Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu or Laozi is thought to have lived in the 6th century BC, and he is known for his emphasis on cultivating a peaceful mind. In the “Tao Te Ching,” which he is often credited with writing, he presents an iconoclastic spiritual philosophy founded on the belief that everything in the universe is connected.
Despite the fact that Lao Tzu’s work has been adopted by a variety of spiritual systems and anti-authoritarian movements, it remains relevant today because of its ageless appeal.
Whether or not Lao-Tzu was a real person in the 6th century is irrelevant to the profound impact the Tao Te Ching has had on the philosophy of the globe, particularly in East Asia. There are 81 chapters in the Tao Te Ching, which forms the core of Taoism.
Scholars typically divide the book into two portions, with the first 37 chapters focusing on more metaphysical or abstract topics and the final 44 chapters addressing more tangible social or political themes.
According to the Tao Te Ching, if one wants to fully live the “Tao” or “the Way,” one must reject all external influences. A person’s judgment and actions get obscured when they allow their actions and emotions to be influenced by the events and people around them, according to Lao Tzu.
Even the act of learning about something is a type of self-inflicted misinformation. Lao Tzu says that when we gather knowledge and make judgments based on that information, we are not operating in line with our genuine selves, or the Way, as we should.
Natural forces, how they work, and how to live in accordance with these systems were the solution. Change in the world is actually harmful to Taoists (those who follow the Tao Te Ching). A person’s level of dissatisfaction rises in direct proportion to how far they attempt to influence circumstances via their own will alone.
Libertarians on the right In Murray Rothbard’s view, Laozi was the first libertarian, comparing Laozi’s beliefs on the government to FA. Hayek’s notion of spontaneous order. Laozi, like many liberals of the 18th century, “argued that reducing the role of government and allowing individuals to develop naturally would best accomplish social and economic harmony,” according to James A.
Dorn. Like David Boaz, the author of The Libertarian Reader in 1997, David Boaz included excerpts from the Daodejing in his work. In contrast, philosopher Roderick Long claims that libertarian principles in Taoist ideology are derived from older Confucian writers.
Laozi advocated for a small and limited role for the state. Rudolf Rocker, an anarcho-syndicalist Writer, and Activist lauded Laozi‘s “soft wisdom” and awareness of the antagonism between political authority and the cultural activities of the people and the community in his 1937 book Nationalism and Culture.
Another early proponent of anarchist ideas was Laozi, according to Peter Kropotkin’s article in the Encyclopaedia Britannica from 1910. The teachings of Laozi have been highlighted by anarchists like John P. Clark and Ursula K.
Le Guin in recent writings about the relationship between anarchism and Taoism. Le Guin claims in her Tao Te Ching retelling that Laozi “Doesn’t believe in the magic of political power As he sees it, righteous authority is earned and illegitimate power is illegally obtained.
Power is available to anybody who follows the Way, he believes, and sacrifice is a corruption of power. Because anarchists and Taoists have a lot in common, it’s no wonder they get along so well.”
Lao Tzu Quotes:
1. “He who conquers others is strong; He who conquers himself is mighty.”
2. “He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.”
3. “The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white. Neither need you do anything but be yourself.”
4. “One who is too insistent on his own views, finds few to agree with him.”
5. “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”
6. “Man’s enemies are not demons, but human beings like himself.”
7. “At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”
8. “Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.”
9. “When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.”
10. “He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.”