Tao Te Ching

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The Tao Te Ching is a classic Chinese text, written by Lao Tzu. It is a basic text of Taoism.


Tao Te Ching
Traditional Chinese 道德經
Simplified Chinese 道德经
Literal meaning way [of] virtue, classic book

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 century B.C. Lao Tzu's students gathered his various writings to produce the official Tao Te Ching. The eighty one chapters are considered the true philosophy of Lao Tzu.[1]


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]


  • Pacifism and non-violence
  • Humility
  • The trap of greed
  • Respect for elder's wisdom
  • Pursuit of worldly and spiritual knowledge
  • Flexibility in life
  • Acceptance of death
  • The power of words and symbols[3]


  • "When the great Tao is forgotten, goodness and piety appear. When the body’s intelligence declines, cleverness and knowledge step forth. When there is no peace in the family, filial piety begins. When the country falls into chaos, patriotism is born." - Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 18, Mitchell translation.

See Also