iPhone Case - Lao Tzu - Chinese Sage, Philosopher and Teacher - Founder of Taoism - China - “The best fighter is never angry.”
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Lao Tzu - Chinese Sage, Philosopher and Teacher - Founder of Taoism - China
Author - Tao Teh Ching
Image Credit: Lao Tzu: The Path to the West Nikolai Mishukov 2010
Authors Note - Raul: I grew up really on Chinese Philosophy
and Lao Tzu teachings. Even thou in Puerto Rico the official religion is
Catholicism, and I attended a Catholic school for 10 years.
It all started like a spell: I was walking across the UPR (University of PR)
since i attended their High School (UHS). Then one day, next to their main
bookstore - something - almost a force - made me to go inside the bookstore,
then inside my hand was directed to a particular book:
'A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy' by Wing-Tsit Chan, from Princeton University.
It was affordable and I purchased it immediately. It was an extremely clear book!
It covered very many Chinese masters... encyclopedic. Extremely deep teachings!
It changed my life forever. It is still available - the 1st reference below.
Eventually many years later in CA I did meet a Master like Lao Tzu.
The Venerable Taungpulu Sayadaw from Burma (Theravada Buddhism). Taungpulu
actually grew up in a farm near China, and this - the most ancient form of Buddhism,
over 2,500 years old is composed of 'forest monks'. So their practices are very
similar to Taoism since they take Natures simplicity as a basis for practice...
The point is that all of this was the culmination of a deep study of Taoism.
And as we see there was an evolution:
Taoism --> Confucianism --> Buddhism
One example of how practical Taoism is: when working in the competitive
Silicon Valley in CA, i applied daily the principle:
'The wise one does not compete, so no one can compete with him."
It's a deep statement of non-violence or 'you need two to argue' etc.
The points is that as i was in an aggressive environment were many
suffered trying to gain positions and status, I was happy doing what
i was supposed to do, and serving and helping as I could. It really helped!
The story I know is that Lao Tzu, who was the emperors librarian, was sick of
the world and left for the desert. At the realms gate a guard asked him for a
summary of his teachings. And there came the aphorisms. Then eventually the
Tao te Ching became the most read and studied book ever, since China is the most
populous country. Later on Confucius, an ardent admirer of Lao Tzu, created his
version, more directed to morality and practical advice or rules, still very good too.
And more important, Confucius became the great Teacher, the one that did follow
the path of Love of Learning and Love for all people - Kings and Peasants.
So If Confucius was so incredibly advanced, how must his master been?
He said that Lao Tzu was like a dragon - flies in the wind!
It reminds me of Ramakrishna and his disciple Vivekananda, or Christ and Peter etc.
One point many miss is that over the years, several people have had 'illuminations' and then sat down
and wrote their insights. When they presented them they were told it was not new,
it was the Tao Te Chin! Just rephrased a bit. So if 'he' is still around helping
people I can't tell, but do not be surprised, they call that a Bodhisattva...
Another point is that thru the years and changes in China there were attempts to destroy
past history (not the 1st time there...). But we have seen a surge of devotion
world wide to both Confucius and his master - Lao Tzu. There are now many temples,
rites and ceremonies in their names!
Just search on the web for 'temples - CONFUCIUS' and you will see some all over the world.
Extract on Taoism - from the 'Ancient History Encyclopedia':
by Emily Mark
2016 Lao-Tzu (by Thanato)
Taoism (also known as Daoism) is a Chinese philosophy attributed to Lao Tzu
(c. 500 BCE) which contributed to the folk religion of the people primarily in the
rural areas of China and became the official religion of the country under the Tang Dynasty.
Taoism is therefore both a philosophy and a religion.
It emphasizes doing what is natural and "going with the flow" in accordance with
the Tao (or Dao), a cosmic force which flows through all things (ie: prana, chi etc) and binds and
releases them. The philosophy grew from an observance of the natural world,
and the religion developed out of a belief in cosmic balance maintained and
regulated by the Tao. The original belief may or may not have included practices
such as ancestor and spirit worship but both of these principles are observed by
many Taoists today and have been for centuries.
Taoism exerted a great influence during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE) and the emperor
Xuanzong (reigned 712-756 CE) decreed it a state religion, mandating that people keep
Taoist writings in their home. It fell out of favor as the Tang Dynasty declined
and was replaced by Confucianism and Buddhism but the religion is still practiced
throughout China and other countries today.
The historian Sima Qian (145-86 BCE) tells the story of Lao-Tzu,
a curator at the Royal Library in the state of Chu, who was a natural philosopher.
Lao-Tzu believed in the harmony of all things and that people could live easily
together if they only considered each other's feelings once in a while and recognized
that their self-interest was not always in the interest of others.
Lao-Tzu grew impatient with people and with the corruption he saw in government,
which caused the people so much pain and misery. He was so frustrated by his inability
to change people's behavior that he decided to go into exile.
As he was leaving China through the western pass, the gatekeeper Yin Hsi stopped
him because he recognized him as a philosopher. Yin Hsi asked Lao-Tzu to write a
book for him before he left civilization forever and Lao-Tzu agreed.
He sat down on a rock beside the gatekeeper and wrote the Tao-Te-Ching
(The Book of the Way, also called Book of Existence etc.).
He stopped writing when he felt he was finished, handed the book to Yin Hsi,
and walked through the western pass to vanish into the mist beyond.
Sima Qian does not continue the story after this but, presumably (if the story is true)
Yin Hsi would have then had the Tao-Te-Ching copied and distributed.
Authors note Raul - i stop the quote here since the author above does not really
understand the book...scholars often have this problem - too many opinions.
In life we must be based on actual, real and our own experience. To understand
the Tao Te Chin you will need a very advanced level of spiritual development...
not a lot of education - which is the knowledge from 'others' and just words!
Actually - you will never stop understanding this book - it goes deeper and deeper.
Just to be clear, it has a lot of talk, which is common silliness like:
'everyone could live together peacefully'. But the facts is that life is
transient, All type of beings die (humans, dogs, cats etc), every moment
goes for the next (it dies) etc.
We can not and should not try to create a paradise on a world full of aging,
illness and death as the final goal of all. Absolutely for all - just visit
a cemetery or a hospital... Comfort is not paradise. Happiness is.
What the Tao talks about (or Buddhism etc) it that FROM a really deep insight
and realization of impermanence and truth, then arises love and compassion
and then we act humanely and spontaneous. This was a great conflict between
Lao Tzu and Confucius. Lao Tzu wanted spontaneous action, Confucius followed
principles. But the principles do spring from a clear and pure mind ...
BUT in this realization, in fact, there are 'no people'.
This is a crude construct ('people') and derivation from false sensory experience,
and because its common and ordinary does not make it true. Beware of believing what
everyone believe! That why this is called 'ordinary mind'... vs the realized mind
- free of concepts. It like the difference between muddy water and clear water,
its still water, but what a difference!
A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy
Wing-Tsit Chan, 888 pages, about $40, In amazon used from $3
Here it may be FREE - www.academia.edu:
Video - summary of Lao Tzu life and practical advice based on Tao:
There is a huge amount of material on books, the web, videos etc
So I will only quote a few: