The Whole Universe Will Surrender When You Have This

Adrian S. Potter
4 min readFeb 21, 2024

The understated power of a “mind that is still.”

Photo by Mor Shani on Unsplash

The Secondhand Inspiration Project begins with a motivational quote and ventures wherever the creative path meanders.

Lao Tzu was an ancient Chinese philosopher believed to have lived during the 6th century BCE, though much of his life remains shrouded in legend. He is traditionally credited as the author of the foundational text of Taoism, the “Tao Te Ching,” a profound work exploring the nature of existence, the concept of the Tao, and the principles of living in harmony with the natural order.

Lao Tzu’s teachings emphasize simplicity, humility, and inner stillness, advocating for a life guided by the Tao’s effortless action. His influence extends far beyond Taoism, shaping the development of Chinese philosophy, spirituality, and culture.

Lao Tzu’s importance lies in his timeless wisdom, which continues to inspire seekers of truth and seekers of a balanced, harmonious existence across the globe, transcending cultural and temporal boundaries. One of his quotes that I have tried to take to heart –

“To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.”

- holds insightful wisdom about the power of inner stillness and its relationship with the external world. Let’s break it down.

“To the mind that is still,…”

This part suggests that when our minds are calm, quiet, and free from excessive thoughts or agitation (i.e. constant communication and social media), we become receptive to deeper insights and perceptions.

“…the whole universe surrenders.”

When our minds achieve stillness, we become open to the vastness of the universe and its infinite possibilities. It implies that when we let go of mental clutter and turmoil, we align ourselves with the natural flow of life, and the universe responds in kind. In this case, surrendering does not imply defeat but rather a harmonious alignment with the greater forces at play.

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Adrian S. Potter

Antisocial Extrovert · Writer and Poet, Engineer, Consultant, Public Speaker · Writing about self-improvement, gratitude, and creativity · www.adrianspotter.com