19 June, 2021

Taoism | National Geographic Society

Taoism | National Geographic Society

Taoism (also spelled Daoism) is a religion and a philosophy from ancient China that has influenced folk and national belief. Taoism has been ...

Taoism (Taoism, Taoism

- Scriptures and Catechism

- Philosophy of Taoism

- Spread in China

- Biography of Lao Tzu

- Taoism in Vietnam.

The basic book of Taoism is the Tao Te Ching, written by Lao Tzu. In this book, Lao Tzu discusses a lot about the word Dao. According to Lao Tzu, the Dao is the nameless thing that preceded Heaven and Earth, formless , silent and empty, infinitely magical, creating Heaven and Earth and transforming all living things. That which you do not know what it is, you temporarily call it Tao. (See details in the Tao Te Ching section at the back).

Taoism mainly teaches about the word Dao , so Taoism is also called Taoism : The religion that teaches the word Dao. Taoism is also known as Taoism .

So, Taoism, Tien Dao, and Taoism all refer to one religion, one of the three major religions (Three Religions) in Asia.

Origins of Taoism (Taoism, Taoism)

Fairy religion has existed for a very long time,  since before Lao Tzu wrote the Tao Te Ching ,  when human society was formed, but at that time, people were not civilized and did not have a written language, so they only taught each other by oral tradition. never mind.

During the reign of King Hien Vien Huynh De (Emperor), according to legend, Duc Thai Thuong Dao To, incarnated as Quang Thanh Tu, came down to earth to teach King Huynh De and Queen about the secret of cultivation. Legend has it that King Huynh De and the Queen achieved success and were able to ride a dragon and fly to Heaven. During this period, those who received the true transmission of the secret method, took care of cultivation, obtained results, then found someone with a predestined part to pass on that secret, so the transmission went wrong and eventually lost it completely.

Later, according to legend,  Thai Thuong Dao To was reborn in the world as Lao Tzu,  he wrote the book Dao Duc Kinh that was handed down, and at that time, Tien Dao was called Taoism, because at that time it was attributed to the old man. Death handed down. People also remember the Tien sect in the time of Xuan Vien Huynh De (the Emperor), so it was collectively called Dao Hoang Lao. (Huang is Emperor, Lao is Lao Tzu).

Taoism is very revered like Buddhism and Confucianism, but Taoism advocates reincarnation, not participating in world affairs, different from Confucianism (Confucianism) which advocates reincarnation, so followers of these two religions often antagonize each other. Only a high-minded person with an open mind can absorb Taoism.

Classics & Teachings of Taoism

Lao Tzu, when passing through Ham Coc pass, met Doan Hy, the mandarin Doan who guarded Ham Coc pass. Doan Hy bowed to Lao Tzu and asked for his education. Lao Tzu was willing to stay in the country for a while to teach Doan Hy, then he wrote the book "DAO BINH" for Doan Hy, telling him to follow it and then attain the Way.

Doan Hy continued to follow the sutras and cultivate, gradually becoming wise, wrote a sutra called the Tay Thang Sutra consisting of 36 articles, but this sutra was not passed on.

Following Lao Tzu, there was Chuang Tzu, Lieh Tzu, especially Chuang Tzu, who was the most outstanding, composing the Nanhua Kinh while retreating at Nanhua Mountain, further clarifying Lao Tzu's doctrine.

So the teachings of the Prophets are clearly explained in two scriptures:

- Tao Te Ching of Lao Tzu.

- The Nanhua Kinh of Chuang Tzu, also known as the Book of Chuang Tzu.

Tao Te Ching

The Tao Te Ching consists of 5,363 words, divided into 81 chapters, including 2 parts: Upper and Lower, concise words, profound meaning, discussing the two words Dao and Duc, the formation of Heaven and Earth, and the biochemistry of all things. When all things have been born, each thing accumulates Dao and Virtue in its place to live and evolve.

With such a conception of the Universe and Humanity, Lao Tzu established his Teaching accordingly.

Talking about the word Dao

In the opening chapter of the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu discusses the word Dao:

“The Tao that can be said is not the eternal Tao, the name that can be called is not the ordinary name. The Nameless is the beginning of Heaven and Earth, the Well-known is the mother of all things."

The word NORMAL here means forever, always, unchanging, although everything changes, but itself does not change. So the lowercase that Lao Tzu used to refer to what has always been, that is to say, consider it as a rule.

Dao is Nameless, so it cannot contain language, but when we want to talk about it, we have to borrow language, called Dao. Tao is that which anything, and all things are born of. Because it is always present in everything, the Tao is always present. It is the beginning of all beginnings.

Lao Tzu said about the principle of Yin and Yang: Tao gives birth to one, One gives birth to two, Two gives birth to three, and Three gives birth to ten thousand things , that is, Tao gives birth to one, one gives birth to two, two gives birth to three, and three gives birth to ten thousand things. All things carry one Yin and one Yang, taking advantage of each other's position to blend together.

Talking about German

Lao Tzu said: Tao gives birth to all things, Virtue contains all things, then matter causes all things to form, and circumstances make things into things. Therefore, all things must respect the Dao and cherish the virtues. Dao is respected, Germany is valued, there is nothing to dictate and it is still natural. Therefore, the Way gives birth to all things, the Virtue of all things, the virtues of consolidating all things, making them large, making them live, making all things appear, making all things material, and nurture and protect all things. .

