Tao Te Ching
THE TAOISM OF LAO TZU
Fake Lao Tzu Quote
"Why do you run..."
This is NOT a quote from Tao Te Ching:
"Why do you run around looking for the truth? Be still, and there it is — in the mountain, in the pine, in yourself."
I would imagine that Lao Tzu was not much for running, for whatever reason. He would surely also agree that if you can't find the truth while being still, you are not likely to find it running around.
The truth was to Lao Tzu nothing but Tao, the Way. In my version of Tao Te Ching the word "truth" does not appear even once, nor does it in several other versions I checked. James Legge in 1891 used it twice — in chapter 21 and 41, both referring to Tao being that truth.
Still, the quote examined here is not from Lao Tzu. But he stated something similar in chapter 47 of Tao Te Ching (my version):
It may have started in 2016 with a meme produced by the website Chill-app, with an image of cloudy mountains and the quote accredited to Lao Tzu. Its first appearance on Facebook, as far as I have found, was in a post dated 22 October 2016.
It is possible that the quote is a poetic license paraphrasing of chapter 47 in Tao Te Ching, but I have not been able to confirm that. It seems to be so recent that I rather suspect it to be a contemporary effort at ancient wisdom, based on nothing in particular.
September 23, 2020.
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