Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Nicholas Roerich

Power

Quotes (119)

“When yang has reached its greatest strength, the dark power of yin is born within its depths; night begins at midday when yang breaks up and begins to change into yin.”

Fu Xi 伏羲 c. 2852–2737 BCE via Richard Wilhelm
Emperor/shaman progenitor of civilization symbol
from I Ching

Themes: Change Power

45. Complete Perfection

“He was a rebel, a troublemaker. They say he died for your sins but that is not the truth. He refused to be cowed, controlled. And now look at the power he wields, the worship he commands.”

Makeda, Queen of Sheba 10th C. BCE via American Gods (tr: Neil Gaiman)
(Bilkis, Rainha de Sabá)
Embodiment of Divine Wisdom

Themes: Power

“Only those not seduced and controlled by something external will remain unmanipulated, uncorrupted by power.”

Lao Tzu 老子 604 BCE - via Shan Dao, chapter #13
(Lǎozǐ)
from Tao Te Ching 道德经 Dàodéjīng

“Those who would take over the world never succeed... The wise never over-reach, over-spend, or over-rate.”

Lao Tzu 老子 604 BCE - via Witter Bynner, Shan Dao #29
(Lǎozǐ)
from Way of Life According to Lao Tzu

Themes: Power Humility

29. Not Doing

“Chasing fame, fortune, pleasure and power only drives us crazy.”

Lao Tzu 老子 604 BCE - via Shan Dao, chapter 12
(Lǎozǐ)
from Tao Te Ching 道德经 Dàodéjīng

“Don’t chase after fame, fortune, pleasure and power; but instead, find true joy.”

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

Themes: Fame Pleasure Power

“Protecting ourselves against defeat is in our own hands; the opportunity of defeating the enemy is in theirs.”

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

Themes: Power Enemy

“Circumstances rule men; men do not rule circumstances.”

Herodotus Ἡρόδοτος c. 484 - 425 BCE
“The Father of History”
from Histories

Themes: Power

“Do not mistake the rule of force for true power. Men are not shaped by force.”

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

Themes: Power Aggression

“Beauty is a short-lived tyranny.”

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

Themes: Beauty Power

12. This Over That

“True democracy is the renunciation of the struggle for power.”

Isocrates Ἰσοκράτης 436 – 338 BCE via Edith Hamilton

Themes: Power Democracy

“Absolute power is universally coveted, though all know that an absolute ruler has an anxious life and usually a violent death.”

Isocrates Ἰσοκράτης 436 – 338 BCE

Themes: Power

“Those who labor with their mind-and-hearts govern others; those who labor with their strength are governed by others. Those who are governed provide for others, those who govern are provided for by others.”

Mencius 孟子 372 – 289 BCE via Daniel K. Gardner
(Mengzi)
from Book of Mencius 孟子

“Sages do not need authority to be noble, do not need wealth to be rich, and do not need power to be strong. Peaceful and empty, they are not subject to outside influences; they fly freely with evolution.”

Liú Ān 劉安 c. 179–122 BCE via Thomas Cleary
(Huainanzi)
from Huainanzi

81. Journey Without Goal

“In a republic this rule ought to be observed: that the majority should not have the predominant power.”

Cicero 106 – 43 BCE
from De Re Publica, 54-51 BCE

Themes: Government Power

“There is no stronger test of a man's real character than power and authority, exciting as they do every passion and discovering every latent vice.”

Plutarch 46 – 120 CE
(Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus)

Themes: Power Leadership

“Except for extreme physical abuse, other people cannot hurt you unless you allow them to... Don't consent to be hurt and you won't be hurt—this is a choice over which you have control.”

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

Themes: Power

“He is the best of men who dislikes power.”

Muhammad محمد‎; محمد‎; 570 – 632 CE
from Koran

Themes: Power Leadership

“Transform the lust for power and riches into the desire to relate to all beings, destroy every demon that enters your mind.”

Kirapālapa ཀི་ར་པཱ་ལ་པ། 8th century CE
(Kirapalapa, "The Repentant Conqueror")
Mahasiddha #73

Themes: Power Wealth

“Hold fast to the primal and guard the One—it guards true power and can prolong the span of life.”

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

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

Themes: Longevity Power

“Why are you indulging your power in this useless fashion?”

