Taoistic
TAOISM EXPLAINED


     
     


Fake Lao Tzu Quote

"Figure out the rhythm of life..."

Fake Lao Tzu quote: Figure out the rhythm of life and live in harmony with it.

This is NOT a quote from Tao Te Ching:


"Figure out the rhythm of life and live in harmony with it."






This would make sense coming out of the mouth of someone like Miles Davis. There may be something like a rhythm of life and if there is, Miles Davis would probably have gotten it. He would have said: "Just play it!"

       We are born with a bang and then rush to follow the beat, which seems to accelerate by each year, until it all suddenly stops. Then there is silence.

       Harmony, too, is a concept familiar to any musician. Rhythm and harmony are not necessarily connected in music, but surely they are both enforced if joined.


Fake Lao Tzu Quotes - Erroneous Tao Te Ching Citations Examined. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Now it's a book, too!

90 of the most spread false Lao Tzu quotes, why they are false and where they are really from. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

       More about the book here.


       Still, the perspective is not that of Lao Tzu. He never mentioned rhythm, and when he spoke about harmony he referred to the pleasant state of balance and peace by accepting what is natural. The sage knows it, according to chapter 49 (my version):


The sage is one with the world,
And lives in harmony with it.


       I have not been able to find the origin of the quote examined here. It seems to have appeared during the 2010's, frequently attributed to Lao Tzu, and is mainly spread by memes. On the Goodreads website it has been present since at least July, 2012, which was when it got its first like.

       The only book in which I have found the quote is the Kindle ebook Laozi: His Words from 2014, by Daniel Coenn. It is only 23 pages and most likely just a collection of quotes accredited to Lao Tzu found on the Internet. This one is not the only quote in the book falsely ascribed to Lao Tzu.

       But there are books making similar statements, also within the literature on Taoism, such as An Illustrated Introduction to Taoism: The Wisdom of the Sages from 2010, by Jean C. Cooper (1905-1999). It contains her book from 1972, Taoism: The Way of the Mystic, and some additional essays of hers. The introduction says about Taoism (page 1):


It is the philosophy of the rhythm of life and simplicity of mind and spirit together with the absence of calculated activity, as expressed in the doctrine of wu-wei, and the presence of spontaneity, balance, and harmony.


       This sentence might have been paraphrased into the quote examined here. But of course, it is not a translation of anything from Lao Tzu.

       The expression "rhythm of life" is also used within Christian literature, where it signifies the time we have on earth, from birth to death, and how to do the best of it.

Stefan Stenudd
September 14, 2020.



More Fake Lao Tzu Quotes

There are many more fake Lao Tzu quotes examined on this website. Click the header to see a list of them.






Comments

Click the header if you would like to comment this or any other fake Lao Tzu quote, or read the comments from others. You need to be logged in to your Facebook account to post a comment.



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.


Fake Lao Tzu Quotes - Erroneous Tao Te Ching Citations Examined. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Fake Lao Tzu Quotes

Erroneous Tao Te Ching Citations Examined. 90 of the most spread false Lao Tzu quotes, why they are false and where they are really from. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

       More about the book here.



About Cookies


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 and compared.


Creation Myths

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


Taoismen på svenska


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.


QI - increase your life energy. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Qi - Increase Your Life Energy

The life energy qi (also chi or ki) explained, with exercises on how to awaken, increase and use it. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.


Aikido Principles. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Aikido Principles

Basic concepts of the peaceful martial art. Aikido principles, philosophy, and fundamental ideas. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.


Life Energy Encyclopedia. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Life Energy Encyclopedia

Qi, prana, spirit, ruach, pneuma, and many other life forces around the world explained and compared. 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.

Contact