Archives For Lau Tzu

One who knows what people do not know,

Is a person of enlightenment.

One who pretends to know what he is ignorant of, is at fault.

He who is aware of what he does not know, shall not be at fault.

Therefore, a saint is flawless for he is aware of what he truly knows and what he knows not,

hence he is flawless.

~ Lau Tzu, Tao Te Ching

My words of Tao is easy to understand and to practice.

However, the world can neither understand nor practice them.

In my words of Tao, there is the subtle truth.

In my deeds, there is the Way of Tao.

Because people do not understand these,

Therefore they do not understand me.

Those who know me are few.

Hence, the essence of Tao appears to be more honorable and precious.

Thus, a saint may dress in ordinary coarse clothing,

Yet has a heart of gem with the true essence within.

~ Lau Tzu, Tao Te Ching

In warfare, there is a saying of such strategy:

I would rather take a defensive position than to make an initial offensive move.

I would rather withdraw a foot than to march forward one inch.

Such is called to advance without advancement;

To defeat without arm force;

To fight as if there were no enemy;

To carry weapons as if there were no weapons and thus no need for the use of weapons.

There is no greater disaster than to underestimate the enemy.

To do so may cost one to lose his valuable life.

Therefore, when two armies engage in a battle,

The party that feels the sorrow of killing shall win.

~ Lau Tzu, Tao Te Ching

A faithful Tao cultivator does not use force.

A good warrior does not lose his temper.

A great conqueror does not challenge others.

A good leader is humble.

This is called the virtue of peace with no contention.

This is also regarded as competence to make good use of the effort of people.

Such is regarded as achieving harmony with nature.

Such is the perfect Oneness of true nature.

~ Lau Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Even the great nature shall save him and protect him with kindness.

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A man of great virtue is one who follows the nature way of Tao.

This Tao is vague and intangible.

Yet, in the vague and void, there is image, there is substance.

Within the profound intangible, there is essence;

This essence is genuine.

In It lies the great faith.

Since the beginning of the world, Tao has been in existence.

Only through It that one can understand the origin of all beings.

How do I know that this is the true essence?

It is through this natural Way.

~ Lau Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Honor and disgrace can surprise a person.

The greatest distress lies in one’s physical body.

What does it mean by “Honor and disgrace can surprise someone?”

Honor is inferior, because one who wins the favor is afraid of losing it.

And one who loses the favor is frightened with distress.

This is the significance of “Honor and disgrace can surprise someone.”

What does it mean by “The greatest distress lies in one’s body?”

We have fear because we worry about our physical self.

If one’s body does not exist, how can one have fear?

Therefore, he who values the world as much as he values himself, can be entrusted with the ruling of the world.

He who loves the world as much as he loves himself, can be entrusted with the guidance of the world.

~ Lau Tzu, Tao Te Ching

The five colors can blind one’s eyes.
The five tones can deafen one’s ears.
The five flavors can dull one’s taste buds.
The pursuit of pleasures can derange one’s mind.
The hard-to-get valuables can distort one’s behavior.
Therefore, a saint cultivates himself with virtues and does not indulge himself in sensory pleasures.
He rejects those outer temptations and chooses this True Nature.

~ Lau Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Thirty spokes unite around one hub to make a wheel.

It is the presence of the empty space that gives the function of a vehicle.

Clay is molded into a vessel. It is the empty space that gives the function of a vessel.

Doors and windows are chisel out to make a room.

It is the empty space in the room that gives its function.

Therefore, something substantial can be beneficial.

While the emptiness of void is what can be utilized.

~ Lau Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Thirty spokes unite around one hub to make a wheel.

It is the presence of the empty space that gives the function of a vehicle.

Clay is molded into a vessel. It is the empty space that gives the function of a vessel.

Doors and windows are chisel out to make a room.

It is the empty space in the room that gives its function.

Therefore, something substantial can be beneficial.

While the emptiness of void is what can be utilized.

~ Lau Tzu, Tao Te Ching