Tao Te Ching
THE TAOISM OF LAO TZU
Fake Lao Tzu Quote
"Doing nothing is better..."
This is NOT a quote from Tao Te Ching:
"Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing."
Doing nothing is something very familiar to Lao Tzu, indeed. It is his concept of non-action, wu-wei, which he mentioned a lot in his Tao Te Ching. The sage knows to do as little as possible and thereby the most is accomplished, at least the most beneficial.
Also being busy doing nothing can, though by a stretch, be connected to his thoughts. But what he meant was rather that trying to do a lot accomplishes nothing. He saw no effort in doing nothing, so how could someone be busy with it?
Sorokin must still have grown attached to this strange paraphrasing of Lao Tzu's principle. He used it in another essay from the same year, published in the book Sociometry in France and the United States, edited by Georges Gurvitch (page 219), where he called it a "Taoist dictum," not mentioning Lao Tzu. And again in his own book The ways and power of love from 1954 (page 369), claiming it to be both a Taoist and Buddhist statement.
September 14, 2020.
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