Tao Te Ching
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Author: Lao Tzu, Robert Wilkinson (Introduction by), Tom Griffith (Editor)
Edition: New edition
Dating for around 300 BC, this is an early work of the Chinese school of philosophy called Taoism. It offers a complete view of the cosmos and how human beings should respond to it. It has mystical insight into the nature of things and forms a basis for a humane morality and political utopia. Although ascetics and hermits such as Shen Tao (who advocated that one 'abandon knowledge and discard self') first wrote of the 'Tao' it is with the sixth century B.C. philosopher Lao Tzu (or 'Old Sage' - born Li Erh) that the philosophy of Taoism really began.Some scholars believe was a slightly older contemporary of Confucius (Kung-Fu Tzu, born Chiu Chung-Ni). Other scholars feel that the Tao Te Ching, is really a compilation of paradoxical poems written by several Taoists using the pen-name, Lao Tzu. There is also a close association between Lao Tzu and the legendary Yellow Emperor, Huang-ti. According to legend Lao Tzu was keeper of the archives at the imperial court. When he was eighty years old he set out for the western border of China, toward what is now Tibet, saddened and disillusioned that men were unwilling to follow the path to natural goodness. At the border (Hank Pass), a guard, Yin Xi (Yin Hsi), asked Lao Tsu to record his teachings before he left. He then composed in 5,000 characters the Tao Te Ching (The Way and Its Power).