Tao Te Ching

Darryl Bachmeier
Aug 6, 2019
Life


The Tao Te Ching is a Chinese book, more like a remnant of the past, written many centuries ago by Laozi, also known as Lao Tzu. It is a book of wonders and inspiration and can serve meditation purposes for benefiting our lives. The knowledge and author of this book has raised many intense debates in the readers.

Tao Te Ching is part of Taoism, an ancient tradition of philosophy, belief, and religion. Taoism will help you in realizing the true meaning of life. As a part of Taoism, this book has introduced the modern era to the ancient Chinese customs and viewpoints of the world.

The Origin of Tao Te Ching

The Tao Te Ching is a book of the Taoism philosophy and was published centuries ago in the 4th century BC. It can be considered as a handy guide to the philosophy of Taoism.

The book was discovered by archaeologists at different points of time at different locations. The first discoveries were made in the 1920s and 1930s in the Mogao Caves near Dunhuang. A group of archaeologists led by Marc Aurel found thousands of scrolls, which included more than 50 partial and some completed manuscripts of Tao Te Ching.

The next discovery happened in 1973 when archaeologists discovered a tomb from 168 BC. The tomb had a wide collection of Chinese books from the early ages. Those books are known as ‘Mawangdui Silk Texts.’ From that collection, two nearly completed copies of Laozi were discovered. Although they were not referred to as Tao Te Ching, the scripts were labeled as Tao Ching and Te Ching. In addition, they were labeled as ‘Text A’ and ‘Text B.’ This alphabetical order reverses the traditional order of Tao Te Ching by putting the Te before the Tao. These two copies were dated by scholars as the first and second decades of the 2nd century BC. It was done based on calligraphic and naming styles

The final discovery happened in 1993. It was the oldest known version of the text written on bamboo scripts. The tomb was discovered near the town of Guodian in Jingmen of Hubei, and 800 ships of bamboo scripts were discovered. The copies clearly reflected the writings of Tao Te Ching.

In short, we have discovered 81 chapters of the Tao Te Ching, and that’s what we have been reading. But no one can predict the future. Who knows, maybe tomorrow we’ll discover another chapter of Tao Te Ching?

About the Author, Laozi

Who is Laozi? You might know him as Lao Tzu. Laozi was one of the ancient Chinese philosophers and writers. He is the founder of Taoism. In this modern era, he is famous to us for his book, Tao Te Ching. Back in his days, he was considered as a deity in religious Taoism (Taoism is the philosophy of how one should live their life). Now, he is a deity in the traditional Chinese religions.

Laozi was friends and peer with Confucius, a famous Chinese philosopher. Some theories suggest that Confucius sought out advice from Laozi from a young age, and Confucius was fond of Laozi’s philosophy and wisdom.

Like all other authors, Laozi also has some controversies about his own reputation and work. The ones surrounding Tao Te Ching says that Tao Te Ching is a compilation of philosophy and knowledge of other philosophers before the time of Laozi.

Analyzation of the name Tao Te Ching

The analysis of Tao Te Ching has many debates. Some relate it with power, others with integration, and many more. Based on our research, we are discussing the theoretically accurate translation of the term.

Tao Te Ching is a group of Chinese words. Tao translates to a path. It means the way. Te translates to virtue. It is probably indicating the virtues of Taoism. And The word Ching means ancient text. So, we can say that the English translation could be “The ancient text of the way to virtue.”

Since Laozi was the founder of Taoism, we can say they Tao Te Ching means The ancient text of the way to the virtue of Taoism.

Just like the title, the book explains the ideas and perceptions of Taoism beliefs in 81 brief chapters. All the chapters combined gives us an idea of The Great Integrity. In Laozi’s eyes, great integrity means that all things in the world are driven by one single force, and our social lives focus on morals rather than capitalism.

Tao Te Ching also explained Taoism in a way that all things run with one universal force, and to live properly; one should become part of that force. Taoism also mentioned the famous YinYang sign, which represents balance. The idea is that by becoming part of the force, and with our actions, we can balance our lives and our surroundings.

It is a great book that has some interesting chapters with some lovely poems and life lessons. You can use this book to learn Taoism philosophy and make practical use of that knowledge.

Final Say

Taoism is a great section of philosophy, and Tao Te Ching is an easy basic hand guide to the ways of Taoism. Taoism will help you to bring the best out of you like other practical philosophy of Stoicism. And what best way to learn about Taoism without Tao Te Ching is available?

In conclusion, we can say Tao Te Ching is your best hand guide for Taoism.

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