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Encyclopedia > Lao Zi
Lao Zi's names
Chinese name: 老子
Pinyin: Lǎo Zi, Laozi
Wade-Giles: Lao Tzu
Other spellings: Lao Tse, Laotse,
Lao Tze, Laotze
Actual name: 李耳, Lǐ Ěr
Courtesy name: 伯陽, Bó Yáng
Posthumous name: 聃, Dān
Lao Zi leaves China on his water buffalo.
Lao Zi leaves China on his water buffalo.

Lao Zi (Chinese 老子, also spelled Laozi, Lao Tzu, or Lao Tse) is a major figure in Chinese philosophy whose historical existence is debated. Chinese tradition states that he lived in the 6th century BC but many modern scholars claim that he may have lived in approximately the 4th century BC, during the Hundred Schools of Thought and Warring States Periods. He is credited with writing the seminal Taoist work, the Tao Te Ching (道德經), and became a popular deity in the Taoist religion's pantheon. Chinese personal names follow a number of conventions different from those of Western personal names. ... Pinyin (拼音, pÄ«nyÄ«n) literally means join (together) sounds (a less literal translation being phoneticize, spell or transcription) in Chinese and usually refers to HànyÇ” PÄ«nyÄ«n (汉语拼音, literal meaning: Han language pinyin), which is a system of romanization (phonetic notation and transliteration to roman script) for Standard Mandarin. ... Wade-Giles, sometimes abbreviated Wade, is a Romanization (phonetic notation and transliteration) system for the Chinese language based on Mandarin. ... Cha can also refer to a Latin American dance, also called the Cha-cha-cha. ... A posthumous name (Traditional Chinese: 諡號/謚號 Simplified Chinese: 谥号; Pinyin: shì hào; Romaji: shigō/tsuigō; Revised Romanization of Korean: siho) is a honorary name given to royalty in some cultures posthumously, that is, after the persons death. ... Lao Zi on a buffalo, copyright status unknown; source unknown File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Binomial name Bubalus arnee (Kerr, 1792) The Water Buffalo is a very large ungulate. ... Yin/Yang symbol and ba gua paved in a clearing outside of Nanning city, Guangxi province. ... (7th century BC - 6th century BC - 5th century BC - other centuries) (600s BC - 590s BC - 580s BC - 570s BC - 560s BC - 550s BC - 540s BC - 530s BC - 520s BC - 510s BC - 500s BC - other decades) (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium) The 5th and 6th centuries BC were... (5th century BC - 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - other centuries) (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium AD) Events Invasion of the Celts into Ireland Gauls sack Rome Kingdom of Macedon conquers Persian empire The Scythians are beginning to be absorbed into the Sarmatian people. ... The Hundred Schools of Thought (諸子百家 Pinyin: zhÅ« zǐ bÇŽi jiā) was an era of great cultural and intellectual expansion in China that lasted from 770 BCE to 222 BCE. Coinciding with the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods, and also known as the Golden Age of Chinese thought... Alternative meaning: Warring States Period (Japan) The Warring States Period (traditional Chinese: 戰國時代, simplified Chinese: 战国时代 pinyin Zhànguó Shídài) takes place from sometime in the 5th century BC to the unification of China by Qin in 221 BC. It is nominally considered to be the second part of the... For other uses of the words tao and dao, see Dao (disambiguation). ... The Tao Te Ching (道德經, Pinyin: D Jīng, thus sometimes rendered in recent works as Dao De Jing; archaic pre-Wade-Giles rendering: Tao Teh Ching; roughly translated as The Book of the Way and its Virtue (see dedicated chapter below on translating the title)) is an ancient Chinese scripture...

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His life

Little is known about Lao Zi's life. His historical existence is strongly debated, as is his authorship of the Tao Te Ching. Nevertheless, he has become an important culture hero to subsequent generations of Chinese people. Tradition says he was born in Ku Prefecture (苦縣 Kǔ Xiàn) of the state of Chǔ (楚), which today is Lùyì County (鹿邑) of Henan province, in the later years of Spring and Autumn Period. Some legends say he was born with white hair, having spent eight or eighty years in his mother's womb, which is given as an explanation for his title, which can be both read as "the old master" and "the old child". A culture hero is a historical or mythological hero who changes the world through invention or discovery. ... State of Chu (small seal script, 220 BC) Chu (楚) was a kingdom in what is now southern China during the Spring and Autumn period (722-481 BCE) and Warring States (481-212 BCE) period. ... Henan (Chinese: 河南; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Ho-nan), is a province of the Peoples Republic of China, located in the central part of the country. ... The Spring and Autumn Period (Chinese: 春秋時代; pinyin: ) represented an era in Chinese history between 722 BC and 481 BC. The period takes its name from the Spring and Autumn Annals, a chronicle of the period whose authorship was traditionally attributed to Confucius. ...


