Tao Quotes on
Knowledge and Wisdom

Tao Te Ching

Authentic Quotes from the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

Here are quotes from the Tao Te Ching, the Taoist classic by Lao Tzu, about knowledge and wisdom. To see the whole quoted chapter, click the chapter link within brackets.

Malicious Knowledge

When wisdom and knowledge appear, great pretense arises.

Those who understand others are clever, those who understand themselves are wise.

The more clever and cunning people are, the stranger the events will be.

People are difficult to rule, because of their knowledge.

Know What You Don't Know

Not knowing of the eternal leads to unfortunate errors.

Those who know it do not speak about it. Those who speak about it do not know it.

Correct becomes defect. Good becomes ominous. Peopleís delusions have certainly lasted long.

Knowing that you do not know is the best. Not knowing that you do not know is an illness.

Truly, only those who see illness as illness can avoid illness.

The sage is not ill, because he sees illness as illness.

True words seem false.

True words are not pleasing. Pleasing words are not true.

Those who are right do not argue. Those who argue are not right.

Those who know are not learned. Those who are learned do not know.

Enlightening Ignorance

Abandon wisdom, discard knowledge, and people will benefit a hundredfold.

Abandon knowledge and your worries are over.

I have the mind of a fool, understanding nothing.

Those who seek knowledge, collect something every day. Those who seek the Way, let go of something every day.

They Do Not Understand

My words are very easy to understand and very easy to practice. Still, no one in the world can understand or practice them.

My words have an origin. My deeds have a sovereign. Truly, because people do not understand this, they do not understand me.

That so few understand me is why I am treasured.

Teacher and Student

A good person is the bad personís teacher. A bad person is the good personís task.

The one who does not honor the teacher and the one who does not honor the task, although ever so knowledgeable, they are confused.

The superior student listens to the Way and follows it closely. The average student listens to the Way and follows some and some not. The lesser student listens to the Way and laughs out loud. If there were no laughter it would not be the Way.

Tao Quote Categories

Here are the 388 Tao quotes extracted from the Tao Te ching by Lao Tzu, sorted into 19 topics. Each Tao quote has a link to its chapter in the book.

  1. Tao, the Way Quotes

  2. Nature and the world Quotes

  3. Knowledge and wisdom Quotes

  4. Opposites and paradoxes Quotes

  5. Non-action and action Quotes

  6. Prevention and patience Quotes

  7. Moderation and modesty Quotes

  8. Humility and compassion Quotes

  9. Desire, wealth and greed Quotes

  10. Good and bad Quotes

  11. Role Models Quotes

  12. Simplicity, stillness and silence Quotes

  13. Fear and imperfection Quotes

  14. The female, child and family Quotes

  15. Yielding Quotes

  16. Rulers and government Quotes

  17. Longevity and death Quotes

  18. Seeing clearly Quotes

  19. War and violence Quotes

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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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.

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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 basic 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.