Quotes – Lao Tzu, The Lotus Sutra, and Confucius

Lao Tzu Teachings

Water is the softest thing, yet it can penetrate mountains and earth. This shows shows clearly the principle of softness overcoming hardness. – Lao Tzu

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. – Lao Tzu

Treat those who are good with goodness, and also treat those who are not good with goodness. Thus goodness is attained. Be honest to those who are honest, and be also honest to those who are not honest. Thus honesty is attained. – Lao Tzu

The Lotus Sultra Parables

5th century fragment of a Sanskrit Lotus Sutra manuscript from Rouran/Northern Wei, unearthed from Hetian, Xinjiang province. Housed in the Museum of the Mausoleum of the Nanyue King – Wikimedia Commons
  • The Burning House. A man must lure his playing children out of a burning house (Chapter 3).
  • The Prodigal Son. A poor, self-loathing man gradually learns that he is wealthy beyond measure (Chapter 4).
  • The Medicinal Herbs. Although they grow in the same ground and receive the same rain, plants grow in different ways (Chapter 5).
  • The Phantom City. A man leading people on a difficult journey conjures an illusion of a beautiful city to give them the heart to keep going (Chapter 7).
  • The Gem in the Jacket. A man sews a gem into his friend’s jacket. However, the friend wanders in poverty not knowing that he possesses a gem of great value (Chapter 8).
  • The Gem in the King’s Top Knot. A king bestows many gifts but reserves his most priceless jewel for a person of exceptional merit (Chapter 14).
  • The Excellent Physician. A physician’s children are dying of poison but lack the sense to take medicine (Chapter 16).

Contemplations of Confucius

  • Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.
  • In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.
  • It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.
  • When anger rises, think of the consequences.
  • Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage.
  • To see what is right, and not to do it, is want of courage or of principle.
  • Fine words and an insinuating appearance are seldom associated with true virtue.
  • Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.
  • Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.
  • Men’s natures are alike, it is their habits that carry them far apart.
  • Respect yourself and others will respect you.
  • Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.
  • Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.
  • Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.
  • Have no friends not equal to yourself.
  • It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve, and bad things are very, easy to get.
  • Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?