According to the tradition, and a biography included in Sima Qian's work, Lao Zi was an older contemporary of Confucius and worked as an archivist in the Imperial Library of the Zhou Dynasty court. Confucius intentionally or accidentally met him in Zhou, near the location of modern Luoyang, where Confucius was going to browse the library scrolls. According to these stories, Confucius, over the following months, discussed ritual and propriety, cornerstones of Confucianism, with Lao Zi. The latter strongly opposed what he felt to be hollow practices. Taoist legend claims that these discussions proved more educational for Confucius than the contents of the libraries. Sima Qian (circa 145—90 BC) was a Prefect of the Grand Scribes (太史令) of the Han Dynasty. ... [edit] Confucius (traditionally September 8? 551 BC–479 BC) was a famous thinker and social philosopher of China, whose teachings have deeply influenced East Asia for centuries. ... Alternative meaning: Zhou Dynasty (690 CE - 705 CE) The Zhou Dynasty (周朝; Wade-Giles: Chou Dynasty) (late 10th century BC to late 9th century BC - 256 BC) followed the Shang (Yin) Dynasty and preceded the Qin Dynasty in China. ... Luoyang(洛阳) (Simplified Chinese: 洛阳; Traditional Chinese: 洛陽; pinyin: ) is a city in Henan province, China. ... Confucianism (儒家 Pinyin: rújiā, literally The School of the Scholars; or less correctly: 孔教 kŏng jiào The Religion of Kong), sometimes translated as the School of Literati, is an East Asian ethical and philosophical system originally developed from the teachings of Confucius. ...


Afterwards, Lao Zi resigned from his post, perhaps because the authority of Zhou's court was diminishing. Some accounts claim he travelled west on his water buffalo through the state of Qin and from there disappeared into the vast desert. These accounts have a guard at the western-most gate convincing Lao Zi to write down his wisdom before heading out into the desert. Until this time, Lao Zi had shared his philosophy in spoken words only, as was also the case with Socrates, Jesus, the Buddha and Confucius (whose Analects were most likely compiled by disciples). Lao Zi's response to the soldier's request was the Tao Te Ching. Qin, Qín or Chin (Wade-Giles) can refer to. ... Socrates This article is about the ancient Greek philosopher, for all other uses see: Socrates (disambiguation) Socrates (June 4, ca. ... This 11th-century portrait is one of many images of Jesus in which a halo with a cross is used. ... Standing Buddha, ancient region of Gandhara, northern Pakistan, 1st century CE. Gautama Buddha was a South Asian spiritual leader who lived between approximately 563 BCE and 483 BCE. Born Siddhartha Gautama in Sanskrit, a name meaning descendant of Gotama whose aims are achieved/who is efficacious in achieving aims, he... Analects (論語 Pinyin: Lúnyǔ), or Analects of Confucius, written in twenty chapters, is thought to be a composition of the late Spring and Autumn Period. ...


Some of the modern controversies concerning Lao Zi's life include:

  • The discussion with Confucius might have been fabricated by Taoists to make their school of philosophy sound superior to Confucianism.
  • The actual author(s) of the Tao Te Ching might have created a fictitious character so the origin of the text would look more mysterious, thus making it easier to popularize.
  • Arguments have been put forth that Lao Zi was a pseudonym of Dan, Prefect of the Grand Scribes (Tài Shǐ Dàn, 太史儋); or of an old man from Lai, a prefecture in the state of (齊); or of some other historical person.
Lao Zi, from Myths and Legends of China, 1922 by E. T. C. Werner
Enlarge
Lao Zi, from Myths and Legends of China, 1922 by E. T. C. Werner

Confucianism (儒家 Pinyin: rújiā, literally The School of the Scholars; or less correctly: 孔教 kŏng jiào The Religion of Kong), sometimes translated as the School of Literati, is an East Asian ethical and philosophical system originally developed from the teachings of Confucius. ... State of Qi (small seal script, 220 BC) See Qi (disambiguation) for other meanings of Qi. Qi (齊; pinyin: qi2) was a relatively powerful state during the Spring and Autumn Period and Period of the Warring States. ... Lao Tzu akak Lao Zi - Project Gutenberg eText 15250 From http://www. ... Lao Tzu akak Lao Zi - Project Gutenberg eText 15250 From http://www. ... 1922 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ...