Seeing that, the Tao gives birth to heaven and earth, all things, and Germany nurtures them to arise and develop.

Tao is like a block of wood that has not been cut, that is, simple. There is nothing simpler than the Nameless Dao. Virtue is something simple after Tao, and followers of Germany should live a life as simple as possible.

Those who have a life in harmony with Germany must stay outside the boundaries of good and bad, good and evil. Lao Tzu said: If people know that beauty is beautiful, then there is ugliness; If you know that good is good, then there is akusala.

Therefore, Lao Tzu considers Confucianism's Humanity and Righteousness to be qualities that degrade Tao and Virtue. Therefore, Lao Tzu said: If you lose the Tao, you will have virtue, if you lose your virtue, you will have humanity; if you lose your humanity, you will have meaning; if you lose your meaning, you will have a ceremony. This term means the person who was born ®· ·, ,, ©, , . Ng When people get used to these things, they need to figure out how to teach them in a meaningful, meaningful, and meaningful way.

One loses the original Virtue because there is too much desire and understanding. Satisfying desires means finding happiness, but when we try to satisfy too many desires, we only get the opposite result.

Lao Tzu emphasizes the fruit of desire (Lack of desire), so he said: There is no greater evil than not knowing enough, there is no greater sin than wanting.


No-vi is not doing, that is, letting nature take its course.

Lao Tzu saw that the natural is always beneficial, not harmful. If so, just let nature work. Diving into the natural machine, can not help but bring disaster on themselves.

Therefore, Lao Tzu considers Wu Wei to be both an idealism that is in harmony with nature and a universalism. Lao Tzu applies it to all things in life, from small things like cultivating the body, daily conduct, to big things like taking care of society's happiness.

The word VO in wu-wei does not have an absolute meaning, so Lao Tzu's wu-wei is not inaction at all.

Lao Tzu said: Tao usually does not do (that is, according to nature), but there is nothing that it does not do. In Heaven and Earth, everything has a cause. If there is life, there will be death, if there is work, then there will be failure. Only with competition will someone compete with you. If you want to be at peace, don't compete, if you don't compete, no one will compete with you.

So to avoid failure, to avoid the damage caused by it, one must also eliminate its cause.

What is the cause of the failure? Lao Tzu called it: "Doing". Lao Tzu said: Those who do everything will fail, those who want to keep everything lose. Therefore, the saint does not do anything, so he is not defeated (ever). People often work, often when they are close to the city, they fail.

How does Violentism eliminate the causes of harmful things?

Ordinary people are often reckless, disregarding the simple and small things, when the small things have become great causes; Easy things have turned into difficult causes, then when you worry about doing it, then you can't do it anymore.

Violentism consists in eradicating harmful causes before they are discovered. Lao Tzu said: Big and small, more or less, they all take revenge for hatred with virtue. Take care of difficult things from an easy time, do big things from a young age. The difficult things in the world, must be done from a young age, the great things in the world must be done from a young age. Therefore, the Saint never does any great work that can be accomplished. Accepting recklessly, of course, is less true, considering how easy it is, the more difficult it is. Therefore, saints often find it difficult, but in the end, nothing is difficult.

Lao Tzu's original intention was not to sit with his arms crossed and watch. He also did not want to take care of the world, but took care of it by eliminating the harmful germs before they sprouted.

Therefore, Wu Viism is not not doing, not treating, but having to do it from the time when nothing has happened, and treat it when there is no chaos.

Talking about Politics

Rule the country and the people.

According to Lao Tzu, the ideal country is one ruled by a saint. This is in agreement with the Confucianists, but the Confucianists say that: When coming to power, saints must do many things for the benefit of the people.

As for Lao Tzu, he said the opposite: It is not the duty of the Holy King to work but to do nothing (Wu Vi), because disturbances occur in this life not because many things have not been done, but because too much work has been done.

Lao Tzu clearly said: People with many days of cavalry, the people are poor. If people have many weapons, the country will be in chaos. The more skillful people are, the more fake things are. The higher the ordinance, the more thieves and robbers. The first act of the Holy King was to drop all that.

Lao Tzu also said: Once the saints have abandoned wisdom, the people will benefit a hundredfold. When people give up meaning, people are filial. Stop cleverly giving up profits, thieves are no more. Do not like gentle people, make people not fight. No precious things, so people don't steal. Not seeing things to be coveted, so that the people's hearts are not disturbed.

Therefore, the way of ruling the people of the Holy King is to fill the heart, weak, and strong bones, often making the people ignorant of desires, so that those who know do not dare to do it. The Holy King will destroy all causes of trouble in life. Then will reign by Violentism. Wu Wei is doing nothing, but doing everything.

Lao Tzu said: I don't do it, but the people know it. I like peace but the people are self-righteous. I am unharmed, but the people themselves are rich. We do not want people to sketch themselves.

Do not do (No Vi) without doing nothing. That is Lao Tzu's particular thought, it seems contradictory, paradoxical. But according to Taoists, the ruler of the country must imitate the Tao. The government does nothing, but lets the people do what each person can do.

