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Chinese celebrities – Lao Zi

Laozi, surnamed Li, ming er, was born in the late Spring and Autumn Period, the year of birth and death is unknown, and his birthplace is also controversial. Records of Laozi were born in Chen Guo. Ancient Chinese thinkers, philosophers, writers and historians, founders and main representatives of the Taoist school, and Zhuangzi are called “Lao Zhuang”. He was later respected as the ancestor by Taoism, and he was called “Taishang Laojun”. In the Tang Dynasty, he was regarded as the ancestor of the Li surname. Once listed as a world cultural celebrity, one of the world’s one hundred historical celebrities.


Lao Tzu used to serve as the history of the Zhou dynasty’s custody room and is famous for his erudition. At the end of the Spring and Autumn Period, the world was in chaos, and Laozi wanted to abandon the officialdom and retreat, so he rode a green cow westward. When he arrived at Lingbao Hangu Pass, the commander Yin Xizhi invited him to write the “Tao De Jing”.


Laozi’s thought has a profound influence on the development of Chinese philosophy, and the core of his thought is simple dialectics. In politics, it advocates the rule of doing nothing and teaching without words. In terms of power tactics, things must be the opposite. In terms of self-cultivation, it is the ancestor of Taoist dual cultivation of life and soul that emphasizes the practice of being modest and solid, not competing with others.


Lao Zi’s handed-down work “The Tao Te Ching” (also known as “Lao Zi”) is one of the world’s most widely published works.


Major Achievements

Laozi’s achievements are mainly reflected in the book “Laozi”. “Laozi”, also known as “Tao De Jing” or “De Dao Jing”, and ” Book of Changes ” and “The Analects of Confucius ” is considered to be the three ideological masterpieces that have the most profound impact on the Chinese. The date of its writing has been controversial in the past, and it is still uncertain. However, according to the date of Guodian Chujian “Laozi” unearthed in 1993, the writing date is at least in the early period of the Warring States Period. This book has a total of about 5,000 words. It was originally called “Laozi” without the name “Tao De Jing”. Later it was called “Tao De Jing” and it was divided into eighty-one chapters, divided into two upper and lower chapters, the first chapter Dao Jing 37 chapters, the second chapter De Jing forty-four chapters. The ideological structure of the book is: Tao is the “body” of virtue, and virtue is the “use” of Tao.


Main Idea

laozi main idea

The main category of Laozi’s thought is “Tao”. The word “Tao” appears seventy-three times in the book “Lao Zi”, and the natural way of heaven is the main theme of the book “Lao Zi”. Tao is a chaotic and undivided initial state. It is the beginning of heaven and earth, the mother of all things, and the root of all things. Tao is always nameless, doing nothing but doing nothing, it is like water, good and profitable. All things do not compete with all things. It is the highest good to win with the weak and strong. The Tao cannot be said, nor can the human senses directly perceive it. Tao is not only the body of the universe, but also the rule of all things, and the rule of life. Confucianism regards heaven, earth, and man as the “three”, while Lao Tzu regards Tao, heaven, earth, and man as the “big four”. The “Big Four” adds Tao to the “Three オ”, which opens up an extremely lofty and imaginative thinking space for the framework of Chinese cultural thought. Tao comes from the metaphysical and penetrates the metaphysical; and in the penetration, it does not leave any room for the willful and purposeful creators such as heaven and the emperor. Two thousand five hundred years ago, Lao Tzu’s Tao was a great invention based on fundamentally transforming the original Taoism.


Tao, as the original and noumenon of the existence of heaven and earth, creates and accomplishes all things in heaven and earth. But Dao’s accomplishment of heaven and earth is not an intentional act, but a completely unintentional act, which is completely natural. Lao Tzu said: “Man follows the earth, the earth follows the sky, the sky follows the Tao, and the Tao follows the natural.” “The Tao follows the natural”, and the natural is self-sufficient. Nature is a description of the state and actions of Tao, and it is not a nature that is more substantial than Tao. “To be born and not to have, to not to rely on”, everything is natural, everything is natural, this is the nature of Tao. The nature of Tao is natural inaction, but it is this kind of inaction that accomplishes action; it is precisely because of inaction that accomplishes everything. This phenomenon, highly summarized by Lao Tzu’s philosophy, is “do nothing without doing nothing”.


“Doing nothing without doing nothing” is not only the great virtue and great use of Tao but also the most fundamental law governing the world and everything. It is the fundamental law for individuals to settle down and stand for life, and it is the so-called “truth.” “If you don’t live by yourself, you can live forever.” “If you don’t become big in the end, you can become big.” This is the principle of heaven and earth. “Husbands do not fight, so the world cannot fight with them”, “behind the body before the first, outside the body to survive”, “with his selflessness, so he can become his own private”, this is the fundamental law of a person’s life. “Doing nothing without doing nothing” is not only the use of Tao and the principle of Tao but also the “Daoshu”. It is the fundamental means and method of Hou Wang to govern the country. The Hou Wang’s “king” and ruling the world should also be used Dao is the law, “It is often nothing, and it is not enough to take the world.” Therefore, “I do nothing but the people are selfish, I am so quiet and the people are upright, I have nothing but the people are rich, I have no desires but the people are simple.”

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