His work

Lao Zi's famous work, the Tao Te Ching, has been widely influential in China. The book is a mystical treatise covering many areas of philosophy, from individual spirituality to techniques for governing societies. The Tao Te Ching (道德經, Pinyin: D Jīng, thus sometimes rendered in recent works as Dao De Jing; archaic pre-Wade-Giles rendering: Tao Teh Ching; roughly translated as The Book of the Way and its Virtue (see dedicated chapter below on translating the title)) is an ancient Chinese scripture...


If we refer to this book, we can draw in a few lines what and how Lao Zi was thinking. He emphasized a specific "Tao", which often translates as "the Way," and widened its meaning to an unnameable inherent order or property of the universe: "The way Nature is." He highlighted the concept of wei-wu-wei, or "action through inaction." This does not mean that one should sit around and do nothing, but that one should avoid explicit intentions, strong will, and proactive action; one can reach real efficiency by following the way things spontaneously increase or decrease. Actions taken in accordance with Tao (Nature) are easier and more productive than actively attempting to counter it. Lao Zi believed that violence should be avoided when possible, and that military victory was an occasion to mourn the necessity of using force against another living thing, rather than an occasion for triumphant celebrations. Lao Zi also indicated that codified laws and rules result in society becoming more difficult to manage. For other uses, see TAO, Dao or Dao (disambiguation). ... Wu wei (trad. ...


As with most other ancient Chinese thinkers, his way of explaining his ideas often uses paradox, analogy, appropriation of ancient sayings, repetition, symmetry, rhyme, and rhythm. The writings attributed to him are poetical, dense and often obscure. They served as a starting point for cosmological or introspective meditations. Many of the aesthetic theories of Chinese art are widely grounded in his ideas and those of his most famous follower : Zhuang Zi. Chinese art - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... // The Person Zhuāng Zǐ (pinyin), Chuang Tzu (W-G), or Chuang Tse (Chinese 莊子, literally meaning Master Zhuang) was a famous philosopher in ancient China who lived around the 4th century BC during the Warring States Period, corresponding to the Hundred Schools of Thought philosophical summit of Chinese thought. ...


Although Lao Zi does not have as deep an influence as Confucius does in China, he is still widely respected by the Chinese and his thoughts are studied in many places all around the world. [edit] Confucius (traditionally September 8? 551 BC–479 BC) was a famous thinker and social philosopher of China, whose teachings have deeply influenced East Asia for centuries. ...


Influences

Lao Zi's most famous follower, Zhuang Zi, wrote a book that had a great deal of influence on Chinese Literati, through the ideas of individualism, freedom, carefreeness, and, even if the author never speaks about it, art, which may well be the cornerstone of Chinese aesthetic. // The Person Zhuāng Zǐ (pinyin), Chuang Tzu (W-G), or Chuang Tse (Chinese 莊子, literally meaning Master Zhuang) was a famous philosopher in ancient China who lived around the 4th century BC during the Warring States Period, corresponding to the Hundred Schools of Thought philosophical summit of Chinese thought. ... An intellectual is a person who uses his or her intellect to study, reflect, and speculate on a variety of different ideas. ... Chinese art - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ...


Names

The name Lao Zi is an honorific title. Lao (老) means "venerable" or "old." Zi (子) translates literally as "boy," but it was also a term for a rank of nobleman equivalent to viscount, as well as a term of respect attached to the names of revered masters. Thus, "Lao Zi" can be translated roughly as "the old master." A viscount is a member of the European nobility, especially of France, and of the British peerage, where a viscount ranks above a baron, below an earl (a count in France), and corresponds in Britain to the Anglo-Saxon shire reeve. ...