From that logic, Lao Tzu added: The holy king did not make the people bright, but made the people stupid. The word " stupid " here has a special meaning like the sentence: Great wisdom and weakness . The foolishness of the Saints is great wisdom. The stupidity of the people here is not being ambitious, living a simple and natural life.

Chuang Tzu's Nanhua Jing

The Nanhua Kinh now has 33 heavens, divided into 3 parts: Inner Thien, Outer Thien and Tap Thien. The most valuable are 3 articles: Tieu Dao Du, Qi Archeology, and Thu Thuy.

Chuang Tzu advocates a return to nature, upholds the freedom of individuals, believes that all things are equal, there is no good or evil, no right or wrong, no good or bad, honor and disgrace, etc.

Chuang Tzu's thought is very romantic, profound, and strange. The most special is his licentious voice, which does not spare any class of people, from kings to mandarins, from the rich, which he called shameless, to the intellectuals according to Confucianism, according to Mo, he also scorned.

He did not care about the worldly, did not desire to live, did not fear death, considered life just a big dream, death is a waking dream.

His essays are unique, rushing like a great river, not using reasoning to convince like Mencius, but only using strange ideas, abrupt conclusions, unexpected examples to make things happen. the reader is surprised, amused, or embarrassed, which is indisputable.

The thoughts of Chuang Tzu expressed in the Nanhua Kinh  are as follows:

3.2.1. The way to happiness

The first article in the Nam Hoa Kinh is Tieu Dao Du, which contains many funny stories. Chuang Tzu showed the way to happiness: The free development of human nature can lead to relative happiness. To have absolute happiness, there must be a thorough understanding of the nature of things.

Following God is the source of all happiness and goodness. Following Him is the source of all troubles and harms.

All things differ in their nature and natural abilities. But the common thing is that all things are equally happy when their capacities are used fully and freely. It is only a finite, relative happiness.

Those who do not understand are sad. But once you understand it, you won't feel sad anymore. So you can use reason to make love. One can use reason to control emotions.

Chuang Tzu maintains that: When a sage has fully understood things, he no longer has feelings. That means that the Saint is no longer swayed by emotions. Therefore, thanks to the understanding of the nature of things, the Saint does not feel sad because of the changes of life. The sage is no longer dependent on external things and, therefore, happiness is no longer limited by external objects. The saint has reached such absolute happiness.

Chuang Tzu emphasizes the union between people and things. To realize that union, there must be a higher understanding and intelligence. The happiness resulting from that union is absolutely absolute.

3.2.2. Political and Social Thought

Chuang Tzu vehemently opposes the government's method of ruling the people by mechanical laws. He advocated that: The best way to govern the people is Anarchy. He said: I have heard that the world should be left alone, but I have not heard to rule the world. To leave people alone is to be afraid of causing people to lose their character and move their virtue. If the world is not corrupt and does not change virtue, then there is no need to rule the world.

A sage is one who has merged with the Tao. The saint may rule the world, but his politics is to leave the world alone, and to leave people free to make full use of their natural abilities.

Dao is Nameless, so Saints are also Nameless, because they have merged with Dao.

3.2.3. Transcendent point of view

Chuang Tzu advocates "right and wrong" views, which are stated by each person based on his or her own subjective knowledge. These are all relative concepts.

Going a little above, right and wrong, life and death are just the change of things. Same thing, but in one aspect it is right, in another it is wrong. Then we don't need to decide for ourselves what is right and what is wrong.

Beyond that, that is, the transcendental point of view, one must see things in the light of Heaven, which is the point of view of the Tao. Although all things are different, they are all the same in that they are useful, for all are caused by the Tao. Therefore, from the point of view of transcendence, i.e. the Tao, we see that even though we are different, we can still be one.

The distinction between Self and Not-Self, is also relative. From the Taoist point of view, the Self and the Not-Self unite.

Forget the difference between right and left. Have fun in infinity and stop there. The realm of infinity is the realm of those who have attained the Way.

Chuang Tzu has reached the final solution of the original Taoist problem. It is a matter of preserving life and avoiding the danger of suffering. But with the Sage, it is no longer a problem. Chuang Tzu wrote: Heaven and Earth are all things united. Reaching the BEST is one with Heaven and Earth, our limbs are no more than mud, life and death, end and end, no different from the continuity of day and night, can't be bothered. That way, you don't have to worry about winning or losing.

Thus, Chuang Tzu solves the original Taoist problem by dropping it altogether. It is the Philosophical method of solving problems.

Once you have forgotten all distinctions, you become the UNIVERSAL UNIVERSITY, that is, the Great Whole. Because the sage has satisfied this condition, we can say that the sage has reached the transcendental knowledge that the Taoists call " Knowledge is not understanding ".

The difference between the sage and the ignorant, the original is as clear as the difference between the courageous and the fearless, for this person knows no fear. The original ignorant person is one who has no understanding, not one who has ignorance. That is the final stage, the stage of reaching ignorance which the Taoists call " Knowing is not knowing ".

Philosophy of Taoism

Concepts of the Universe and all things

For Lao Tzu, the origin of the universe and all things is the Tao.

