Who was Lao Tzu
Lao Tzu (translated the old sage or master) is traditionally known as the father of Taoism. He lived during China's Warring States
period (about 6th century BCE) and worked as an archivist at the emperor court. There he met Confucius himself with whom he talked about rites.
Confucius visiting Lao Tzu
to talk about rites
Rites were the subject-matter of Confucius and
Confucians. Taoism didn't bother with such themes pointing to culture, morals and ethics. Therefore the dialogue of these two masters shows a clear demarcation between their specific doctrines.
Lao Tzu preached the retirement and seclusion, while Confucius insisted on the practicing the humanhood and rightness as main virtues of the leading circles.
Later on, disguised by the court decline, Lao Tzu would have left his job and departed to West. He was asked by the Guardian of the Pass to write a book of teachings and thus come into being the
Tao Te Ching (translated The Classic of Tao and Te).
Tao and Te are the basic concepts in Taoist philosophy developed by Lao Tzu.
Related one to each other they pointed to the Supreme Power that rules the universe (Tao) and its features (Te).
In conclusion, one could trace four main features of Lao Tzu's life:
Lao-tzu, the father of Taoism, departing to West
1. He worked as an archivist at the royal court of Chou;
2. He was supposed to be visited by Confucius and talked about rites;
3. He preached the retirement from the world and keeping a low profile;
4. He would have left the court, wrote the Tao Te Ching,
and disappeared without a trace.
-> You may learn more about Lao Tzu ideas on Tao developed in his Tao Te Ching by taking our 10-lesson email course designed for beginners. Click here to find more.
-> More about Tao Te Ching may be found here.
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