Lao Zi's personal name may have been Li Er (李耳, Lǐ Ěr or Li Ehr), his courtesy name may have been Boyang (伯陽), and his posthumous name was Dān, (聃) which means "Mysterious." Cha can also refer to a Latin American dance, also called the Cha-cha-cha. ... A posthumous name (Traditional Chinese: 諡號/謚號 Simplified Chinese: 谥号; Pinyin: shì hào; Romaji: shigō/tsuigō; Revised Romanization of Korean: siho) is a honorary name given to royalty in some cultures posthumously, that is, after the persons death. ...


Lao Zi is also known as:

  • Elder Dan (老聃)
  • Senior Lord (老君)
    • Senior Lord Li (李老君)
    • Senior Lord Taishang (太上老君 Tàishàng Lǎojūn)
  • Taoist Lord Lao Zi (老子道君)

In the Li Tang Dynasty, in order to create a connection to Lao Zi as the ancestor of the imperial family, he was given a posthumous name of Emperor Xuanyuan (玄元皇帝), meaning "Profoundly Elementary;" and a temple name of Shengzu (聖祖), meaning "Saintly/Sagely Progenitor." Li or li may refer to: Lee or Li is a transliteration of several Chinese and Korean family names, see Li (Chinese name) and Lee (Korean name). ... The Tang Dynasty (唐朝 pinyin: tángcháo; 618–907) followed the Sui Dynasty and preceded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period in China. ... A posthumous name (Traditional Chinese: 諡號/謚號 Simplified Chinese: 谥号; Pinyin: shì hào; Romaji: shigō/tsuigō; Revised Romanization of Korean: siho) is a honorary name given to royalty in some cultures posthumously, that is, after the persons death. ... Temple names (Traditional Chinese: 廟號 Simplified Chinese: 庙号 Pinyin: miào hào;), are commonly used when naming most Chinese, Vietnamese (such dynasties as Tran,Anterior Lê and Nguyen Dynasty) and most Korean rulers of the Goryeo and Joseon Dynasties. ...


External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations by or about:

Lao Zi: Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wikiquote is a sister project of Wikipedia, using the same MediaWiki software. ...


The Tao Te Ching:

The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Translation is an activity comprising the interpretation of the meaning of a text in one language—the source text—and the production of a new, equivalent text in another language—called the target text, or the translation. ... Arthur David Waley (August 19, 1889 – June 27, 1966) was a noted English Orientalist and Sinologist. ... James Legge (December 20, 1815 - November 29, 1897) was a noted Scottish sinologist, a Scottish Congregationalist, representative of the London Missionary Society in Malacca and Hong Kong (1840-1873), and first professor of Chinese at Oxford University (1876-1897). ... Sonja Elen Kisa (born 1978) is a professional translator (English, French and Esperanto) who lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. ...

Bibliography

  • Wing-tsit Chan, "The Natural Way of Lao Tzu". Chapter 6, A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy. Princeton: University Press, 1963. ISBN 0-691-01964-9
  • Robert Henricks (translator). Lao-Tzu, Te-Tao Ching: A New Translation Based on the Recently Discovered Ma-wang-tui Texts. New York: Ballantine Books, 1989. ISBN 0-345-37099-6
  • Arthur Waley (translator). The Way and Its Power: A Study of the Tao Te Ching and Its Place in Chinese Thought. New York: Grove Press, 1958. ISBN 0-394-17207-8
  • Holmes Welch. Taoism: the Parting of the Way. Boston: Beacon Press, 1965. ISBN 0-8070-5973-0

  Results from FactBites:
 
Kids.Net.Au - Encyclopedia > Lao Zi (588 words)
Lao Zi (老子 lao3 zi5, also spelled Lao Tzu, Lao Tse or Lao Tze in Wade-Giles), was a famous Chinese philosopher of approximately the 4th century BC.
Lao Zi was probably a pseudonym of Dan, Prefect of the Grand Scribes (Tai Shi Dan 太史儋 tai4 shi3 dan4), an old man from Lai (Lao Lai Zi 老萊子 lao3 lai3 zi5) or some actual characters.
Lao Zi believed that violence should be avoided when possible, and that military victory was an occasion to mourn the necessity of using force against another living thing, rather than an occasion for triumphant celebrations.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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