Tao Te Ching
THE TAOISM OF LAO TZU
Fake Lao Tzu Quote
"If you want to become whole..."
This is NOT a quote from Tao Te Ching:
"If you want to become whole,
let yourself be partial.
If you want to become straight,
let yourself be crooked.
If you want to become full,
let yourself be empty.
If you want to be reborn,
let yourself die.
If you want to be given everything,
give everything up."
I would be fine with this saying as one by Lao Tzu, were it not for that thing about dying to be reborn. He showed no belief in such a thing. That is Buddhism and Hinduism, not Taoism.
Yet, this is from a version of Tao Te Ching — that of Stephen Mitchell from 1988. His very popular text is the origin of many odd Lao Tzu quotes floating around. Mitchell allowed himself a lot of paraphrasing, to say the least. In several instances he landed so far from the original that it can be difficult to figure out what part of Tao Te Ching he interpreted and what could make him deviate so far from it.
Obviously, it is the thing about being renewed that Mitchell has taken very far, indeed. I have no idea why. Did he want to turn Lao Tzu into a Buddhist?
For more about Stephen Mitchell and his version of Tao Te Ching, see the chapter A good traveler has no fixed plans.
September 16, 2020.
More Fake Lao Tzu QuotesThere are many more fake Lao Tzu quotes examined on this website. Click the header to see a list of them.
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