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Lao Tzu was a Chinese philosopher for whom it is not quite certain whether he was a historical or mythical person. All that is known about him was taken from the Chinese tradition and from his biography described in the historical records of Ssuma Chien, which were written around 109 BC. Tao Te ChingAccording to a legend, it is believed that he lived in the 6th century BC while today the large numbers of modern scholars think that he actually lived in the 4th century BC. He is also believed to have authored Tao Te Ching, a book that represents the most important text of Taoism. For this Lao Tzu has earned an honorary name of an old master in Chinese history . He worked as an archivist in the Imperial Library of Chou dynasty in Luo-yang, at that time the capital of China. During his public service the historians of the time attributed to Lao Tzu an acquaintance with Confucius another famous Chinese philosopher. According to the legend, after he abandoned his civil service, he rode off on a water buffalo (Zebu) to a country of Chin, and from there he disappeared into the desert. The guard at the westernmost gate of Chin country asked him to write down his teachings before he went forth into the wilderness. Lao Tzu listened to the guard and decided to write the book of Tao Te Ching. The philosopher managed to write it in only three days and afterwards went into the desert and nobody had ever heard from him again. There are no reliable historical records about his death, except of the legend that he lived for about one hundred and sixty or two hundred years.

By writing his book of Tao Te Ching Lao Tzu is considered as a founder of Taoism. In this book he speaks of the principle of Tao (this is the absolute ruler of the world and of the life). He theorized that each activity must be in accordance with the principle of Tao, if a person wants to be successful. This applies both to the family life and to the government. He also said that everything in the world forever circulates between yin and yang the two opposites, except the principle of Tao which is transcendent. For Lao Tzu the beginning of the world is nothing. However, he believes that it is not a void, but an indefinite something which has yet to become. The human mind is necessary to determine all this and then create it. Therefore, only at the first stage the Tao is nothing, motionless, and at the later stages it is the principle of stationary movement.

Click to find Lao Tzu quotes

Click to find Lao Tzu quotes