Daily Dispatch

What I Learned From An Ancient Chinese Text On Living

I recently finished ‘Tao Te Ching’ a book written in the 6th century, by Lao-Tzu, an ancient Chinese philosopher, writer, and founder of ‘Taoism’. Taoism is a philosophical tradition originating in China some 2000 years ago that includes many practices, self-development being the one that I plan on exploring in this post.

Below, is everything that I came away with from ‘Tao Te Ching’, which is considered the fundamental text for the philosophy of the Taoism practice. I hope that others may find the teachings of Lao-Tzu, just as applicable today, as when they were written, 2000 years ago.

“No self-interest?
Self is fulfilled.”

“Live in a good place.
Keep your mind deep.
Treat others well.
Stand by your word.
Make fair rules.
Do the right thing.
Work when it’s time.”

“Having leads to profit,
Not having leads to use.”

“Those who control fail.
Those who grasp, lose.”

“Knowing others is intelligent.
Knowing yourself is enlightened.

Conquering others takes force.
Conquering yourself is true strength.

Knowing what is enough is wealth.
Forging ahead shows inner resolve.

Hold your ground and you will last long.
Die without perishing and your life will endure.”

“Look –
You won’t see it.
Listen –
You won’t hear it.
Use it –
You will never use it up.”

“We gain by losing.
Lose by gaining.”

“Name or body: which is closer?
Body or possessions: which means more?
Gain or loss: which one hurts?

Extreme love exacts a great price.
Many possessions entail heavy loss.

Know what is enough –
Abuse nothing.

Know when to stop-
Harm nothing.

This is how to last a long time.”

“There is no greater calamity
Than not knowing what is enough.

There is no greater fault
Than desire for success.

Therefore,
Knowing that enough is enough
Is always
Enough.”

“Purse knowledge, gain daily.”

“Bad fortune rests upon good fortune.
Good luck hides within bad luck.”

“There is nothing that cannot be overcome.”

“A thousand-mile journey
Begins with a single step.”

“People commonly ruin their work
When they are near success.
Proceed at the end as the beginning
And your work won’t be ruined.”

“I have three treasures
To maintain and conserve:
The first is compassion.
The second is frugality.
The third is not presuming
To be first under heaven.

Compassion leads to courage.
Frugality allows generosity.
Not presuming to be first
Creates a lasting instrument.

Nowadays,
People reject compassion
But want to be brave,
Reject frugality,
But want to be generous,
Reject humility
And want to come first.”

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