Sayings of Taoist Sages


Tao Te Ching, by Lao-Tzu

Lao-Tzu divided the Tao Te Ching into two parts: The Tao or the Way, and Te, 'virtue'. But this does not mean virtue in the Western sense of moral and ethical correctness; it is rather the innate virtue of the world - its essential properties.

The Taoist adept will strive for understanding of these and this will inform his or her whole life and being. True te is uncontrived, unforced naturalness with which the wise man will handle practical affairs, putting his own wishes and desires in line with the natural flow of outside events and phenomena.


The Tranquil Taoist

According to the book of Chuang-tzu, an old man is seen by some followers of Confucious swimming in a raging torrent; suddenly, he disappears. The pupils of Confucious rush to save him, but the man reaches the bank entirely unaided. Asked how he had pulled off this remarkable feat of survival, the man replied that he had simply let himself go with the descending and ascending currents in the water. The true Taoist, in other words, moulds his senses, body and mind until they are at one with the currents of the world without.

From Sacred Symbols, Tao

Within the Soul of the Earth we find our Essence and the Joy of the Tao.

The Professor - Master of Nothingness

Universal Path of the Tao

All Spiritual and Religious Paths seek
The natural flow of the universe--
The Tao, which literally means the Way,
Is the way of nature and universe.

The Tao is the path of our natural reality
About the world, our spiritual path & ourselves.
It is the real practice of body, mind & spirit;
Not just a philosophy of the mind.
When you have the true sense of it's meaning,
It's true knowledge and wisdom,
You will be able to make
The correct decisions in your life.

The Tao is not a religion or science
Requiring no initiations or ceremonies;
And its truth goes beyond
Any one single path or view.

The Tao is the outcome of all religions
Leaving them behind as seasons change,
Yet it transcends all religion & science
But still contains their essence.

Tao Te Ching


Look at it you can not see it!
It's Name is Formless!
Listen to it you can not hear it!
It's name is soundless.
Grasp it but you cannot get it!
It's name is Incorporeal.

These three attributes are unfathomable,
Therefore they fuse into one.

It's upperside is not bright:
It's underside not dim.
Continually the unnameable moves on,
Until it returns beyond the realm of things.

We call it the formless Form, the imageless Image.
We call it the indefinable and unimaginable.

Confront it and you do not see it's face!
Follow it and you do not see it's back!
Yet equipped with this timeless Tao,
You can harness present realities.

To know the origins is initiation into the Tao.

- by Lao Tzu


Chapter 8 - Tao Te Ching

The Highest form of goodness is like water
Water knows how to benefit all things without striving with them.
It stays in places loathed by all men
Therefore it comes near the Tao.

More from the Dao De Jing


Heaven and Earth last forever.
Why do heaven and Earth last forever?
They are unborn, So ever living.
The sage stays behind, thus he is ahead.
He is detached, thus at one with all.
Through selfless action, he attains fulfillment.

Dao De Jing - Chapter 7

Knowing ignorance is strength.
Ignoring knowledge is sickness.
If one is sick of sickness, then one is not sick.
The sage is not sick because he is sick of sickness.
Therefore he is not sick.

Dao De Jing - Chapter 71

Quotes: Laozi

The softest thing in the universe Overcomes the hardest thing in the universe
That without substance can enter where there is no room
Hence I know the value of non-action
Teaching without words and work without doing
Are understood by very few.

from Tao of Power (Dao De Jing)

Passage 81: Sages do not accumulate. The more they do for others, the more they gain. The more they give to others, the more they possess.

Passage 77: Sages act without expectation, succeed without taking credit, and have no desire to display their excellence.

Passage2: Sages hold their position without effort, practice their philosophy without words, are a part of all things and overlook nothing. They produce but do not possess, act without expectation, succeed without taking credit.

Passage 7: Sages put themselves last, and yet they are first. Put themselves outside, and yet they remain. Is it not because they are without self-interest that their interests succeed?

Passage 70: Sages wear a coarse cloth covering with precious jade at the center.

Self-Mastery from Tao of Power (Dao De Jing)

Passage 33:

Those who know others are intelligent; those who know themselves have insight.
Those who master others have force; those who master themselves have strength.
Those who know what is enough are wealthy.
Those who persevere have aspiration.
Those who maintain their position endure.
And those who die and yet do not perish, live on

Passage 22:

Sages do not display themselves, therefore they are illuminated.
They do not define themselves, therefore they are distinguished.
They do not make claims, therefore they are credited.
They do not boast, therefore they advance.
Since, indeed, they do not compete, the world cannot compete with them.

Passage 49:

Sages have no fixed mind; they make the mind of the people their mind. To those who are kind, I am kind; to those who are not kind, I am also kind. Kindness is virtue. To those who trust, I am trusting; to those who do not trust, I am also trusting. Trust is virtue. The sages in the world attract the world and merge with its mind. The people all focus their eyes and ears; sages all act as infants.