Kambala ཀམྦ་ལ་པ། 9th Century CE via Keith Dowman
("The Black-Blanket-Clad Yogin")
Mahasiddha #30
from Masters of Enchantment

Themes: Power

“The mundane power of gods is delusory for they still retain the notion of self.”

Kukkuripa ཀུ་ཀྐུ་རི་པ། 915 CE –
("The Dog Lover")
Mahasiddha #34

Themes: Power Egolessness

“The wealth that comes from giving generously is inexhaustible. The power that arises from not accumulating is boundless”

Cao Daochong 道寵 fl. 960 - 1268
(​Daochong or Ts’ao Tao-Ch’ung)

Themes: Wealth Power

“through compassion, we learn to be soft. When we are soft, we can overcome the hardest thing in the world.”

Wang Anshi 王安石 1021 – 1086 CE

Themes: Compassion Power

67. Three Treasures

“If where you stand is reality, then your actions have power... it is there, pure and naked and full of life.”

Yuanwu Keqin 圜悟克勤 1063 – 1135 CE via J.C. and Thomas Cleary
(Yuánwù Kèqín)
from Zen Letters

Themes: Power Reality

“It is not by being richer or more powerful that a man becomes better; one is a matter of fortune, the other of virtue.”

Heloise 1090 – 1164 CE

Themes: Virtue Power

“Be as gentle as caressing an infant and atop the mountain, thunder will shake the earth.”

Sun Bu'er 1119 – 1182 CE via Shan Dao
from Secret Book on the Inner Elixir

Themes: Power Kindness

“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.”

Li Xizhai 12th century CE via Red Pine
(Li Hsi-Chai)
from Tao-te-chen-ching yi-chieh

Themes: Power Openness

58. Goals Without Means

“Wisdom creates power.”

Sakya Pandita ས་སྐྱ་པཎྜ་ཏ་ཀུན་དགའ་རྒྱལ་མཚན། 1182 – 1251 CE via John T. Davenport, Shan Dao #25
(Kunga Gyeltsen)
from Ordinary Wisdom, Sakya Legshe (Jewel Treasury of Good Advice)

Themes: Power Wisdom

“There is nothing more inglorious than that glory that is gained by war.”

Thomas More 1478 – 1535 CE
from Utopia

Themes: War Power

30. No War

“It is a strange desire to seek a Power that loses our liberty, a power over others that makes us lose power over ourselves. Those in high positions lose their freedom and become slaves to the state, to fame, and to business.”

Francis Bacon 1561 – 1626 CE via Shan Dao
from Of Goodness and the Goodness of Nature

“O how feeble is man's power, That if good fortune fall, Cannot add another hour, Nor a lost hour recall!”

John Donne 1572 – 1631 CE
from Songs and Sonnets

Themes: Power

21. Following Empty Heart

“In the first place, I put for a general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ends only in death.”

Thomas Hobbes 1588 – 1679 CE
from Leviathan

Themes: Power

“Let there be no unnecessary expenditure of either knowledge or power… too much display today and there will be nothing to show tomorrow.”

Balthasar Gracian 1601 – 1658 CE
from Art of Worldly Wisdom

Themes: Power

43. No Effort, No Trace

“Justice without force is powerless; force without justice is tyrannical.”

Blaise Pascal 1623 – 1662 CE
One of the greatest French writers of all time

Themes: Justice Power

“A person's rights are equivalent to his power.”

Baruch Spinoza 1632 – 1677 CE via Arthur Schopenhauer
from Ethics

Themes: Power

“Arbitrary power is the natural object of temptation to a prince, as wine and women to a young fellow, or a bribe to a judge, or avarice to old age, or vanity to a woman.”

Jonathan Swift 1667 – 1745 CE
"Foremost prose satirist in the English language"

from Thoughts on Various Subjects (1703)

Themes: Desire Power

“The Inquisition is well known to be an admirable and truly Christian invention for increasing the power of the popes and monks, and rendering the population of a whole kingdom hypocrites.”

Voltaire, François-Marie Arouet 1694 – 1778 CE via Raymond Naves,
from Philosophical Dictionary

Themes: Evil Power

“It is belied by all history and experience that the people are the origins of all just power.”

David Hume 1711 – 1776 CE
"One of the most important philosophers"

Themes: Power History

“No man has received from nature the right to command his fellow human beings.”

