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Tao Quotes on
Desire, Wealth and Greed

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 desire, wealth and greed. To see the whole quoted chapter, click the chapter link within brackets.



Desire

Free from desire you see the mystery. Full of desire you see the manifestations.


Lessen selfishness and restrain desires.


Without desire there is stillness, and the world settles by itself.


There is no greater crime than desire.


I have no desire to desire, and people become like the uncarved wood by themselves.


The sage desires no desire, does not value rare treasures, learns without learning, recovers what people have left behind.


Wealth and Greed

Not valuing wealth prevents theft.


Keeping plenty of gold and jade in the palace makes no one able to defend it.


Displaying riches and titles with pride brings about oneís downfall.


Searching for precious goods leads astray.


Abandon cleverness, discard profit, and thieves and robbers will disappear.


Those who know when they have enough are rich.


Gain or loss, what is worse?


Greed is costly. Assembled fortunes are lost.


There is no greater misfortune than greed.


When the palace is magnificent, the fields are filled with weeds, and the granaries are empty.


Some have lavish garments, carry sharp swords, and feast on food and drink. They possess more than they can spend. This is called the vanity of robbers. It is certainly not the Way.


People starve. The rulers consume too much with their taxes. That is why people starve.


Heavenís Way is like stretching a bow. The high is lowered and the low is raised. Excess is reduced and deficiency is replenished. Heavenís Way reduces excess and replenishes deficiency. Peopleís Way is not so. They reduce the deficient and supply the excessive.


Who has excess and supplies the world? Only the one who follows the Way.


The virtuous carry out the settlement, but those without virtue pursue their claims.


The sage does not hoard. The more he does for others, the more he has. The more he thereby gives to others, the ever more he gets.



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.





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