The Tao is a formless, formless body that is neither born nor destroyed, eternally eternal. The reason why people can't see the Tao is because it is a discrete element that has not yet formed an image, "unknown" and "unknown" .

Dao gives birth to one, one gives birth to two, two gives birth to three, three gives birth to all things. One is Tai Chi, Two is Yin and Yang, Three is the Trinity (Triple: Tai Chi, Yang and Yin). Nh u - such a profile in view niOm CNA L · Cars CI mμ warmed born sky is clear, streak v¹n kh «× nh ng t h u ing, kh« ng Serial saw that kh «ng c¶m receives ® U IC, « not known for g × , search for . §¹o born Thi Cuc (§¹o birth meters), the National Office ¢ m D- born U ¬ng (born two meters), D- ¢ m u ¬ng born three ng «i: Thi Cuc , ¢ m vμ D u -¬ng (Tam thiªn Vth), three-ng «i born v¹n streak. That Yin and Yang receive Sinh light from the throne of Tai Chi, then both conflict and harmonize, to form the Universe and all things. Therefore, in all things there is Yin and Yang: All things carry a Yin and carry a Yang.

So according to Taoism, before the universe was formed, in the vast expanse of nothingness, there was a very magical substance called Tao. Dao transforms into Yin and Yang. Yin and Yang push and harmonize to create the Universe and all things.

All things are born, interact with each other, prosper with each other, and then eventually disintegrate to return to the state of nothingness and formlessness, that is, back to its origin, the Dao.

The concept of Humanity

Lao Tzu believes that the Dao of God is not close to anyone, not to anyone. Heaven and Earth created all things, vegetables, birds, and humans, not for them to eat each other, but for all living things to use what they like to live.

Lao Tzu does not take life for pleasure, considers living as a duty, is not cynical, is not optimistic, and sees death as a submission to a certain nature.

Lao Tzu hates people who are greedy for fame and gain, and attach too much importance to their own flesh. This flesh is an unworthy one, for it is often a concern to people; The most precious thing is when people know how to bring their bodies to serve the world.

Lao Tzu advises people not to be too respectful and inclined to the material life, to restrain their desires, to focus on the spirit, to suppress the qi with the mind. Virtue.

Lao Tzu does not discuss God, Soul, Heaven, Hell, but only talks in general about the origin of people and things that come from the Dao, and eventually returns to the Dao, merging with the Dao. .

Zhe Li Vo Vi

Wanting to join the Tao, Lao Tzu talked about the Philosophy of Wuwei. (No Vi is not doing, that is, not interfering with nature, so that people live according to nature and evolve with nature.)

Ly Vo Vi includes : No demand, No competition, No gain, No attachment.

-   No demand: No ambition

-   No contention: No dispute

-   Not taking : No greed, no appropriation

- Non- attachment: Not discriminating against everything, not accepting the good and the bad

Non-doing is Tao. Tao usually does not do, but there is nothing that cannot be done. From where you can't do it, you can do it all. Do everything and do nothing. That is the secret of Dao.

The theory of Wu Wei is too mysterious and far-reaching, few people can fully comprehend it, so it has been lost or misunderstood.

To follow the Dao theory, it is necessary to Alchemy Dan , to gather the Three Jewels: Tinh, Qi, and God, into one, that is, the Spirit of the Spirit of Unity. We must continue to purify ourselves to discharge all of them, to merge into the void, that is, to return to union with the Tao. Alchemy alchemy is training for Thanh Thai(Brother Nhi, Relic), not the practice of Immortal medicine, immortality. Practice for the Nature to become an indestructible Vajra, encounter movement and not disorder, enter the ceiling without being infected, concentrate but not die, walk or lie down but not walk, stand or lie down, preach the Dharma without preaching, etc. ... that is to enter into Ly Vo Vi so.

The Spread of Taoism in China

After the reign of Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu (Bit Vien) and Lieh Tu further clarified Lao Tzu's Tao and promoted it. Taoism is very mysterious and sublime, few people understand it, so those who learn Tao later turn into magicians who seek magic from the gods and the art of immortality.

King Qin Shi Huang sent Tu Phuc and Lu Born to the East Sea to find the elixir of life. Emperor Wu of Han was also very devoted to Taoism, and along with Dong Phuong Soc, prayed to Dieu Tri Kim Mau to come down. During the Eastern Han Dynasty, Truong Dao Lang studied according to the book Dao Duc Kinh, then made a book called Dao Kinh, teaching the art of longevity. The Truong Giac and Truong Tu (later emerged as the Yellow Turbans) were students of Truong Dao Lang, trained to be allowed to call and change martial arts, and to become soldiers.

During the Tang Dynasty, Taoism prevailed, on par with Confucianism and Buddhism, spreading throughout the country. During the Song Dynasty, the king established a Taoist church, and set up classes (Tien Sinh, Xiu) and officials (Thi Than, Hieu Tich) for his disciples. In the Southern Song Dynasty, Taoism (Taoism) had a decline. During the Yuan Dynasty, Taoism was divided into 3 sects: Chinh Nhat Dao, Chan Dai Daoism, and Tai Ying, which circulated quite widely.

