A petty thief is put in jail. A great brigand becomes a ruler of a Nation.

— Zhuangzi

The most unbelievable Zhuangzi quotes to discover and learn by heart

Perfect happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.

116

If you have insight, you use your inner eye, your inner ear, to pierce to the heart of things, and have no need of intellectual knowledge.

85

Do not struggle. Go with the flow of things, and you will find yourself at one with the mysterious unity of the Universe.

82

The torch of doubt and chaos, this is what the sage steers by.

82

Let your mind wander in the pure and simple.

Be one with the infinite. Let all things take their course.

82

The perfect man uses his mind as a mirror.

It grasps nothing. It regrets nothing. It receives but does not keep.

81

When an archer shoots for enjoyment, he has all his skill;

when he shoots for a brass buckle, he gets nervous; when he shoots for a prize of gold, he begins to see two targets.

71

We cling to our own point of view, as though everything depended on it.

Yet our opinions have no permanence; like autumn and winter, they gradually pass away.

69

Rewards and punishments are the lowest form of education.

55

My opinion is that you never find happiness until you stop looking for it.

54

True men" ... are strong willed, have dignity in their demeanor, serenity in their expression. They are cool like autumn, warm like spring. Their passions arise like the four seasons, in harmony with the ten thousand creatures, and no one knows their limits.

52

Great wisdom is generous; petty wisdom is contentious. Great speech is impassioned, small speech cantankerous.

49

About Zhuangzi

Quotes 224 sayings
Nationality Chinese
Profession Philosopher
Birthday October 16

Flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free.

46

Great knowledge is universal. Small knowledge is limited. Great words are inspiring; small words are chatter.

45

Birth is not a beginning; death is not an end. There is existence without limitation; there is continuity without a starting point.

39

The wise man knows that it is better to sit on the banks of a remote mountain stream than to be emperor of the whole world.

34

A frog in a well cannot conceive of the ocean.

30

Forget the years, forget distinctions. Leap into the boundless and make it your home!

28

We possess our body by chance and we are already pleased with it.

If our physical bodies went through ten thousand transformations without end, how incomparable would this joy be! Therefore the sage roams freely in the realm in which nothing can escape, but all endures.

22

Those who follow the Tao are of clear mind.

They do not load their mind with anxieties and are flexible in their adjustment to external conditions.

22

The sound of water says what I think.

19

A battering ram can knock down a city wall, but it cannot stop a hole.

Different things have different uses.

19

In an archery contest, when the stakes are earthenware tiles a contestant shoots with skill. When the stakes are belt buckles he becomes hesitant, and if the stakes are pure gold he becomes nervous and confused. There is no difference as to his skil.

17

Heaven is in everything: follow the light, hide in the cloudiness and begin in what is. Do this and your understanding will be like not understanding and your wisdom will be like not being wise. By not being wise you will become wise later.

16

He who does his work like a machine grows a heart like a machine and he who carries the heart of a machine in his breast loses his simplicity. He who has lost his simplicity becomes unsure in the strivings of his soul.

16

When affirmation and negation came into being, Tao faded.

After Tao faded, then came one-sided attachments.

15

Life comes from the earth and life returns to the earth.

14

The non-action of the wise man is not inaction.

It is not studied. It is not shaken by anything. The sage is quiet because he is not moved, not because he wills to be quiet. . . . Joy does all things without concern. For emptiness, stillness, tranquillity, tastelessness, silence, and non-action are the root of all things.

14

Let everything be allowed to do what it naturally does, so that its nature will be satisfied.

14

Take care of your body, then the rest will automatically become stronger.

14

The living all find death unpleasant;

men mourn over it. And yet, what is death, but the unbending of the bow and its return to its case?

13

For we can only know that we know nothing, and a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

13

Great knowledge sees all in one. Small knowledge breaks down into the many.

13

The greatest tragedy that can befall a person is the atrophy of his mind.

13

To regard the fundamental as the essence, to regard things as coarse, to regard accumulation as deficiency, and to dwell quietly alone with the spiritual and the intelligent - herein lie the techniques of Tao of the ancients.

12

The Tao is in all things, in their divisions and their fullness.

What I dislike about divisions is that they multiply, and what i dislike about multiplication is that it makes people want to hold fast to it. So people go out and forget to return, seeing little more than ghosts.

12

Luck implies an absolute absence of any principle.

11

The Portal of God is nonexistence. All things sprang from nonexistence. Existence could not make existence existence. It must have proceeded from nonexistence, and nonexistence and nothing are one. Herein is the abiding place of the sage.

10

The one-legged creature is envious of the millipede;

the millipede is envious of the snake; the snake is envious of the wind; the wind is envious of the eye; the eye is envious of the heart.

10

The ultimate happiness is doing nothing.

9

Men do not mirror themselves in running water - they mirror themselves in still water. Only what is still can still the stillness of other things.

9

Paraphrased: When Chuang Tzu was about to die, his disciples began planning a splendid funeral. However some disciples expressed concern that given a particular arrangement, birds and kites would eat his remains. Chuang Tzu replied, "Well, above ground I shall be eaten by crows and kites, below it by ants and worms. What do you have against birds?

9

The sage embraces things. Ordinary men discriminate amongst them and parade their discriminations before others. So I say; those who discriminate, fail to see.

9

The Way is to man as rivers and lakes are to fish, the natural condition of life.

9

If water derives lucidity from stillness, how much more the faculties of the mind! The mind of the sage, being in repose, becomes the mirror of the universe, the speculum of all creation.

9

All existing things are really one. We regard those that are beautiful and rare as valuable, and those that are ugly as foul and rotten. The foul and rotten may come to be transformed into what is rare and valuable, and the rare and valuable into what is foul and rotten.

9

'I shall have heaven and earth for my coffin and its shell;

the sun and moon for my two round symbols of jade, the stars and constellations for my pearls and jewels; and all things assisting as the mourners. Will not the provisions for my funeral be complete? What could you add to them?'

9

I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man.

9

The sage has the sun and moon by his side and the universe under his arm.

He blends everything into a harmonious whole. . . . He blends the disparities of ten thousand years into one complete purity. All things are blended like this and mutually involve each other.

9
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