Diderot 1713 – 1784 CE

Themes: Power

“I may be kindly, I am ordinarily gentle, but in my line of business I am obliged to will terribly what I will at all.”

Catherine the Great Екатери́на Вели́кая 1729 – 1796 CE
(Catherine II)

Themes: Power

“competitiveness and desire for power are the beginnings of beckoning disaster in business and social relations.”

Liu Yiming 刘一明 1734 – 1821 CE via Thomas Cleary
(Liu I-ming)
from Taoist I Ching, , Zhouyi chanzhen 周易闡真

9. Know When to Stop

“In human life the most important scenes will depend upon the character of a single actor... An acrimonious humor falling upon a single fiber of one man my prevent or suspend the misery of nations.”

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

Themes: Power Karma

“It was the first care of the senate to dissolve those dangerous confederacies which taught mankind that, as the Roman arms prevailed by division, they might be resisted by union.”

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

“I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power, the greater it will be.”

Thomas Jefferson 1743 – 1826 CE
from Notes on the State of Virginia

17. True Leaders

“Remember the ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could.”

Abigail Adams 1744 – 1818 CE
One of the most exceptional women in American history

“I do not wish them [women] to have power over men; but over themselves. If women be educated for dependence; that is, to act according to the will of another fallible being, and submit, right or wrong, to power, where are we to stop?”

Mary Wollstonecraft 1759 – 1797 CE
Seminal feminist
from Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792)

“Scientific progress makes moral progress a necessity; for if man’s power is increased, the checks that restrain him from abusing it must be strengthened.”

Madame de Staël 1766 – 1817 CE
(Anne Louise Germaine de Staël-Holstein)
"The greatest woman of her time"

Themes: Science Power

“Want of principle is power.”

William Hazlitt 1778 – 1830 CE
One of the English languages best art and literature critics of all time

from Characteristics, 1823

Themes: Power

“The contest for ages has been to rescue liberty from the grasp of executive power.”

Daniel Webster 1782 – 1852 CE via Forbes
America's greatest orator

Themes: Power

“The continuation of authority in the same person has frequently proved the undoing of democratic governments. Repeated elections are essential to the system of popular governments, because there is nothing so dangerous as to suffer Power to be vested for a long time in one citizen. The people become accustomed to obeying him, and he becomes accustomed to commanding, hence the origin of usurpation and tyranny.”

Simon Bolivar Simón Bolívar 1783 – 1830 CE
El Libertador

Themes: Democracy Power

“The power of thought,—the magic of the mind!”

Lord Byron 1788 – 1824 CE
(George Gordon Byron)
The first rock-star style celebrity
from The Corsair (1814)

Themes: Magic Power

“Power, like a desolating pestilence,
Pollutes what'er it touches; and obedience,
Bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth,
Makes slaves of men, and of the human frame”

Percy Bysshe Shelley 1792 – 1822 CE
from Notes on Queen Mab, 1813

Themes: Power

“Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true.”

Balzac 1799 – 1850 CE
(Honoré de Balzac)

Themes: Strategy Power

“Nothing else in the world—not all the armies— is so powerful as an idea whose times has come... An invasion of armies can be resisted; an invasion of ideas cannot”

Victor Hugo 1802 – 1885 CE
Literary pioneer, poet, and social justice provocateur
from The Future of Man

Themes: Power

“You will have joy or you will have power, said God. You will not have both.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803 – 1882 CE
Champion of individualism

Themes: Power

“when citizens are all almost equal, it becomes difficult for them to defend their independence against the aggressions of power. As none of them is strong enough to fight alone with advantage, the only guarantee of liberty is for everyone to combine forces.”

Alexis de Tocqueville 1805 – 1859 CE
Pioneering researcher into the conflicts between freedom and equality

Themes: Power

“The ideally best form of government is that in which the sovereignty or supreme controlling power is vested in the entire aggregate of the community.”

John Stuart Mill 1806 – 1873 CE

Themes: Democracy Power

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.”

Abraham Lincoln 1809 – 1865 CE

Themes: Power

53. Shameless Thieves

“There will never be a really free and enlightened state until the state comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived.”

Henry David Thoreau 1817 – 1862 CE
Father of environmentalism and America's first yogi
from On the Duty of Civil Disobedience

38. Fruit Over Flowers

“When our hearts grow soft with infinite, universal, unquenchable love and we realize that each one of us is responsible for all of mankind and for every individual person, we will have the power to win over the whole world.”

