EASTERN PHILOSOPHY – Lao Tzu

EASTERN PHILOSOPHY – Lao Tzu


It’s difficult to know much for certain
about the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu. Even his name can be a little confusing; it
is also sometimes translated as Laozi or Lao Tze Lao Tzu is said to have been a record keeper
in the court of the central Chinese Zhou Dynasty in the 6th century B.C., and an older contemporary
of Confucius. He may also have been entirely mythical—much
like Homer in Western culture. Lao Tzu is said to have tired of life in the
Zhou court as it grew increasingly morally corrupt. So he left and rode on a water buffalo to
the western border of the Chinese empire. Although he was dressed as a farmer, the border
official recognised him and asked him to write down his wisdom. According to this legend,
what Lao Tzu wrote became the sacred text known as the Tao Te Ching. After writing this piece, Lao Tzu is said
to have crossed the border and disappeared from history, perhaps to become a hermit. In reality, the Tao Te Ching is likely to
be the compilation of the works of many authors over time. But stories about Lao Tzu and the
Tao Te Ching itself passed down through different Chinese philosophical schools for over two
thousand years. Lao Tzu was the leading figure in the spiritual
practice known as Daoism which is more than two thousand years old,
and still popular today. There are at least twenty million Daoists, and perhaps even half
a billion, living around the world now, especially in China and Taiwan. They practise meditation,
chant scriptures, and worship a variety of gods and goddesses in temples. Daoists also make pilgrimages to five sacred
mountains in eastern China in order to pray at the temples and absorb spiritual energy
from these holy places, which are believed to be governed by immortals. Daoism is deeply intertwined with other branches
of thought like Confucianism and Buddhism. There is a story about the three great Asian
spiritual leaders (Lao Tzu, Confucius, and Buddha). All were meant to have tasted vinegar. Confucius found it sour, much like he found
the world full of degenerate people, and Buddha found it bitter, much like he found the world
to be full of suffering. But Lao Tzu found the world sweet. This is telling, because
Lao Tzu’s philosophy tends to look at the apparent discord in the world and see an underlying
harmony guided by something called the Dao 道=the path The Tao Te Ching which describes the Dao, is somewhat like
the Bible: it gives instructions (often vague and generally open to multiple interpretations)
on how to live a good life. It discusses the “Dao” as the “way” of the world, which
is also the path to virtue, happiness, and harmony. “The way” isn’t inherently confusing
or difficult. But in order to follow the Dao, we need to go beyond simply reading and thinking
about it. Instead we must learn flowing, or effortless action. It’s a sort of purposeful acceptance of
the way of the Dao and living in harmony with it. This might seem lofty and bizarre, but most
of Lao Tzu’s suggestions are actually very simple. First, we ought to take more time
for stillness. “To the mind that is still,” Lao Tzu said, “the whole universe surrenders.” We need to let go of our schedules, worries
and complex thoughts for a while and simply experience the world. We spend so much time rushing from one place
to the next in life, but Lao Tzu reminds us “nature does not hurry, yet everything is
accomplished.” It is particularly important that we remember that certain things—grieving,
growing wiser, developing a new relationship—only happen on their own schedule, like the changing
of leaves in the fall or the blossoming of the bulbs we planted months ago. When we are still and patient we also need
to be open. “The usefulness of a pot comes from its
emptiness.” Lao Tzu said. “Empty yourself of everything, let your mind become still.” If we are too busy, too preoccupied with anxiety
or ambition, we will miss a thousand moments of the human experience that are our natural
inheritance. We need to be awake to the way sounds of the birds in the morning, the way
other people look when they are laughing, the feeling of wind against our face. These
experiences reconnect us to parts of ourselves. This is another key point of Lao Tzu’s writing:
we need to be in touch with our real selves. We spend a great deal of time worrying about
who we ought to become, but we should instead take time to be who we already are at heart. We might rediscover a generous impulse, or
a playful side we had forgotten, or simply an old affection for long walks. Our ego is often in the way of our true self,
which must be found by being receptive to the outside world rather than focusing on
some critical, too-ambitious internal image. “When I let go of what I am,” Lao Tzu
wrote, “I become what I might be.” Nature is particularly useful for finding
ourselves. Lao Tzu liked to compare different parts of
nature to different virtues. He said, “The best people are like water, which benefits
all things and does not compete with them. It stays in lowly places that others reject.
This is why it is so similar to the Dao.” Each part of nature can remind us of a quality
we admire and should cultivate ourselves—the strength of the mountains, the resilience
of trees, the cheerfulness of flowers. Of course, there are issues that must be addressed
by action, and there are times for ambition. Yet Lao Tzu’s work is important for Daoists
and non-Daoists alike, especially in a modern world distracted by technology and focused
on what seem to be constant, sudden, and severe changes. His words serve as a reminder of the importance
of stillness, openness, and discovering buried yet central parts of ourselves.

