TheTao of Lao-tzu

Lao-tzu and Confucius

"The Tao Teh King"


There was something undefined and yet complete in itself born before heaven and earth:  I style it Tao.

Man follows the ways of earth, earth follows the ways of heaven, heaven follows the ways of Tao, Tao follows its own way.

Tao is always nameless.  The Tao is to the world what a great river is to streams and brooks.

The Great Tao is universal like a flood.  All creatures depend on it.  It denies nothing to anyone.

He who holds the great Symbol will attract all things to him.  The words of Tao possess lasting effects, though they may appeal neither to the eye nor the ear.

The Tao is like an empty bowl which in being used can never be filled.  Fathomless it seems to be the origin of all things, it unites all tangles, it unites the world into one whole.  It seems to be the common ancestor of all, the Father of all things.

To return to the root is to find peace, to find peace is ot fulfill one's destiny.  See the simple and embrace the primal, diminish the self and curb the desires.

How do I know the way of all things at the Beginning?  By what is within me.  He who cultivates the Tao is one with the Tao.  He who practices virtue is one with virtue.

When a wise scholar hears the Tao, he practices it diligently.  When a mediocre scholar hears the Tao, he wavers between belief and unbelief.  When a worthless scholar hears the Tao, he laughs boisterously at it.  Losing the way of life, Tao, men relay first on their fitness, they turn to kindness; losing kindness, they turn to justice; losing justice, they turn to convention.  To know harmony is to know the Changeless, to know the Changeless is to have insight.

Whatever is against Tao soon ceases to be.  A tree as big as a man's embrace, springs from a tiny sprout.  A journey of a thousand leagues starts from where your feet stand.

Man, born tender and yielding, stiffens and hardens in death.  Men who have hardened are kin of death, men who stay gentle are kin of life.  When the hard-fleshed tree is cut down, up comes the tender sprig.


Could we conquer self and turn to courtesy for but one day, all mankind would turn to love.

Love makes a spot beautiful; who chooses not to dwell in love, has he got wisdom?

Love is to mete out five things to all below heaven; modesty and bounty, truth, earnestness and kindness.

To love mankind is to love; to know mankind is wisdom.

Love is never vexed; wisdom has no doubts; courage is without fear.  Strength and courage, simplicity and meekness, are akin to love.

Exalt the straight, put aside the crooked, and the crooked will grow straight.

Neglect of what is good in me, want of thoroughness in study, failure to do the right when told me, lack of strength to overcome faults, these are my sorrows.

The four things the Master taught were culture, conduct, faithfulness and truth.  Make faithfulness and truth thy masters; have no frirends unlike thyself; be not ashamed to mend thy faults; with thought for far-off things there will be trouble near at hand.