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky Фёдор Миха́йлович Достое́вский 1821 – 1881 CE via Constance Garnett, Shan Dao
from Brothers Karamatzov

Themes: Love Victory Power

“Without hypocrisy, lying, punishments, prisons, fortresses and murders, no new power can arise and no existing one hold its own... thus efforts to get it are not likely to be coupled with goodness, but with the opposite qualities of pride, craft and cruelty.”

Leo Tolstoy 1828 – 1910 CE
from The Kingdom of God is Within You (1893)

Themes: Power Punishment

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men...”

Lord Acton 1834 – 1902 CE
(John Dalberg-Acton)
Prolific historian and politician

“Concentrated power can be always wielded in the interest of the few and at the expense of the many. Government in its last analysis is this power reduced to a science. Governments never lead; they follow progress. When the prison, stake or scaffold can no longer silence the voice of the protesting minority, progress moves on a step, but not until then.”

Lucy Parsons 1853 – 1942 CE
(Eldine Gonzalez)
Political activist “more dangerous than a thousand rioters”

“Power does not corrupt men; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power.”

George Bernard Shaw 1856 – 1950 CE via Stephen Winsten
UK playwright second only to Shakespeare

Themes: Power

“Government is founded on property, property is founded on conquest, and conquest is founded on Power.”

Arthur Desmond 1859 – 1929 CE
from Might Is Right

“Know the Power that is Peace.”

Black Elk 1863 – 1950 CE
(Heȟáka Sápa)

Themes: Power

61. Lying Low

“It does not occur to Nietzsche as possible that a man should genuinely feel universal love, obviously because he himself feels almost universal hatred and fear... it never occurred to him that the lust for power, with which he endows his superman, is itself an outcome of fear.”

Bertrand Russell 1872 – 1970 CE
“20th century Voltaire”
from History of Western Philosophy

Themes: Power

“Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad with power.”

Charles Beard 1874 – 1948 CE
(Austin)
Pioneering progressive historian

Themes: Power

“It is this radiance in women, more than any other quality, that urges men to every sort of heroism, be it martial or poetic... Woman possesses the power of perpetually creating in man the qualities she desires, and this is for her an infinitely grater power than the possession of those special qualities could ever confer upon her directly.”

Ananda Coomaraswamy குமாரசுவாமி 1877 – 1947 CE
Perennial philosophy's Citizen of the World
from The Dance of Shiva (1918)

“Power abdicates only under the stress of counter-power.”

Martin Buber מרטין בובר‎‎ 1878 – 1965 CE
from Paths in Eutopia, 1950

Themes: Power

“Spare me the political events and power struggles, as the whole earth is my homeland and all men are my fellow countrymen.”

Kahlil Gibran 1883 – 1931 CE

Themes: Competition Power

58. Goals Without Means

“The power of vested interests is vastly exaggerated compared with the gradual encroachment of ideas.”

John Maynard Keynes 1883 – 1946 CE
Revolutionary economist credited with saving capitalism

Themes: Power

“Power dements even more than it corrupts, lowering the guard of foresight and raising the haste of action.”

Will (and Ariel) Durant 1885 – 1981 CE
from Age of Napoleon

Themes: Power

“Progress in knowledge, science, comforts, and power is only progress in means; if there is no improvement in ends, purposes, or desires, progress is a delusion.”

Will (and Ariel) Durant 1885 – 1981 CE

80. A Golden Age

“I have not come into this world to make men better, but to make use of their weaknesses.”

Adolf Hitler 1889
the most immoral and cruel conqueror in human history

Themes: Power

“we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes… Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative. Together we must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower 1890 – 1969 CE

Themes: War Power

31. Victory Funeral

“As for the men in power, they are so anxious to establish the myth of their infallibility that they do their utmost to ignore truth.”

Boris Pasternak Бори́с Леони́дович Пастерна́к 1890 – 1960 CE
Russia's greatest poet
from Doctor Zhivago (1957)

Themes: Power

“The bitterest creature under heaven is the wife who discovers that her husband’s bravery is only bravado, that his strength is only a uniform, that his power is but a gun in the hands of a fool.”