During the Ming Dynasty, Taoist Truong Chinh Thuong was given the title Chan Nhan (Truth Nhan) with the rank of Chanh Nhi grade. King Minh The Ton was very devoted to Taoism, placed the Taoist School in the Palace, and many of his father's and fathers' paintings were displayed, and his followers often did a lot of mundane things. King Minh Muc Tong ascended the throne, killed evil Taoists, but still respected Taoism.

During the Qing Dynasty, Taoism was also quite popular, everywhere in the country, there was a church of Lao Tzu. In Beijing, there is the Baiyun Quan, which holds up to 3,000 Taoist books. The art of Taoism at this time was to go to the mountains to practice Qi to nourish the gods, or to practice dan sa, drink for a long life, or draw charms to exorcise demons and cure evil. The Taoists all wear yellow robes and crowns.

In the capital, there was Dao Luc Ty, in the government there was Dao Ky Ty, in the continents there was Dao Chinh Ty, in the districts there was Dao Hoi Ty, to manage the Taoists.

In short, after Chuang Tzu's death and Lieh Tzu's death, since then, there was no one who understood the teachings of Taoism to stand up to correct and promote it further, so Taoism was quickly lost and disappeared. form superstitious forms such as elixir of life, spells, and witchcraft.

There are also a very few people who understand Taoism well, but do not come out to help correct the Dao Dharma, but retreat to the deep mountains and valleys to cultivate to become a fairy. But the spirit of Taoism still strongly influenced all classes of people, kings and officials and Confucian intellectuals.

6. Biography of Lao Tzu

Legend has it that: Lao Tzu is the true spirit of Thai Thuong Dao To who came to earth during the Shang Dynasty in China. Duc Thai Thuong Dao To, also known as Duc Thai Thuong Dao Quan, is the one who was born by Qi Tien Thien before the creation of Heaven and Earth.

According to legend, during the reign of King Banh Canh of the Shang Dynasty (1461 BC), there was a daughter called Ngoc Nu who was just 8 years old, the child of a pious family, went out to play in the back garden, and was found on a tree. Li Li had a delicious ripe fruit, she picked it up and ate it. After eating, she felt tired and pregnant.

Ngoc Nu's father saw the strangeness, immediately calculated the Yin and Yang hexagrams, guessing that a Great Fairy had descended in his daughter's belly, so he was happy and raised his daughter very carefully.

Ngoc Nu was pregnant like this until she was old without giving birth. By the year Ngoc Nu was 80 years old, that is, she had been pregnant for nearly 72 years. At that time, three Shang kings had passed: King Ban Canh, King Tieu Tan, King Tieu At, and began the reign of King Vo Dinh (1324 BC). calendar), Mrs. Ngoc Nu saw the moon shining, so she went for a walk in the garden. When passing the old lily tree, the child jumped out from the womb, following the mother's armpit. Mrs. Ngoc Nu was startled, and looked at her armpits as usual. The child jumped out, had been in the mother's womb for 72 years, so his hair was white, so he was called Lao Tzu (Old Son). It was the Ox hour on the 15th day of the second lunar month in the year of the Dragon.

Lao Tzu pointed to the Li tree and said it was his surname. He called himself Lao Dam, himself Ba Duong, and each ear had 3 holes, so he also called him Ly Nhi.

He has a wide mouth, wide teeth, high heaven, good beard, short eyes, long ears, high nose bridge like split in two, on his forehead there are wrinkles like the three words Tam Thien.

The Ly tree, the birthplace of Lao Tzu, lived in Khuc Nhan hamlet, Lai village, Khu district, Chu state, today in Anhui province, Hunan province.

Lao Tzu had the chance to tell his birth year in the following four verses:

LY digs up the sprouts of a dragon statue,

LAO trains single body into two bodies.

The government sits and cooks medicine,

Christmas Thuong waits for Vo Dinh Quan.

4 words: Ly Lao Tu, and the last verse means: Christmas in the Shang Dynasty, waiting for King Vo Dinh to be born.

At the end of the Shang Dynasty, through the Zhou Dynasty, during the reign of King Thanh Vuong (1115 BC), Lao Tzu went to work as an official Zhu Xia Shi at the Zhou Dynasty Library to have the opportunity to study Tai Chi Tu. He saved Tu Giap as the keeper of the Library Museum, and after that, the two teachers and students resigned to go to Western countries. In the reign of King Chau Khuong Vuong, following King Thanh Vuong, Lao Tzu returned. After three years, he went to the West to teach religion. He was riding in a white buffalo cart driven by Tu Giap, and when he reached Ham Coc pass, the mandarin Doan who kept the pass was named Hy (so he was often called Doan Hy) and thought that Thien Thien knew that a great saint was about to pass through the pass, so he prepared. wear a royal uniform. When he saw Lao Tzu coming, knowing that he was a saint, he respected Lao Tzu as his teacher, and asked to learn the Way.

This former Ong Quan Doan Hy is the true spirit of Thuy Thien Ton who descended to earth. When the mother was pregnant, he dreamed that a piece of red silk fell from heaven and hung around him, after giving birth to Doan Hy, he saw lotus flowers growing around the house. He grew up, eyes as bright as stars, long beard, good general, talented in astronomy. When he was an official Doan guarding Ham Coc pass, Doan Hy looked up at the sky and saw a purple cloud flying from the east to the west, he knew it was a sign that the saint was about to cross the pass to go to the west, so he prepared to go to the west. thoughtful next.

