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Tao Quotes on
Nature and the World

Quotes from the Wisdom of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

Tao Te Ching


Here are quotes from the Tao Te Ching, the Taoist classic, about nature and the world. To see the whole quoted chapter, click the chapter link within brackets.



The Way of Nature

Heaven and Earth are not kind. They regard all things as offerings.


Is not the space between Heaven and Earth like a bellows? It is empty, but lacks nothing. The more it moves, the more comes out of it.


All things arise in unison. Thereby we see their return.


All things flourish, and each returns to its source.


Strong winds do not last all morning, hard rains do not last all day.


If Heaven and Earth are unable to persist, how could man?


Man is ruled by Earth. Earth is ruled by Heaven. Heaven is ruled by the Way. The Way is ruled by itself.


What the Way is to the world, the stream is to the river and the sea.


If Heaven were not clear it might rend. If Earth were not firm it might crumble.


All things carry yin and embrace yang. They reach harmony by blending with the vital breath.


Of all things, none does not revere the Way and honor virtue. Reverence of the Way and honoring virtue were not demanded of them, but it is in their nature.


The river and the sea can be kings of a hundred valleys, because they lie below them.


Leave the World Be

Conquering the world and changing it, I do not think it can succeed.


The world is a sacred vessel that cannot be changed. He who changes it will destroy it. He who seizes it will lose it.


Never take over the world to tamper with it. Those who want to tamper with it are not fit to take over the world.



Tao Quote Categories

Here are the 388 quotes extracted from the Tao Te ching, sorted by topics. Each quote has a reference to its chapter in the book.





My Taoism Books:


Tao Te Ching - The Taoism of Lao Tzu Explained. Book by Stefan Stenudd.
Tao Te Ching

The Taoism of Lao Tzu Explained. The great Taoist philosophy classic by Lao Tzu translated, and each of the 81 chapters extensively commented. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

More about the book here


Tao Quotes - the Ancient Wisdom of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu. Book by Stefan Stenudd.
Tao Quotes

The Ancient Wisdom of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu. 389 quotes from the foremost Taoist classic, divided into 51 prominent topics. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

More about the book here.


My Other Websites:


I Ching Online

The 64 hexagrams of the Chinese classic I Ching and what they mean in divination. Try it online for free.


Qi Energy Exercises

The ancient Chinese life energy qi (chi) explained, with simple instructions on how to exercise it.


Life Energy

The many ancient and modern life force beliefs all over the world explained.


Creation Myths

Creation stories from around the world, and the ancient cosmology they reveal.


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Other Books by Stefan Stenudd:


Cosmos of the Ancients. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Cosmos of the Ancients

The Greek philosophers and what they thought about cosmology, myth, and the gods. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.


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Aikido Principles. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Aikido Principles

Basic Concepts of the Peaceful Martial Art
Aikido principles, philosophy, and basic ideas. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.


Sunday Brunch with the World Maker. Novel by Stefan Stenudd. Sunday Brunch with the World Maker

Fiction. A brunch conversation slips into the mysterious, soon to burst beyond the realm of possibility. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.


Stefan Stenudd, Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction. Stefan Stenudd


About me

I'm a Swedish author and aikido instructor. In addition to fiction, I've written books about Taoism and other East Asian traditions. I'm also an historian of ideas, researching ancient thought and mythology. Click the image to get to my personal website.

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