Tao Te Ching

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The Tao Te Ching (Simplified: 道德经; Traditional: 道德經; Hanyu pinyin: Dàodéjīng) is a classic Chinese text, written by Lao Tzu. It is a basic text of Taoism, and is used by many Confucians as well.

Contents

History

Because of its age, the history of the Tao Te Ching in uncertain. The first version appeared during the 7th century B.C. However, it may have been written earlier than that. During the 6th centure B.C. Lao Tzu's students gathered his various writings to produce the official Tao Te Ching. The 81 chapters are considered the true philosophy of Lao Tzu.[1]

Description

It is divided into 81 poems and short stories, about 5,000 characters in all. The passages in Tao Te Ching are sometimes difficult to translate; many translations are not very good.[2]

Themes

  • Pacifism and non-violence
  • Humility and the evils of wealth
  • Ancestor worship and respect for age
  • Pursuit of worldly and spiritual knowledge
  • Flexibility in life
  • Acceptance of death
  • People as innately flawed and wicked
  • The power of words and symbols[3]

References

  1. http://www.sjsu.edu/upload/course/course_6673/Introduction_to_the_Daode_Jing_4.0.doc
  2. http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0022-4189(199007)70%3A3%3C492%3ATTCANE%3E2.0.CO%3B2-7
  3. http://www.daoiststudies.org/dao/node/6544
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