Again, when Lao Tzu came to Ham Coc pass, seeing that Doan Hy had a sincere heart, he agreed to stay at the border for nearly 3 months to teach Doan Hy the Way.

When he saw that Lao Tzu was about to leave, Doan Hy asked him to tell him his name and volunteered to follow him.

Lao Tzu replied: I have been born for many generations, so many names are known. Currently, people call me Lao Tzu. If you have the heart to follow Me, but you are still young in cultivation and have never changed divine powers, how can you follow Me? As long as you practice according to the teachings you have taught for a long time, you will be like me in the future, wherever you go.

Having said that, Lao Tzu gave Doan Hy a book of Tao Te Ching consisting of 5,363 words, saying: You should study according to this book, practice correctly for 1000 days, then go to Thuc country and find me at Thanh Duong market. After saying this, Lao Tzu got into a white and blue buffalo car, and Tu Giap drove the car, showing his aura going to the West and disappearing.

Doan Hy looked after the teacher, bowing.

After that, Doan Hy continued to follow the Tao Te Ching and cultivate, after a long time becoming wise, he wrote a book of 36 articles called the West Thang Sutra.

Near the time of the appointment with the teacher, Doan Hy prepared to go to the country of Thuc to find him just as the teacher told him. When coming to Thuc, Doan Hy asked where Thanh Duong market was, but no one knew. At that time, Lao Tzu had returned to Thien Cung, then came down to earth in his first life to enter the Ly family in the country of Thuc, a sage and virtuous man. When the wife of the Ly family gave birth to a baby boy a few months old, a green goat (Thanh Duong) came to play with him. It was Lao Tzu who told his son Qingyang to appear in the Heavenly Palace.

The other day the green goat ran away, the boy cried all the time. The Ly family had to send their servants everywhere to look for them, see a green goat leading back, and pass by a market. Doan Hy was inquiring about Thanh Duong market, suddenly seeing someone leading a green goat through the market, suddenly thought that his teacher must be here. Thinking that, Doan Hy immediately ran after the person leading the green goat and asked:

Where are you taking this goat?

He replied: My master gave birth to a boy, a few months ago this goat came to play with him. The other day it was gone, the little boy kept crying. My master sent me to search and bring back.

Doan Hy followed the servant to the house and told the servant, "You go in and tell the boy that Doan Hy is coming to look for him.

The servant smiled to himself: The young boy had not yet left the cradle, so why not tell him, but he also went in and said: Yes Doan Hy came to find him.

When the boy heard that, he sat up and replied: Doan Hy did as he said, not being late.

Then Doan Hy entered. Suddenly saw the boy grow up like a normal person, sitting on a lotus, aura shining. The whole family was scared. He said:

I am Lao Tzu reincarnated again.

Doan Hy was overjoyed and came to worship the teacher. Lao Tzu said: In the past, I did not take you with me because I was afraid that you would not persevere in your cultivation. Now that you have cultivated thoroughly, your aura is hidden and blinding. Having said that, Lao Tzu recited the mantra, commanded the gods to come down to serve, ordained Doan Hy to restore the position of Master of Water, rule over 80,000 gods, and consecrate the whole Ly family to become Tien.

Later, during the reign of King Chau Kinh Vuong, Confucius went to the Zhou capital to study Ritual, heard that Lao Tzu was there, and immediately came to ask for his introduction and asked Lao Tzu about the ceremony. (This meeting is recorded in Sima Thien's History of History.)

Confucius advocated following the rites of the previous kings, but Lao Tzu rejected that idea, saying: Those whom he spoke of were all broken, only their words remained. . Besides, when the gentleman meets the right time, the horse-drawn carriage crosses; when the time is not met, the hand holds the conical hat and walks barefoot. I have heard: Good traders know how to hide their treasures, making it seem as if there are no goods; A gentleman with good virtue often looks like a fool. You should give up your pride and lust, your eagerness and your greed, which are of no use to you. That's all I told you.

When Confucius left, Lao Tzu sent Confucius to the door and said: I have heard: Rich people send each other off with money, and virtuous people send each other off with words. I can't make a rich man, but stealing my reputation as a virtuous man, I say goodbye to you: The wise and profound are close to death because they rightly praise and criticize people; people who are good at arguing, have a deep mind that endangers their own body because they bring up the bad things of others. The son has no way to keep himself, and the servant has no way to keep himself.

What Lao Tzu meant, when he said these words to Confucius, was that he was against intelligence, loyalty and filial piety, which are the principles that Confucius was upholding, because: Having wisdom, If you follow Trung and Hieu, you will be completely dependent on the king and on your parents, it is difficult to live freely, leisurely and leisurely.

Confucius left and said to his disciples: A bird, I know it flies; The fish we know it swims, the beast we know it runs. For those that run, we can use nets to hunt, for those that swim, we can catch fish, for those that fly, we can shoot with bows and arrows, coming like a dragon riding a cloud on the wind and ascending to Heaven. , we don't know. Today, meeting Lao Tzu, Could he be a dragon?

