Eastern Religious Philosopher Quotations

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Buddha was tortured by the suffering that he saw around him and as result at the age of 29, he began to devote himself to discover why suffering existed and what could be done to eradicate it. Buddha said that “It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.” (Gautama, 2009) This quote is a good example of his belief that only through meditation and renouncing oneself could a person overcome selfish desires and overcome unawareness which was the cause of much suffering. Lao Tzu felt that change was best brought about by weakness rather than strength. Lao Tzu says “The ability to perceive the significance of small things of the world is the secret of clear-sightedness; the guarding of what is soft and vulnerable is the secret of strength”. (Moore, 2008) This quote best typifies what Taoism is to Lao Tzu. Tao is generally considered to mean “the way” and Lao Tzu believed that the way of life is simplicity, tranquility, weakness, unselfishness, patience and non-action and simply follow the pattern of the universe. Many people feel that he was somewhat naïve, but he was an early proponent of non-violent change, a path that would be followed generations later a world away as a way as a tool in the civil rights movement of the early sixties. Like Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu believed that it was best to be in harmony with the Way. That nature could not be forced or hurried because it would unfold according to the Way. He felt that people choose to force their will upon the world and the result was chaos and suffering. The quote that best describes his ideals is, “Flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free: Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.” (Moore,
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