7 thoughts on “Quote of the Day: Lao Tzu on Doing Nothing

  1. Sinologist here…Could not find the passage in Chinese. Laozi quoted out of context makes no sense. The idea of “doing nothing” or rather “action through non-action” is a core concept of philosophical taoism. The idea is acting in accordance with your inner nature in a spontaneous way.If you want to dig deeper look up “Wu Wei”. Laozi is notoriously hard to understand and translate. Seems really deep when you have a nice buzz going…
    Laozi probably never existed, by the way. The book was probanly compiled over a long time by several authors


  2. Well it depends on what are you going to do while “Doing nothing”, for me this quote may means be its just a vacation and you enjoying time in doing nothing otherwise “being busy doing nothing” may mean that you are wasting time in your job doing nothing.
    Any way both for me are wasting time.


  3. “Why are you self-proclaimed “experts” always ruining our comfortable Orientalizing pieties?

    To justify our hair-dos and compensate for our meagre income.
    Also, in real life people tend to walk away when you start babbling about early taoist texts…
    Thanks for the link but 我看不懂法文


  4. Yeah, I get it, French was much too hard, so you went with the easy option of Chinese. Lazy git.

    Anyhoo, the book’s called “The book of small revelations of the sage Tao Li Fu.” It’s a book of aphorisms written in the style of “ancient Chinese sages” by a contemporary French poet, Jean-Pierre Simeon. With translations (back?) into actual classical Chinese. And calligraphic illustrations of them. Printed on fine paper, a delight to hold and read.

    The ultimate in Orientalism: Fake Chinese proverbs by a Westerner translated into Chinese!

    Something only the French could get away with.


  5. Only the French… I’m going to check that book out.
    My favorite in terms of audacity when it comes to faking things Chinese is still the anonymous tattoo studio owner who came up with an “Asian alphabet” by assigning random Chinese characters and parts of Chinese characters to the western alphabet so he could write customer’s names “in Chinese”. Out of ten people I see who believe having their name tattooed in Chinese at least half fell victim to the gibberish font…


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