Taoism was transmitted to our country by the Chinese once with Confucianism, from the time when Si Nie was a Thai Beast. Vietnamese people believe and revere, but not as influential as Confucianism.

During the reign of King Dinh Tien Hoang, Taoism was quite extensive. The king appointed Truong Mani as Monk of the Six Daos. After the Ly dynasty, Taoism continued to prevail.

During the Tran Dynasty, King Tran Thai Ton opened the Tam Dao exam, selecting people who were talented in Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. At this point, the three religions are equally respected. Those who follow any religion but have learned profoundly will be used by the king to help the country, not just based on Confucianism. After the Le dynasty, Taoism still did not decline, but Confucianism and Buddhism flourished. King Le Than Ton allowed Tran Loc to establish the Noi Trang Dao.

From then on, Taoism still exists, but is less popular. The spirit of Taoism still deeply influences the Vietnamese people. The intellectual elite have liberal thoughts, do not like to bring their bodies into the circle of fame and gain, then seek a peaceful and free situation, live according to the spirit of Taoism, cultivate character.

Confucian scholars, in their youth, when they bring themselves into the circle of fame and gain, use Confucianism to govern the country and the people, to save misery and danger, but when they are old, they are suitable for Taoism, living a peaceful life. with nature.

The common people believe in fairy tales, pray for spells, witchcraft, making superstitious variations of Taoism always exist.

Where is Taoism lost?

“As for Taoism, it is mysterious, even mysterious, so it is only the wise who understand the root cause, but often people and even lowly people find it very difficult to understand the mystery, so they misunderstand, think wrong, and devise magic tricks. rules, spells, enchanting world habits, adding customs, causing people to become infected with superstitions, such as chanting the dance, removing demons, deploying troops, and turning into Ta Dao Bang Mon, it's a real thing. very harmful.

Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu is a major figure in Chinese Philosophy , and his existence in history is still disputed. According to Chinese legend, he lived in the 6th century BC . Many modern scholars believe that he lived in the 4th century BC , during the time of the Hundred families and the Warring States period . Lao Tzu is considered to be the writer of the Tao Te Ching (the influential book of Taoism ), and he is recognized as the Founder of Taoism .


Little is known about Lao Tzu's life. His presence in history as well as his writing of the book "Dao Te Ching" is highly disputed. Lao Tzu became an important cultural figure for subsequent generations of Chinese. Legend has it that he was born in Khuc Nuoc So district , now Loc Ap in Ha Nam province , during the last years of the Spring and Autumn period . Some legends say that when he was born his hair was white, because he was in the womb for eight or eighty years, which explains his name, which can be translated as "old master".

Lao Tzu was strange from the day he was born

According to legend, and a biography included in Sima Qian's history , Lao Tzu was a contemporary but older than Confucius and served as a bookkeeper in the Zhou court library . Confucius had intended or happened to meet him in the state of Zhou, near what is now Luoyang , where Confucius intended to read the books in the library. According to those stories, for months afterward, Confucius and Lao Tzu argued about etiquette and etiquette, which were the cornerstones of Confucianism . Lao Tzu believes that it is not practical to restore Confucius's rites of the Zhou Dynasty to help people be at peace. Taoist legend has it that these debates were more beneficial to Confucius than those found in the library.

Later, Lao Tzu realized that the country's politics were falling apart and decided to leave. He traveled west on a buffalo through the state of Qin and from there disappeared into the vast desert . Legend has it that there was a doorman named Doan Hi at the west gate of Ham Coc Pass who persuaded Lao Tzu to write down his insights before going into the desert. Until then, Lao Tzu had only spoken out about his philosophies , and as was the case with Jesus , Buddha , and Confucius ( anthologies of Their work is almost done by disciples). At the request of that soldier, Lao Tzu wrote and left the book "Dao De Kinh". Many records and paintings of Lao Tzu remain to this day, often showing him as a bald old man with a very long white or black beard; He often rides on the back of a buffalo .

Some of the issues still being debated about Lao Tzu's life include:

- Controversy broke out about the fact that "Lao Tzu" was a pseudonym of Dam, Thai Su Dam ; or an old man from Lai, a county in the country of Qi ; or a historical figure.

- There are also people who believe that "Tao Te Ching" was written as a guidebook for kings on how they should rule the country in a more natural way: "Ruling by not ruling. treat". This can be seen in many passages in the "Dao De Kinh", when it says: "If people don't praise noble people, people won't argue" and "If people don't appreciate the value of precious things, people won't rob" and "The people are starving as a result of heavy taxes. Therefore, there is no famine."


Lao Tzu's work, The Tao Te Ching , is one of the most remarkable treatises in the history of Chinese philosophy. It is his supposed masterpiece , touching on many philosophical issues in the relationship between man and nature, "people follow the earth, the earth follows the sky, heaven follows the Tao, the Tao follows the nature." ", that people need to live in harmony with nature and creation, obey the laws of nature, cultivate to live long and close to the Tao.

