To know yet to think that one does not know is best; Not to know yet to think that one knows will lead to difficulty.
Ambition has one heel nailed in well, though she stretch her fingers to touch the heavens.
In the world there is nothing more submissive and weak than water. Yet for attacking that which is hard and strong nothing can surpass it.
The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao; the name that can be named is not the eternal name. The Nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth; the Named is the mother of all things.
Heaven is long-enduring, and earth continues long. The reason why heaven and earth are able to endure and continue thus long is because they do not live of, or for, themselves.
Man takes his law from the Earth; the Earth takes its law from Heaven; Heaven takes its law from the Tao. The law of the Tao is its being what it is.
I do not concern myself with gods and spirits either good or evil nor do I serve any.
Great indeed is the sublimity of the Creative, to which all beings owe their beginning and which permeates all heaven.
All things in the world come from being. And being comes from non-being.
The more laws and order are made prominent, the more thieves and robbers there will be.
It is better to do one's own duty, however defective it may be, than to follow the duty of another, however well one may perform it. He who does his duty as his own nature reveals it, never sins.
Without stirring abroad, One can know the whole world; Without looking out of the window One can see the way of heaven. The further one goes The less one knows.
He who talks more is sooner exhausted.
Be the chief but never the lord.
Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.
He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.
He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.
He who obtains has little. He who scatters has much.
If you keep feeling a point that has been sharpened, the point cannot long preserve its sharpness.
The wicked leader is he who the people despise. The good leader is he who the people revere. The great leader is he who the people say, 'We did it ourselves.'
Nature is not human hearted.
He who knows himself is enlightened.
The higher the sun ariseth, the less shadow doth he cast; even so the greater is the goodness, the less doth it covet praise; yet cannot avoid its rewards in honours.
The power of intuitive understanding will protect you from harm until the end of your days.
The people are hungry: It is because those in authority eat up too much in taxes.
One can not reflect in streaming water. Only those who know internal peace can give it to others.
If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve.
By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond the winning.
Simulated disorder postulates perfect discipline; simulated fear postulates courage; simulated weakness postulates strength.
One who is too insistent on his own views, finds few to agree with him.
All difficult things have their origin in that which is easy, and great things in that which is small.
Sincere words are not fine; fine words are not sincere.
Love is of all passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart and the senses.
A scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.
To realize that you do not understand is a virtue; Not to realize that you do not understand is a defect.
The career of a sage is of two kinds: He is either honored by all in the world, Like a flower waving its head, Or else he disappears into the silent forest.
The wise man does not lay up his own treasures. The more he gives to others, the more he has for his own.
How could man rejoice in victory and delight in the slaughter of men?
Of all that is good, sublimity is supreme. Succeeding is the coming together of all that is beautiful. Furtherance is the agreement of all that is just. Perseverance is the foundation of all actions.
From wonder into wonder existence opens.
He who conquers others is strong; He who conquers himself is mighty.
The words of truth are always paradoxical.
If you would take, you must first give, this is the beginning of intelligence.
To see things in the seed, that is genius.
Truthful words are not beautiful; beautiful words are not truthful. Good words are not persuasive; persuasive words are not good.
Govern a great nation as you would cook a small fish. Do not overdo it.
The softest things in the world overcome the hardest things in the world.
Anticipate the difficult by managing the easy.
Man's enemies are not demons, but human beings like himself.
In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don't try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present.
People in their handlings of affairs often fail when they are about to succeed. If one remains as careful at the end as he was at the beginning, there will be no failure.
Because of a great love, one is courageous.
He who is contented is rich.
Violence, even well intentioned, always rebounds upon oneself.
An ant on the move does more than a dozing ox.
Those who have knowledge, don't predict. Those who predict, don't have knowledge.
Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend. Non-being is the greatest joy.
When virtue is lost, benevolence appears, when benevolence is lost right conduct appears, when right conduct is lost, expedience appears. Expediency is the mere shadow of right and truth; it is the beginning of disorder.
Governing a great nation is like cooking a small fish - too much handling will spoil it.
He who does not trust enough, Will not be trusted.
He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.
Great acts are made up of small deeds.
Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.
The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white. Neither need you do anything but be yourself.
Manifest plainness, embrace simplicity, reduce selfishness, have few desires.
To lead people walk behind them.
When you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete, everybody will respect you.
When the best leader's work is done the people say, 'We did it ourselves.'
Respond intelligently even to unintelligent treatment.
At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.
He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks, does not know.
Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.
When a nation is filled with strife, then do patriots flourish.
To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.
For the wise man looks into space and he knows there is no limited dimensions.
Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.
From caring comes courage.
I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.
When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.
Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.
The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.
Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides.
Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.
A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.
Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them - that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.
A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.
Silence is a source of great strength.
Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.
Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.
If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.
Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.
Treat those who are good with goodness, and also treat those who are not good with goodness. Thus goodness is attained. Be honest to those who are honest, and be also honest to those who are not honest. Thus honesty is attained.
The sage does not hoard. The more he helps others, the more he benefits himself, The more he gives to others, the more he gets himself. The Way of Heaven does one good but never does one harm. The Way of the sage is to act but not to compete.
If the Great Way perishes there will morality and duty. When cleverness and knowledge arise great lies will flourish. When relatives fall out with one another there will be filial duty and love. When states are in confusion there will be faithful servants.
There was something undifferentiated and yet complete, which existed before Heaven and Earth. Soundless and formless, it depends on nothing and does not change. It operates everywhere and is free from danger. It may be considered the mother of the universe. I do not know its name; I call it Tao.