Fake Lao Tzu Quote

“New beginnings..."

Fake Lao Tzu quote.

This is not a quote from the Tao Te Ching:

“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.”

       This is a rather complicated way of stating that after rain comes sun. Well, it does have the added meaning that a beginning can seem like an end. Still, it is not something Lao Tzu would have stated.

       In his world there was nothing new, and if there was he would be very hesitant to praise it.

       He talked repeatedly about the need for mankind to return to the ways and wisdom of old. The perspective of endings and beginnings was simply neither interesting nor relevant to him.

       The quote, falsely accredited to Lao Tzu, appears all over the Internet. I bet it's a quote from someone else, but I have not been able to track its origin.

       The earliest appearance I have found of it on the Internet is a Facebook post from March 29, 2010. It doesn't name any author. In 2011, there was suddenly a lot of Facebook posts with the quote, and most of them assigning it to Lao Tzu.

       A Google book search shows no mention of the quote before that date, actually not after it either.

       On the web in general, the first mention of the quote I found is in a blog post from March 15, 2008. It states Lao Tzu as the author, but gives no reference to the source.

       A slight variation of the quote, also accredited to Lao Tzu, is, “observe how endings become beginnings.”

       That is from chapter 16 of a version of the Tao Te Ching in Living the Wisdom of the Tao, by Wayne W. Dyer, 2008, p. 32.

       This is how Dyer translates the whole sentence:

Amidst the rush of worldly comings and goings, observe how endings become beginnings.

       It is far from the wording in Lao Tzu's text, but not unfathomable.

       Here is my translation of the same lines:

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

       Lao Tzu does seem to speak of the cyclic nature of the world. The next lines make it even more clear:

All things flourish, and each returns to its source.

       I seriously doubt it, but if there is some strange version of the Tao Te Ching from which the quote discussed here is fetched, then it is most likely to be of the same lines in chapter 16.

       But that would still be a wording so far off from Lao Tzu, the quote must be regarded as fake.

Stefan Stenudd
April 2, 2017

Fake Lao Tzu Quotes

Here are some fake Lao Tzu quotes I have found, in alphabetical order. Click the quote to get to the webpage where I comment it. I plan to add more false quotes in the future, so do come back.

       I have chosen quotes that exist in meme form (images with text), because they tend to spread the most all over the web, especially in social media.

       Click the quote to get to the webpage about it.

“At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

“He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.”

“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the moment.”

“If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve.”

“If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself. If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.”

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”

“Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides.”

“Man's enemies are not demons, but human beings like himself.”

“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.”

“Respond intelligently even to unintelligent treatment.”

“The soul has no secret that the behavior does not reveal.”

“There are many paths to enlightenment. Be sure to take the one with a heart.”

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”

“When you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete, everyone will respect you.”

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.

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

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

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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.

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.