A Sage as leader... from Tao of Power (Dao De Jing),

Passage 66:

The rivers and seas lead the hundred streams, because they are skillful at staying low.
Thus they are able to lead the hundred streams.
Therefore, to rise above people, one must, in speaking, stay below them.
To remain in front of people, one must put oneself behind them.
Therefore Sages remain above, and yet the people are not weighted down. They remain in front, and the people are not held back.
Therefore the world willingly elects them, and yet it does not reject them. Because they do not compete, the world cannot compete with them.

More Tao Quotes

It (the Tao) loves and nourishes all things but it doesn't lord it over them. Lao Tzu

Thus, those who say they would have right without its correlate, wrong; or good government without its correlate, misrule, do not apprehend the great principles of the universe, nor the nature of all creation. - Chuang Tzu

When the Great Tao is lost, we have "goodness" and "righteousness." When wisdom" and "sagacity" arise we have great hypocrites - Lao Tzu

When everyone knows beauty as beautiful, there is already ugliness;
When everyone knows goodness as goodness, there is already evil.

"To be" and "not to be" arise mutually - Lao Tzu

Perfect happiness is the absence of striving for happiness. Chuang Tzu

Do you imagine the universe is agitated? Go into the desert at night and look at the stars. This practice should answer the question. Lao Tzu

The name that can be named is not the real name - Lao Tzu

As you return to Oneness, do not think of it or be in awe of it. This is just another way of separating from it. Simply merge into truth, and allow it to surround you - Lao Tzu

By grasping the Tao that was of old, you can master the present era of private property. Lao Tzu

All the fish needs to do is get lost in the water.
All man needs to do is get lost in the Tao. - Chuang Tzu

All men desire to free themselves solely from death; they do not know how to free themselves from life. Lao Tzu

How can I forget "me" when everything is designed to remember me of myself?

The perfect man has no self; the spiritual man has no achievement; the sage has no name. Chuang Tzu

Alone I am and different because I prize and seek sustenance from the Mother (Tao) Lao Tzu

To recognize what is beyond your ability to change, and to be content with this as your destiny - that is truly a sign of virtue. Chuang Tzu

The highest sage shares his moral possessions with others. The next in wisdom shares his material possessions with others - Lieh Tze

The perfect man has no self, because he has transcended the finite and identified himself with the Universe - Chuang Tzu

Forget about being separated from others and from the Divine Source - Lao Tzu

To be selfless is to be all-pervading. To be all pervading is to be transcendent. Lao Tzu

To embrace all things means also that one rids oneself of any concept of separation: male or female, self or other, life and death. Division is contrary to the nature of the Tao - Lao Tzu

What is springs from what is not - Lao Tzu

To the mind that is still the whole universe surrenders - Lao Tzu

If there is no other, there can be no I. If there is no I, there will be none to make distinctions - Chuang Tzu

To embrace all is to be selfless - Lao Tzu

The man who is not divorced from the great source is the natural man - Chuang Tzu

What is this place where thought is useless?
Knowledge and emotion cannot fathom it! Yumen

How can I forget "me" when everything is designed to remember me of myself?

The perfect man has no self; the spiritual man has no achievement; the sage has no name. Chuang Tzu

Flexibility Masters Hardness - Tao


Tao abides in non-action. Yet nothing is left undone - Lao Tzu

How can I be still? By flowing with the Stream - Lao Tzu

I take no action and people are reformed.
I enjoy peace and people become honest.
I use no force and people become rich - Lao Tzu

Let everything be allowed to what it naturally does

The Five Fingers of the Tao Dimension How we
relate to:
The Eternal Transcendent Tao Mystical Spirit
Mother Tao, Source of all things Cosmological Nature
The Tao of the Great Mergence Psychological Soul
The Tao of the Ten Thousand Things Scientific Work / Art
The Social Tao, the Way of Humanity Sociological Society

Table excerpt from The Tao of Abundance - Eight Principles for abundant living, by Laurence Boldt


related books:

Barefoot Doctor's Guide to the Tao, A spiritual Handbook for the Urban Warrior UK / US
*****'The Tao of Abundance' - Eight Principles for Abundant living by Laurence Boldt - (UK - lots of Taoist wisdom & quotes by Lao Tzu & Chuang Tzu - straightforward - clear - good summary of living in accordance with the Tao.
*****The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine - Theory of Yin & Yang - Classic
The Essential Chuang Tzu Translated by Sam Hamill, J.P Seaton Eastern Philosophy, Taoism paperback

Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching A Book about the Way and the Power of the Way By Ursula K. Le Guin (UK / US)

Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching Timothy Freke, (UK / US)

Te-Tao Ching Lao-Tzu, Robert G Henricks (UK / US)


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