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  1. Lao tzu didnt find the vinegar sweet, he was smiling because it tasted like vinegar which is what vinegar tastes like

  2. Zen says just be with you and follow your own path. It must be P for personal A for attractive T for tough and H for high.

  3. Philosophy that respects nature is the right one. Simple enough. Those religions that harp on peace on a sheep skin but kill innocent lives are to be avoided at all cost.

  4. I'm looking to purchase the Tao Te Ching, which translation is the closest to the original intended meaning of Lao Tzu?

  5. 老子公案已經解決,不要再把疑古派那沒常識的無腦結論拿來誤導讀者了 http://ethanyet.blogspot.com/2018/04/blog-post_17.html?m=1

  6. Wu wei: "A set of purposeful acceptance of the way of the Dao (path/fate)"
    Amor fati: "an enthusiastic acceptance of what has happened in one's life"

  7. The School of Life is bullshit, "Those who know do not talk. Those who talk don't know. Close your mouth" -Tao Te Ching

  8. Very analogous to the musings of Henry David Thoreau.
    . . . "Rather than doing good, better to go about being good . . . and let the world be
    getting good about you. . . . What ever good I do must be a constant superfluity of
    which I am completely unaware . . . not letting the left hand know what the right
    hand is doing."

  9. "Simplify, simplify, simplify. . . . A man is only as rich as he is able to afford to do
    without. — Henry David Thoreau

  10. I've heard that there are as many Daoists as there are Taoists. And if that's not confusing, the difference between Daoism and the other main Chinese philosophies, Confucianism and Buddhism (originally Indian), are harder still to distill, especially Daoism versus Confucianism.

  11. LAO TZU, SUN TZU, AND CONFUCIUS!
    VERSUS!
    NIETZSCHE, SOCRATES, AND VOLTAIRE!
    BEGIN!

    [Socrates]
    I'm coming off the Acropolis to start some pandemonium
    Don't bring limp raps to a pimp slap symposium
    The mad gadfly, philosophy was my invention

    [Nietzsche]
    Rolling with the flyest nihilist

    [Voltaire]
    And me, their French henchman

    [Nietzsche]
    We got the wisdom

    [Voltaire]
    And the wit

    [Socrates]
    That even I couldn't question

    [Voltaire]
    Dropping Western medicine

    [West]
    On these East infections

    [Nietzsche]
    It's evident

    [Voltaire]
    You've never been

    [West]
    Our type of mental brethren
    We're better

    [Nietzsche]
    Thinkers

    [Socrates]
    Better speakers

    [Voltaire]
    Better lovers

    [West]
    Better men

    [Confucius]
    This type of arrogance is sure to be expected
    From men who speak of wisdom with no clue of what respect is

    [Lao Tzu]
    You westerners are sloppy, needing discipline in life
    You lack control of yourselves, and of the mic

    [Sun Tzu]
    While we use precise strikes to disrupt your concentration

    [Confucius]
    Hand you an ass-whipping our descendants will honor for generations

    [Sun Tzu]
    We filled a nation

    [Lao Tzu]
    With patience

    [Sun Tzu]
    And the presence

    [Confucius]
    For living

    [East]
    And you’ll never hold a candle to the wisdom we've written

    [Nietzsche]
    Oh, I’ll give you something you can bow and kowtow to
    When I squat down and squeeze out a Tao of Pooh on Lao Tzu
    You need to take control of the life you’re given
    They call me Übermensch, cause I’m so driven

