Tao Te Ching
THE TAOISM OF LAO TZU
Fake Lao Tzu Quote
This is NOT a quote from Tao Te Ching:
"Perfect kindness acts without thinking of kindness."
Lao Tzu did not praise kindness, probably because it would be meaningless to him without a higher purpose. True kindness is not just to treat people well, but to help them along. That can sometimes seem unkind. Chapter 5 of Tao Te Ching states (my version):
What he stressed was te, virtue, the willingness and ability to follow Tao. To him, that would be perfect kindness. Chapter 10 says about how people should be treated:
The first book doing so was Great Thoughts from 1954, by Queene Ferry Coonley and Charlotte Krum (page 11). That book seems not to have spread widely, though, but so did The Mystic Path to Cosmic Power from 1967, with several later editions, by Vernon Howard (page 80). Either he got the quote from the 1954 book, or he also misread Cheney's book.
On the other hand, they both might have had the same source to the quote as Cheney did. Oddly, I have not been able to find the origin of this Chuang Tzu saying, although Cheney indicates clearly that it is an exact quote. I have checked the sources he lists for Chuang Tzu (page 386).
The problem is that in spite of signaling quotes by italics, Cheney admits to making his own versions of both the many Lao Tzu quotes and those of Chuang Tzu (page 387):
Well, in any case it is not a Lao Tzu quote. So, let's leave it at that.
September 19, 2020.
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