Taoist Thinker #1: Lao Tzu (老子, Legendary Founder)

Discover the fascinating world of Lao Tzu, legendary Taoist thinker and emblematic figure of Taoism. Immerse yourself in the heart of his philosophy which has marked Chinese thought.

Explore the profound wisdom contained in his teachings on the Tao (the Way), a central concept in Eastern spirituality. Learn more about this outstanding scholar whose ideas remain relevant today.

Contents :

1. Who is Lao Tzu?

2. When did Lao Tzu live?

3. The writings of Lao Tzu

4. The impact of Lao Tzu on Chinese thought

5. The deification of Lao Tzu

6. Worship paid to Lao Tzu

Who is Lao Tzu?

Who is Lao Tzu?

Lao Tzu, also called Laozi or Lao Zi, constitutes a pillar of Chinese thought. His place among the greatest intellectual and spiritual figures in the country's history is indisputable. His work around the Tao remains an essential reference.

Despite his major influence, his life remains shrouded in mystery. The available historical records and legends provide little clarification on this subject. However, we place his existence in the 6th century BCE, positioning him as a contemporary of Confucius.

Despite the gray areas surrounding his biography, the philosophical legacy left by Lao Tzu still shines brightly in current Chinese culture. He continues to be a guide for those seeking to follow the path laid out by the Tao.

When did Lao Tzu live?

When did Lao Tzu live?

The existence of Lao Tzu, an iconic figure in ancient history, is often debated among scholars. Its period of existence is not precisely determined. Estimates generally place it between the 6th and 4th centuries BC.

There are differences of opinion regarding his profession. Some speculate that he held a position as imperial archivist in ancient China. Others put forward the hypothesis according to which it is rather a collective pseudonym used by several anonymous authors for their writings.

These varied hypotheses show the extent to which its existence and role are subject to controversy within the academic world. Despite these uncertainties, his influence on the era remains undeniable.

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The writings of Lao Tzu

The major work attributed to its author, "Tao Te King" or "Dao De Jing", explores profound reflections on the cosmos. It offers pragmatic suggestions for living in accordance with the universal Tao (the Way).

Comprising approximately 81 concise yet influential chapters, this collection touches on simplicity, humility, inaction, and the balance between opposing forces. Eternal wisdom permeates his texts which have shaped many philosophies over time.

The main book bearing his signature is a treasure trove of ideas about cosmic nature. It also provides practical guidelines for peacefully coexisting with the universal Tao.

With nearly 81 succinct but powerful sections, this collection addresses simplicity and humility as well as inertia and balance between antagonistic elements. His writings are marked by a perpetual wisdom which has inspired various philosophical currents over the centuries.

The impact of Lao Tzu on Chinese thought

The impact of Lao Tzu on Chinese thought

Lao Tzu, an influential thinker in Chinese history, infused revolutionary ideas into its culture. He conceptualized the Tao as an omnipresent and universal force. By following this Path, we can achieve a state of balance with ourselves and our environment.

He also promoted a holistic perspective of reality that was crucial to the birth of Taoism as a distinct spiritual movement. Taoism encourages a simple way of life, in symbiosis with natural forces.

By adopting the principle of non-action (wu wei) and cultivating detachment, we aspire to find inner balance according to this ancestral philosophy. The spiritual legacy left by Lao Tzu continues to influence millions of people around the world today.

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The deification of Lao Tzu

Over the ages, Lao Tzu has evolved. From a renowned historical figure, he has become a sacred entity celebrated in various popular Chinese rituals. Sacred places dedicated to his memory are commonly found where his followers gather to respect his presumed still-living spirit.

There are those who think that he had a supernatural gift: that of changing lead into gold thanks to the alchemical mysteries that he would have unraveled.

Worship of Lao Tzu

Worship of Lao Tzu

Homage to Lao Tzu is expressed through dedicated rituals, bathed in respect for his philosophy and his spiritual impact. Incense is frequently burned in his honor, his lessons are recited, and meditation is practiced at consecrated shrines.

Its imprint is not limited to religious Taoism. Art, literature or even current personal development all bear the mark of Lao Tzu's influence. Those seeking deeper spirituality and a better understanding of the world find a resonance in his teachings.

Finally, despite the mysteries surrounding his life, Lao Tzu's philosophical legacy remains powerful. His work "Tao Te Ching" remains a valuable resource for those who wish to understand their cosmic role and achieve lasting happiness in harmony with the universal Tao.

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Discover the author: Cyril Gendarme

Cyril Gendarme is a writer whose website "The Lucky Door" ("La Porte Du Bonheur" in French, his native language) has become a reference in the field of esotericism. Born in Belgium, Cyril has been attracted to the mysteries of the world since he was a child. When his interest in occultism was awakened, a particular subject caught his attention: lucky charms.

After years of study and in-depth research on esoteric traditions from around the world, Cyril decided to share his knowledge with the public through the internet. In 2019, he launched "The Lucky Door," a website dedicated to exploring lucky charms, magical symbols, and esoteric arts.

The Lucky Door is much more than just a showcase for those curious about magic, divination, or tradition. It is the result of Cyril's passion for researching and understanding the mysteries of the universe. Every piece of information available on the site testifies to his dedication to sharing his knowledge of the most hidden symbols and their unique powers.

In addition to his online work, Cyril regularly organizes workshops and conferences in different countries. His presence on social media is also highly appreciated, where he offers personalized advice and happily answers questions from his community.