    [Voltaire]
    And I’m a freethinker
    So confronting conformists like you? It’s my job
    Got a sharp wit, like a spit that’ll skewer you like a Confu-shish-kebab (Oh!)
    You flubbed the mission, I'm beating your submissive ass into submission
    Dishing out more disses than letters and pamphlets and plays I've been publishing

    [Socrates]
    Now that we’ve covered the two Yin and Yang twins, I can move onto Jackie Chan
    Sun Tzu, I’ll be picking apart your Wu with my method, man
    This seminal general isn’t so tough on the mic
    All your men must be like, 'yo, what happened?'
    You’re pitiful lyrically
    Lucky for history, you didn’t author the Art of Rapping

    [Sun Tzu]
    Bitch, I wrote the Art of War so you better get your guns out
    These white boys getting burned ‘cause guess what?
    Now the Sun’s out
    Asians spitting sick, but no, this isn’t SARS
    Laozi, kick the beat, now Confucius, drop some bars

    [Confucius]
    Let me be Candide with you, Voltaire
    French drip with the egg noodle hair
    Your ego’s just so distracting
    Free speech doesn’t mean just keep yapping
    And you killed God, so I gotta ask:
    Did he die of shame when he made your moustache?
    You try to plan a new German psyche
    But you just grew hate, me no Third Reichy

    [Sun Tzu]
    And it all starts with you, you’re the father, Socrates
    Honestly, I think you owe both of your students here an apology

    [Nietzsche]
    I wouldn’t exactly call myself a student of this plebe
    Don’t make Nietzsche come over and put a knee up in your chi
    Cause I’m N-I-E-T-Z-S-C-H-E
    And I’ll end any motherfucker like my name in a spelling bee

    [Socrates]
    Plebe, bitch? I’m toxic like a hemlock sip
    Hang a sandal on the door cause you can suck Soc’s dick

    [Voltaire]
    Sacrebleu, Socrates! You’re making things a little tense
    Come, let’s blind these Chinese hinies with some shiny bright enlightenment

    [Socrates]
    I'll not be taught camaraderie from a frog who rigged the lottery
    You make a mockery of ethics, so keep your fat nose in your coffee

    [Voltaire]
    Let me be frank, don’t start beef with The Frank
    Who hangs with B. Franks, giving ladies beef franks

    [Sun Tzu]
    I have turned them on themselves, their chaos is our opportunity

    [Lao Tzu]
    You must remember, a bowl is most useful when it is empty

    [Sun Tzu]
    Ugh, Laozi, I don’t mean no disrespect
    But you need to fill your bowl with some shit that makes some sense

    [Lao Tzu]
    Oh, you don’t want to stand in the path of Lao Tzu today
    I’ll make you move, bitch, get out the way

    [Confucius]
    Yo, where in the tradition of rap battles is it written
    That two dudes on the same team should squabble like some clucking chickens?

    [Sun Tzu]
    Man, Confucius, you always trying to put something in its place
    Why don’t you tell your eyebrows they need to fit better on your face?

    [Confucius]
    Okay, I see, you wanna make it like that?
    I’ll smack that warmongering head out of your to-go box hat
    So here’s the real golden rule, I’m way above you weak rookies
    Confucius say you can all hold these fortune cookies.

  12. Tao Te Ching is apparently pronounced "dow duh jing" – source: Addis and Lombardo, 1993: Tao Te Ching (Hackett Classics)

  13. Here is my understanding of Daoism…………….
    Daoism is not a religion, it is understanding the reality of nature, the mystery of the Way, when named, comes existence, the duality is the whole existence, defined as Ying Yang existence, Water as the symbol of ultimate peaceful life, etc, etc, etc.

  14. As someone who has read the dao de jing, I can find Laozi's view on government is very similar to modern-day conservatives. Laozi argues that the world is full of competition and the ruler shall avoid interfering civilian life.

