Tao Te Ching Characters

Stephen Mitchell
This Study Guide consists of approximately 29 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Tao Te Ching.
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The author of the TAO TE CHING, Lao-tzu is perhaps Confucius' older contemporary (551-479 BCE) and may have been an archivist in the petty kingdom of Chou. He has left few traces in history beyond this book, which, Mitchell declares is written out of "grandmotherly kindness" for complicated minds that cannot see simplicity. According to the oldest biography, Lao-tzu lives a long time in the country of Chou but departs when it declines. At the frontier, a guard asks him to write a book teaching him the art of living. Lao-tzu writes it and departs.

Because of his stress on "doing not-doing," Lao-tzu is often perceived as a hermit, but he cares about society. First person passages occur in chapters 20, 21, 29, 54, 67. Lao-tzu admits that some find his teaching nonsense, lofty but impractical, but those who look inside themselves see that it makes perfect sense. Those who practice it...

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This section contains 826 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Tao Te Ching Study Guide
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