Pearl Buck 1892 – 1973 CE
from To My Daughters, With Love (1967)

Themes: Marriage Power

“Of all social, moral, and spiritual problems, that of power is the most chronically urgent and the most difficult of solution... Growing with every successive satisfaction, the appetite for power can manifest itself indefinitely”

Aldous Huxley 1894 – 1963 CE
from Perennial Philosophy

Themes: Power

“Traditional human power structures and their reign of darkness are about to be rendered obsolete.”

Buckminster Fuller 1895 – 1983 CE

17. True Leaders

“Look at the world today… What madness there is! What blindness! A scurrying mass of bewildered humanity crashing headlong against each other. The time must come, my friend, when brutality and the lust for power must perish by its own sword. For when that day comes, the world must begin to look for a new life. And it is our hope that they may find it here.”

James Hilton 1900 – 1954 CE
from Lost Horizon

18. The Sick Society

“He directs the destiny of the nations, but he cannot direct his own destiny with dignity or wisdom for ten consecutive minutes.”

Thomas Wolfe 1900 – 1938 CE
(Thomas Clayton Wolfe)
Father of autobiographical fiction
from You Can't Go Home Again, 1940

“We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.”

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

Themes: Power

“Nationalism is inseparable from the desire for power... power hunger tempered by self-deception.”

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

Themes: Nationalism Power

“a clown is somebody sacred, funny, powerful, ridiculous holy, shameful, visionary. He is all this and then some more... He has a power, more power than the atom bomb”

John Fire Lame Deer 1903 – 1976 CE
from Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions

Themes: Power

“The power of life causes the snake to shed its skin, just as the moon sheds its shadow. The serpent sheds its skin to be born again, as the moon its shadow to be born again. They are equivalent symbols.”

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

Themes: Letting Go Power

“What is true is that the idea of power corrupts. Power corrupts most rapidly those who believe in it, and it is they who will want it most. Obviously, our democratic system tends to give power to those who hunger for it and gives every opportunity to those who don’t want power to avoid getting it. Not a very satisfactory arrangement if power corrupts those who believe in it and want it.”

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

“But the myth of power is, of course, a very powerful myth, and probably most people in this world more or less believe in it. It is a myth, which, if everybody believes in it, becomes to that extent self-validating. But it is still epistemological lunacy and leads inevitably to various sorts of disaster.”

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

Themes: Power Karma

“If people don't think they have the power to solve their problems, they won't even think about how to solve them.”

Saul Alinsky 1909 – 1972 CE
from Rules for Radicals

Themes: Power

“The Stoics thought that the attainment of these solutions was in the power of any man who set himself to live according to reason.”

Isaiah Berlin 1909 – 1997 CE
"the world's greatest talker"
from The Proper Study of Mankind

Themes: Power

“Reserved as he [Confucius] was about the supernatural, he was not without it; somewhere in the universe there was a power that was on the side of right.”

Huston Smith 1919 – 2016 CE

“The media's the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”

Malcolm X الحاجّ مالك الشباز‎‎ 1925 – 1965 CE

“Leadership is the wise use of power. Power is the capacity to translate intention into reality and sustain it.”

Warren Bennis 1925 – 2014 CE
Authentic Leadership pioneering thought leader

“By his silence Jesus recognizes power that is established as 'devil' and defines Himself as The Powerless. He who cannot accept this view on power cannot look at establishments through the spectacle of the Gospel. This is what clergy and churches often have difficulty doing.”

Ivan Illich 1926 – 2002 CE
"an archaeologist of ideas"

Themes: Power

“‘doing without doing’: uncompetitive, unworried, trustful accomplishment, power that is not force. An example or analogy might be a very good teacher, or the truest voice in a group of singers.”

Ursula Le Guin 1929 – 2018 CE

17. True Leaders

“No President can be great, or even fit for office, if he attempts to accommodate to injustice to maintain his political balance... it was this same attitude that made it possible for Lincoln to speak a kind word about the South during the Civil War when feeling was most bitter. Asked by a shocked bystander how he could do this, Lincoln said, 'Madam, do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?' This is the power of redemptive love.”

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

Themes: Power

“Lao Tzu sees rightful power as earned and wrongful power as usurped. He does not see power as virtue, but as the result of virtue. The democracies are founded on that view.”

Ursula Le Guin 1929 – 2018 CE

13. Honor and Disgrace

“Power expressed without foresight always returns eventually, reverses confidence into pathetic impotence.”

