1819 – 1880 CE
(Mary Anne Evans)
Pioneering literary outsider

from Middlemarch

“Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you.”

Walt Whitman 1819 – 1892 CE
Premier "poet of democracy" and model for Dracula

“And so, onwards... along a path of wisdom, with a hearty tread, a hearty confidence… be your own source of experience., throw off your discontent, forgive yourself, merge everything you have lived through.”

Friedrich Nietzsche 1844 – 1900 CE via Shan Dao, et alia
from Human All Too Human - A Book for Free Spirits

“Optimism is a kind of heart stimulant—the digitalis of failure.”

Elbert Hubbard 1856 – 1915 CE
from A Thosand and One Epigrams, 1911

“To rejoice in life, to find the world beautiful and delightful to live in, was a mark of the Greek spirit, which distinguished it from all that had gone before. It is a vital distinction.”

Edith Hamilton 1867 – 1963 CE
from The Greek Way, 1930

“Faith is not belief. Belief is passive. Faith is active.”

Edith Hamilton 1867 – 1963 CE

“how full the world is of sounds commonly unheard, and of sights commonly unseen, but in their nature, like the smallest blossoms, of a curious perfection and beauty”

David Grayson 1870 – 1946 CE
(Ray Stannard Baker)
One of the most insightful journalists, historians, and biographers of his time

from Great Possessions

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

Winston Churchill 1874 – 1965 CE

23. Nothing and Not

“I daily weigh up my whole life and continue in the fiery brilliance of a sacred world far higher than the suicidal ashes of rationality.”

Carl Jung 1875 – 1961 CE via Shan Dao
Insightful shamanistic scientist
from Red Book, Liber Novus

“Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life.”

Albert Einstein 1879 – 1955 CE

“A New Era has begun, one based on cooperation, equal rights, respect for labor, enlightenment, and on the perception of the beauty of Spiritual Leadership in its myriad manifestations of primal, or psychic energy.”

Helena Roerich Елéна Ивáновна Рéрих 1879 – 1955 CE

“Your daily life is your temple and your religion.”

Kahlil Gibran 1883 – 1931 CE
from The Prophet

“When I encounter a sunrise, a painting, a woman, or an idea that makes my heart bound like a young calf, then I know that I am standing in front of happiness... Throughout my life this has served me as an infallible sign.”

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

“A stumbling block to the pessimist is a stepping-stone to the optimist.”

Eleanor Roosevelt 1884 – 1962 CE

23. Nothing and Not

“Childhood may be defined as the age of play; therefore some children are never young, and some adults are never old.”

Will Durant 1885 – 1981 CE
Philosophy apostle and popularizer of history's lessons
from Fallen Leaves (2014)

“Shelley was an iconoclast, a fighter against the commonplace and against corruption. He was the singer of man's emancipation.”

George Seldes 1890 – 1995 CE
Pioneering investigative journalist and champion of the exposé
from Great Quotations, 1960

“If men cease to believe that they will one day become gods then they will surely become worms.”

Henry Miller 1891 – 1980 CE
from Colossus of Maroussi (1941)

“[Recipe for a rising-sun world]: Take twenty sexually satisfied couples and their offspring; add science, intuition and humor in equal quantities; steep in Tantrik Buddhism and simmer indefinitely in an open pan in the open air over a brisk flame of affection.”

Aldous Huxley 1894 – 1963 CE
from Island

“what is this heaven and earth except a vast play of forces, of rays shooting, waves vibrating, colors changing, vapors rising, mists descending, clouds sailing, waters falling, the sun setting, the moon rising, grass growing, and all things aspiring to live in the light of the sun?”

Lín Yǔtáng 林語堂 1895 – 1976 CE
from On the Wisdom of America, 1950

“A person seeking to end violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party… they are only concerned with the total understanding of mankind.”

Krishnamurti 1895 – 1986 CE
(Jiddu Krishnamurti)

“Good is all that serves life, evil is all that serves death. Good is reverence for life... and all that enhances life. Evil is all that stifles life, narrows it down, cuts it to pieces.”

Erich Fromm 1900 – 1980 CE
One of the most powerful voices of his era promoting the true personal freedom beyond social, political, religious, and national belief systems
from Saturday Review (1964)

“We are the earth, we are the consciousness of the earth. These are the eyes of the earth and this is the voice of the earth.”

Joseph Campbell 1904 – 1987 CE
Great translator of ancient myth into modern symbols
from Power of Myth

“If a man achieves or suffers change in premises which are deeply embedded in his mind, he will surely find that the results of that change will ramify throughout his whole universe.”

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

“Optimism disregards the present but is a source of inspiration, of vitality, and hope when other have given up. It empowers us with confidence and enables us to claim the future instead of abandoning it to an enemy.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer 1906 – 1945 CE via Eberhard Bethge, Shan Dao
from After Ten Years, 1953

“Hooray! Hooray! The end of the world has been postponed!”

Hergé 1907 – 1983 CE
(Georges Prosper Remi )
Intrepid reporter of world culture

“The everyday practice is just ordinary life itself.”

