Lao Zi, was born in the Chinese state of Chu, but his date of birth is unknown. He was
the founder of Taoism, but very little is actually known about him. According to some historical
works, his original name was LiEr. He was the keeper of archives in the Zhou court. Zhou was
the name of the dynasty that ruled the states during the time period between the Spring and
Autumn Period and the Warring States Period that followed. When he saw the decline of the
Zhou dynasty, he left his post to live the life of a hermit. On his way out he had to pass a gate. It
was here that the gatekeeper, who had heard of his teachings, begged him to write a book before
he left. He agreed to do so, and he wrote a book of about 5,000 words that is called the Dao De
Jing, or generally called the Lao Zi. After he finished the book, he went away, and nobody
knows exactly where he went or when he died. There is only a record of him having a discussion
with Confucius after he left.
The small book that he wrote, the Dao De Jing or Lao Zi, is written verse, it is said to
contain great wisdom. It has been studied by Chinese scholars of all ages after him, and many
notes and commentaries have been written to attempt to explain the meaning of every line in the
book. It goes over many different philosophical and practical questions, such as the origin and
working of the universe, the correct way to live and behave, the laws that govern the change and
movement of things, and the way to govern a state. This book is split up into two main sections,
the Dao and the De. Out of the total 81 chapters the Dao part is 37 chapters long while the De
contains 44 chapters.
Dao translated means the way or path. It is the source of all, it is the eternal, invisible,
and indescribable energy that gave birth to the universe. In other words it is the way everything...