  15. Yes, Abrahamic religions is not good. They are self-centered and think that his God is "the only true God in the universe." The gods of other religions are false. They are always in hatred and attacks, such as the Middle East War, Islamic State,Kingdom of Jerusalem,kkk. Taoism is only philosophy, it is not even religion.
    Abrahamic religions society is prone to extreme thoughts such as communism, Nazism, white supremacism, Christian terrorism, and Islamic extremism. These extreme ideas are derived from the Abraham religion society. East Asian society has always been a secular society. Religious Buddhism and Taoism in East Asia are not religious. They are more like philosophies, so East Asian society has never produced extreme thoughts.
    Abraham religion originated from the desert in the Middle East. The harsh living environment of the desert has created the characteristics of Abraham's religious vigilance, alertness, aggression and exclusion. The Chinese culture based on Confucianism and Taoism originated from the civilization of the great river basin. The closed environment and the living environment rich in natural resources created the perseverance, diligence and softness of Chinese culture.

  16. Especially if it is true that he taught some form of 'meditation', something tells me that this superficial perspective on Lao Tzu' Teaching misses the 'Path' by an infinitely wide margin. lol

  17. The ideas of comparing qualities of nature might seem absurd and simplistic, but I think they are what we need in a complex world that is full of information overload and nihilism. Yes, it is as simple as be humble like water, strong as the mountain and generous as the Sun.

  18. 0:08 It's Tzu in Wade-Giles and Zi in Pinyin. Even in Wade-Giles, it's pronounced like "zuh" (that's the closest phonetic transliteration. The z is actually "destressed" and so without actually hearing it said, it would be very difficult to describe the sound). You're actually pronouncing it incorrectly regardless of how it's transliterated…

  19. Had u been a hindu😊
    This is a sub set of a sub set of a sub set of idea, 5k years back he writes
    Samaya samayati samati na

  20. *TAO is The MOTHER of the UNIVERSE, by LAO TSE! *He was One of the People Imprisoned, but could DISAPPEAR!

  21. One major teaching of the Tao is represented by the Yin and Yang. In the West, we think in terms of opposites, while the Tao teaches us to instead see complementary pairs, in which each of the two conditions cannot exist without the other.
    Day cannot exist without Night. Hot requires the comparison of Cold. Male requires Female, and vice versa. It is like the two sides of a coin, neither side being "better" than the other, because they are both part of the same coin.

  22. 空腹子 Confucius was a piece of Dirtbag s*** who's responsible for the condition of China today shijin pig is a confucianist and a very good confucianist and every evil freaking thing he does is led by confucianist thought selfishness Darkness hatred paranoia. Confucius says no place in a conversation about the cow except to say that the Dow is good and Confucius is a shitbag.

  23. Taoism is the most peaceful religion in the world. You don't have to believe in some gods. You don't have to have special codes of conduct. You don't have to pray. What you need is to improve your ability to balance the contradiction between yourself and the world according to the laws of world physics. Therefore, Taoism will not preach, so Taoism in China less and less believers, more use of Confucianism, but Taoism is very good for people's inner balance, if one day you despair of the world this world, you can become a Taoist

  24. From what I know, Tao Te Ching exists before the time of Lao Tzu. They mostly call him the author because that's what he's been called for many generations that the truth is buried in the sands of time.

  25. 大道至简 The greatest truths are the simplest
    天下皆知美之为美,斯恶已,皆知善之为善,斯不善已。

  26. Lord Jesus Christ is the way the TRUTH and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Him🙏❤️🕊 Lord Jesus Christ is our Savior not religion. Catholic, muslim, buddhism, taoism etc. they are all false! deception from satan the father of all lies! Repent, believe in the Gospel

  27. THIS VIDEO SHOULD BE MUCH LOUDER FOR EASY LISTENING. NOW I HAVE TO STRAIN MY EARS.
    CHECK YOU EQUIPMENT NEXT TIME. FOR FECK SAKE

  28. For the video explaining about peacefulness, harmonious with the nature, it is very hectic and in a hurry…. calm down a bit, please….

  29. Confucius is more of a reality/people how-to-live-with manual. Taoism is more of a world/nature how-to-live-with manual. Buddhism is more of a heart/soul how-to-live-with manual. I think it's kind of 3 steps from knowing, know-it to know-all.

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