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche དིལ་མགོ་མཁྱེན་བརྩེ། 1910 – 1991 CE
"Mind" incarnation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
from Maha Ati

47. Effortless Success

“The everyday practice is just ordinary life itself.”

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche དིལ་མགོ་མཁྱེན་བརྩེ། 1910 – 1991 CE
"Mind" incarnation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
from Maha Ati

47. Effortless Success

“The everyday practice is just ordinary life itself.”

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche དིལ་མགོ་མཁྱེན་བརྩེ། 1910 – 1991 CE
"Mind" incarnation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
from Maha Ati

47. Effortless Success

“adapt the work to the needs of the worker rather than demand that the worker adapt himself to the needs of the work”

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

“We must convert religion to religion that transcends religion, return philosophy to its original purity, and replace science with a science that rejects modern science.”

Masanobu Fukuoka 福岡 正信 1913 – 2008 CE
from Road Back to Nature

“The purpose of life is to nurture our souls.”

Masanobu Fukuoka 福岡 正信 1913 – 2008 CE via Shan Dao
from Road Back to Nature

“In whatever arena of life one may meet the challenge of courage, whatever may be the sacrifices he faces if he follow his conscience - the loss of his friends, his fortune, his contentment, even the esteem of his fellow men - each man must decide for himself the course he will follow. The stories of past courage can define that ingredient - they can teach, they can offer hope, they provide inspiration. But they cannot supply courage itself. For this each man must look into his own soul.”

John Kennedy 1917 – 1963 CE
Modern America's most popular president

from Profiles in Courage

“People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong. Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?”

Thích Nhất Hạnh tʰǐk ɲɜ̌t hɐ̂ʔɲ 1926 CE –

“There is one, and only one solution, and we have almost no time to try it. We must turn all our resources to repairing the natural world, and train all our young people to help. They want to; we need to give them this last chance to create forests, soils, clean waters, clean energies, secure communities, stable regions, and to know how to do it from hands-on experience.”

Bill Mollison 1928 – 2016 CE
Permaculture's Founder-Father

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

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

“Sí, se puede (Spanish for ‘Yes, it is possible’ or, roughly, ‘Yes, one can’)”

Dolores Huerta 1930 CE –

“Desire, any sort of gaining idea only distorts and diminishes the natural progression of wisdom into enlightened society.”

Shan Dao 山道 1933 CE –

“What I stand for is what I stand on.”

Wendell Berry 1934 CE –

14. Finding and Following the Formless Form

“when we say that human beings are basically good, we mean that they have every faculty they need, so that they don’t have to fight with their world.”

Chögyam Trungpa 1939 – 1987 CE
from Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior

10. The Power of Goodness

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

John Lennon 1940 – 1980 CE

72. Helpful Fear

“Take a sad song and make it better… it's a fool who plays it cool by making his world a little colder”

Paul McCartney 1942 CE – via Hey Jude
(Sir James Paul McCartney)

“Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
It's been a long cold lonely winter, it feels like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces”

George Harrison 1943 – 2001 CE
Guitar-playing philanthropist

“Religion isn't about believing things. It's about what you do. It's ethical alchemy. It's about behaving in a way that changes you, that gives you intimations of holiness and sacredness.”

Karen Armstrong 1944 CE –
Champion of the Golden Rule and perennial philosophy

“Love the life you live. Live the life you love.”

Bob Marley 1945 – 1981 CE

“The ultimate goal of meditation is to transform yourself to better transform the world.”

Matthieu Ricard माथ्यु रिका 1946 CE –
"The happiest person in the world”

“We all live in stories, so called grand narratives. Nation is a story. Family is a story. Religion is a story. Community is a story. We all live within and with these narratives… and need to constantly examine them… that’s the definition of any living vibrant society—constantly questioning those stories. The argument itself is freedom… that's how societies grow.”

Salman Rushdie 1947 CE –
Fearless antagonist of Islamic fundamentalism

“always there are people who know how to gather the essence of life and hold it safely, protect it and nurture it until the next seeding”

Peter Kingsley 1953 CE –
from A Story Waiting to Pierce You

“Pessimists are usually right and optimists are usually wrong but all the great changes have been accomplished by optimists.”

Thomas L. Friedman 1953 CE –

“Two centuries ago a handful of countries, embracing 1% of the world’s people, were democratic; today, more than half of the world’s countries, embracing 55% of its people, are… Secular liberal democracies are the happiest and healthiest places on earth, and the favorite destinations of people who vote with their feet.”

Steven Pinker 1954 CE –
Humanistic scientist, insightful cultural commentaror
from Enlightenment Now

“We live longer, suffer less, learn more, get smarter, and enjoy more small pleasures and rich experiences. Fewer of us are killed, assaulted, enslaved, oppressed, or exploited by others... peace and properity are growing and could someday encompass the globe.”

Steven Pinker 1954 CE –
Humanistic scientist, insightful cultural commentaror
from Enlightenment Now

“treating people well in any economy is more cost effective than not… The best companies almost always make it through hard times because the people rally to make sure they do.”

Simon Sinek 1973 CE –
from Leaders Eat Last

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