Thinley Norbu གདུང་སྲས་ཕྲིན་ལས་ནོར་བུ 1931 – 2011 CE
(Kyabjé Dungse)
from Magic Dance (1981)

Themes: Power Confidence

“All dictators, irrespective of epoch or country, have one common trait: they know everything, are experts on everything.”

Ryszard Kapuściński 1932 – 2007 CE
“One of the most credible journalists the world has ever seen"

Themes: Power

“When contemplated in its extreme, almost any power looks dangerous.”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg 1933 CE –
Fierce and influential voice for justice, equality, and women's rights

Themes: Power

“The great enemy of freedom is the alignment of political power with wealth. This alignment destroys the commonwealth - and so destroys democracy.”

Wendell Berry 1934 CE –

13. Honor and Disgrace

“I have as much authority as the Pope. I just don’t have as many people who believe it.”

George Carlin 1937 – 2008 CE
One of the most influential social commentators of his time

Themes: Power

17. True Leaders

“If you are willing to make a fool out of yourself, an absolutely perfects fool, then you get to be president.”

Chögyam Trungpa 1939 – 1987 CE
from Orderly Chaos — The Mandala Principle

Themes: Power

“For them that must obey authority
That they do not respect in any degree
Who despise their jobs, their destinies
Speak jealously of them that are free
Do what they do just to be
Nothing more than something
They invest in.”

Bob Dylan 1941 CE –

72. Helpful Fear

“music has the power to transform people, and in doing so… to transform situations”

Joan Baez 1941 CE –

Themes: Music Power

“Too many problem-solving sessions become battlegrounds where decisions are made based on power rather than intelligence.”

Meg Wheatley 1944 CE –
Bringing ancient wisdom into the modern world.

Themes: Problems Power

“Never before or since have women [the daughters of Genghis Khan] exercised so much power over so many people and ruled so much territory for a long as these women did.”

Jack Weatherford 1945 CE –
from Secret History of the Mongol Queens

“Freedom is not a universal value. Power is the universal value.”

J. Rufus Fears 1945 – 2012 CE

Themes: Freedom Power

“It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.”

Aung San Suu Kyi အောင်ဆန်းစုကြည် 1945 CE –

Themes: Power Fear

75. Greed

“You can imprison a person, but not an idea. You can exile a person, but not an idea. You can kill a person, but not an idea.”

Benazir Bhutto بينظير ڀُٽو‎; 1953 – 2007 CE
from Daughter of Destiny: An Autobiography

Themes: Inspiration Power

“Humiliation is the most underestimated force in international relations”

Thomas L. Friedman 1953 CE –

“Realizing you’re not king can be the first step toward getting some real power.”

Robert Wright 1957 CE –
from Why Buddhism is True

“Power is crack cocaine for your ego and battery acid for your soul.”

David Mitchell 1969 CE –

9. Know When to Stop

“In spite of their wealth and power, they swim in an ocean of pain, which is sometimes so deep that suicide seems the only escape. Such intense pain results from believing that objects or situations can create lasting happiness.”

Mingyur Rinpoche 1975 CE –
Modern-day Mahasiddha

from Joy of Living (2007)

Themes: Wealth Power

“In a world deluged by irrelevant information, clarity is power.

Yuval Harari יובל נח הררי‎ 1976 CE –
Israeli historian, professor, and philosopher

from 21 Lessons for the 21st Century

“We are more powerful than ever before, but have very little idea what to do with all that power... Time and again, massive increases in human power did not necessarily improve the well-being of individual Sapiens, and usually caused immense misery to other animals.”

Yuval Harari יובל נח הררי‎ 1976 CE –
Israeli historian, professor, and philosopher

from Sapiens

Themes: Power

“As a species, humans prefer power to truth... Truth and power can travel together only so far. If you want power, at some point you will have to spread fictions... whether Christian priests, Confucian mandarins, or Communist ideologues—placed unity above truth. That's why they were so powerful.”

Yuval Harari יובל נח הררי‎ 1976 CE –
Israeli historian, professor, and philosopher

from 21 Lessons for the 21st Century

Themes: Power

“Let us pick up our books and our pens, they are the most powerful weapons.”

Malala Yousafzai ملالہ یوسفزئی 1997 CE –
from I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

Themes: Power

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