Tao Te Ching
THE TAOISM OF LAO TZU
Fake Lao Tzu Quote
This is NOT a quote from Tao Te Ching:
"New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings."
This is a rather complicated way of stating that after rain comes shine. 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 new beginnings was simply neither interesting nor relevant to him. The last lines of chapter 14 in Tao Te Ching state it clearly (my version):
A Google book search shows no mention of the quote before those dates, actually not after them either.
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 Tao Te Ching in Living the Wisdom of the Tao, by Wayne W. Dyer, 2008, page 32. This is how Dyer translated the whole sentence:
I seriously doubt it, but if there is some strange version of 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.
For more about Wayne W. Dyer and his interpretations of Tao Te Ching, see the chapter Every human being's essential nature.
April 2, 2017, revised September 9, 2020.
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