A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

He who knows does not speak; He who speaks does not know.

Seek not happiness too greedily, and be not fearful of happiness.

He who knows others is wise; He who know himself is enlightened.

The more laws and order are made prominent, The more thieves and robbers there will be.

The softest things in the world overcome the hardest things in the world. Through this I know the advantage of taking no action.

Life

Birth: Lao Tzu lived in the 6th century BC in the Qu Ren village, Li district, Ku Prefecture from Chu Land.

Realization: He is said to have undergone numerous “transformations”, or taken on various guises in various incarnations throughout history to initiate the faithful in the Way.  the deliverance of the Daodejing was the ultimate purpose of his human incarnation.

Death: Lao Tzu would have disappeared without a trace.

Teaching Style: Laozi never opened a formal school, but he nonetheless attracted a large number of students and loyal disciples.   Laozi often explains his ideas by way of paradox, analogy, appropriation of ancient sayings, repetition, symmetry, rhyme, and rhythm. Laozi encouraged a change in approach, or return to “nature”, rather than action.It is based on his concept of the Tao, which is the creator and sustainer of all things in the Universe, and the practice of nondoing
Fame: Laozi was credited with writing the central daoist the Daodejing (Tao Te Ching) (way of life inspired from the rhythms of the natural world) , . The Daodejing, often called simply the Laozi after its reputed author, describes the Dao (Way of Heaven)  as the mystical source and ideal of all existence: it is unseen, but not transcendent, immensely powerful yet supremely humble, being the root of all things. As Daoism took root, Laozi was recognized as a god.

Legacy: A central figure in Chinese culture, both nobility and common people claim Laozi in their lineage. Zhuangzi, widely considered the intellectual and spiritual successor of Laozi, had a notable impact on Chinese literature, culture and spirituality.Some legends elaborate further that the Lao Tzu “Old Master” was the teacher of the Buddha, he was honoured as an ancestor of the Tang dynasty.

Teachings

Central concept of the teaching of Laozi is  ” non-action” or “not acting”, Lao Tzu taught that  One should endeavor to do nothing (wu-wei). But what does this mean? It means not to literally do nothing, but to discern and follow the natural forces — to follow and shape the flow of events and not to pit oneself against the natural order of things. It can be understood as a way of mastering circumstances by understanding their nature or principal, and then shaping ones actions in accordance with these.

Lao Tzu felt that it was man and his activities which constituted a blight on the otherwise perfect order of things. Thus he counseled people to turn away from the folly of human pursuits and to return to one’s natural wellspring.

Lao Tzu encouraged his followers to observe, and seek to understand the laws of nature; to develop intuition and build up personal power; and to use that power to lead life with love, and without force.

He who has no ambitions, therefore he can never fail. He who never fails always succeeds. And he who always succeeds is all- powerful.

According to the Daodejing, humans have no special place within the Dao (Way of Heaven), being just one of its many  manifestations. People have desires and free will (and thus are able to alter their own nature). Many act “unnaturally”, upsetting the natural balance of the Dao.

Laozi’s magnum opus, the Daodejing, is one of the most significant treatises in Chinese cosmogony.

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