Thoughts From The Tao Te Ching

Taoism, Laozi, Wisdom

Critical Analysis of The Thoughts from the Tao Te Ching " The Thoughts from the Tao Te Ching," by Lao Tzu addresses the early beginning of the religion of Taoism and how it can be applied to rulers. The age of the book is uncertain, but it is believed to have been written around 551-479 BC (19). This particular excerpt is just one of the chapters from the two part eighty-one short chapter book. This chapter was written as a handbook of sorts for rulers to follow both mentally and physically. The main focus of the chapter is to be "at one" with the Tao, and to follow the three main teachings, simplicity, patience and compassion (Lao Tzu). Throughout the whole piece each one of his poetic verses can reference back to at least one of the three teachings. The whole chapter is divided into poetic verse filled with symbolism and thought. Lao Tzu presents his ideas in such a manner that the reader can sincerely believe his thoughts and ideas and is persuaded to think of them as valid.

Lao Tzu believes that a ruler/master should be concerned with individual's lives, and not use much governmental force. He believes that a master should be extremely wise, and with such wisdom would come the willingness to let the world flow freely and uninterrupted. The next focus of his chapter is on the three teachings, the first being simplicity. Simplicity must be applied in the thoughts that materialism and wealth are meaningless, and they will only serve to remove the master and his people from becoming enlightened. It is believed that if the master and others reject worldly pleasures that they will return to their original source of being. Patience is the second of the teachings. The beliefs are that is you are compassionate towards yourself and others then you will be at one with all things in the world. One must learn to point out their own flaws and be loving towards their enemies, which also may posses different flaws. The third teaching is Patience. Lao Tzu feels that a...
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