10 Most Meaningful Passages – Tao Te Ching

The Tao Te Ching addresses the flux and flow of meaning. Words, as vessels, carry the wayfaring spirit of the letter, some more elegantly than others and some words sink before reaching harbour, ‘the Iron ball cracks the teeth on it’s way out’.
So here we go, the 10 most popular passages of the Tao Te Ching
Love the world as your own self; then you can truly care for all things.
Highlighted by 8 Kindle users
People usually fail when they are on the verge of success. So give as much care to the end as to the beginning; Then there will be no failure.
Highlighted by 8 Kindle users
Therefore those who know that enough is enough will always have enough.
Highlighted by 8 Kindle users
To see truly and to live fully: This is what it means to be authentically human.
Highlighted by 7 Kindle users
Knowing others is wisdom; Knowing the self is enlightenment. Mastering others requires force; Mastering the self needs strength.
Highlighted by 6 Kindle users
Let us note: A mind governed by desires perceives the world of appearances. What exists behind these appearances can be known by the mind that exists behind the desires in ourselves.
Highlighted by 6 Kindle users
Under heaven all can see beauty as beauty only because there is ugliness. All can know good as good only because there is evil.
Highlighted by 6 Kindle users
Be truly whole, And all things will come to you.
Highlighted by 5 Kindle users
The universe is sacred. You cannot improve it. If you try to change it, you will ruin it. If you try to hold on to it, you will lose it.
Highlighted by 5 Kindle users
Just do what needs to be done. Never take advantage of power.
Highlighted by 4 Kindle users

Tao Te Ching on Amazon


P.S – Some of the highlights are from the commentary, Iv’e kept them in, they add a bit of insight and colour.

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6 responses to “10 Most Meaningful Passages – Tao Te Ching”

  1. Jason Wingate says :

    Nice idea although I don’t quite know how you determine these are the most popular! Was there some poll I didn’t catch? 🙂

    Interesting how different translations cast a different light on this book… is the edition you linked to the one you used?

    You might enjoy this site which presents about 20 translations compared line by line next to each other…

  2. otove says :

    Hi Jason, The passages are from Kindle users. They highlight their favourite parts and the most popular are displayed on the Amazon website. All kindle books have this feature.

    It seems like a rich resource for bloggers!

    Thanks for your link, I’ve been looking for something like this!

    • Jason Wingate says :

      Oh I see! I had no idea about the Kindle thing, very cool. 🙂

      • Jason Wingate says :

        BTW, you probably noticed this, but #3 on your list (“Therefore those who know that enough is enough will always have enough”), is more or less identical to one of the Epicurus maxims I put into a recent post of mine that you liked — “Nothing is enough for someone to whom enough is little.”

        I love these cross-cultural simultaneities, don’t you?

      • otove says :

        Very eagle eyed,

        I have noticed that parts of the Mayan or Maztek Popul Vuh, are identical to some Egyptian Hermetic texts. Theres no chance they sailed, so i guess their is a unity in truth?!

  3. Alex Jones says :

    Thanks for producing a summary of the important of these sayings.

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