Lao Tzu developed the concept of " Dao ", which means "The Way", in Lao Tzu's time every profession had a word "Dao" behind it, Lao Tzu said his Tao was "Dao is an extraordinary Daoist. The name Dao is famous and famous." (The Tao that can be said is no longer an ordinary Tao. The name that can be coined is no longer an ordinary name. The word "Dao" means "Tang" and means "Speaking". ", Danh means "Name" but also means "Name") and expands its meaning to the law or principle of the cyclic universe and affects all things: "Tao is the way of nature." ". He emphasized the concept of non-action, "Nothingness is quiet, natural, unconditioned", or "action through inaction", "act according to nature without unnatural purpose". This does not mean that one should just sit around and do nothing, but rather to act according to nature, to act according to universal principles, not to be bound by strong personal goals, hope to achieve something specific. Actions practiced according to the Tao are much easier and more effective than any attempt to combat it. People act according to nature when through cultivation to understand the principles of the universe, nature, and transform themselves into a higher being. Lao Tzu believed that violence should be avoided when possible, and that a military victory should be an occasion to grieve rather than celebrate victory.

Like the objections made by Plato in The Republic of Many Forms of Government, Lao Tzu points out that rules for standardization and governance only lead to a more difficult society to control. Lao Tzu said, "If the people are not afraid of death, what is the use of threatening them with death", one can understand that if they put in place too many harsh laws to force people to obey, but if they do not obey in their hearts, it will cause problems. more difficult situations later.

Like many other Chinese thinkers, his interpretation of thought always uses paradox, analogy, the use of pre-existing statements, repetition, symmetry, rhyme, and repetition of events. The passages attributed to him are very poetic and difficult to understand. They are considered as starting points for cosmological considerations or introspective observations. Many aesthetic theories in Chinese art derive from the ideas of him and his most famous successor, Chuang Tzu .

Some think that the Western philosophical school most similar to Taoism is the Traditional School , particularly the works of Ananda Coomaraswamy and Rene Guenon .


Work Tao Te Ching of Lao Tzu is a classic philosophical works.

Chuang Tzu , the famous follower of Lao Tzu, has written a book that has influenced world intellectuals China with the idea of individualism, freedom, disengaged, and art, books this book may be the very foundation of Chinese Americanism although the author says nothing about it.


Drawing of Lao Tzu riding a buffalo to leave China

The name "Lao Tzu" is an honorific title. Lao means "respectable" or "old". Death means teacher. Thus, "Lao Tzu" can be roughly translated as "elderly master".

In Lao Tzu and Dao Duc Kinh seen from Lac Viet civilization published on the Eastern Theoretical Forum, author Nguyen Vu Tuan Anh said that Nguyen Hien Le's book LT-DĐK (Published in Culture and Information - 1994) "is a book" gathered quite a lot of documents, analyzed deeply and objectively compiled…”. Another person also appreciated Nguyen Hien Le's translation. In the easy-to-understand Dao Duc Kinh , Phan Ngoc said: “In this translation, I thank the Vietnamese translations of Nguyen Hien Le, Thu Giang, and Giap Van Cuong, which I refer to with the spirit of “Having a heart to learn”. Those are all good translations, showing a level of deep Chinese learning and a very serious research effort. Compared to many French, English, German, and Russian translations, it is easier to understand.”

Biography of Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu is a rather strange phenomenon in the history of human philosophy. He was a great philosopher, influenced the whole of East Asia like Confucius, was always respected by the Chinese people unlike Mo Tu whose name was sunk for two thousand years; somewhat more than Confucius because he has not been brutally slaughtered like the Confucian family in seven or eight decades; but from 165 (Later Han Dynasty) was still honored by Dao family as Thai Thuong Lao Quan, one of their three supreme gods; His temple, Dai Thanh Cung, is said to have been built in the place where he was born, still in Ha Nam province today, the incense smoke must have been cold by now, but his four-meter-tall statue may still be there. Yet we don't know anything for certain about his life, or even the immortal work that bears his name, although the Chinese were the earliest known people of the world's most important history since the Zhou dynasty, three thousand years ago,

Since Sima Qian's time, how many people have looked up enough ancient books to find out what Lao Tzu's real name is, what era he lived in, what he did, who he interacted with, but only hypothesized, and more and more. The discussion became more and more confused because of conflicting opinions, so much so that someone - a Japanese scholar named Tan Dien Ta Huu Cat - denied everything, saying that Lao Tzu was a legendary man, there was none!

Even the very short work Lao Tzu ( Dao De Kinh is the name given to it by the Han Dynasty) with different punctuation marks, so far, there have been over two hundred copies of proofreading, explaining, and consuming countless papers and ink. . Again, who wrote that work, and when it appeared, is another dilemma. In particular, La Can Trach, in the book Chu Tu The Book (People's Publishing Communal - Beijing - 1958) also wrote three articles, totaling over 30,000 words to comment on Lao Tzu and Lao Tzu's work.and made a list of the opinions of more than thirty scholars before him and his contemporaries. But in the end, the questions raised by the previous person are still questions, and may forever be questions, unable to be solved. A philosopher with a work of only about five thousand words - ten, fifteen pages of a book - that makes posterity wonder, consumes such minds, can be said to be unprecedented in history.

The Legend of Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu 's life was first recorded in Sima Thien's History of the Dead , Part 63: Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu , Shen Not Harm, and Han Fei. The full text is as follows:

Lao Tzu is from Khuc Nhan village, Huong Le, Ho district, So country; surnamed Li, name Nhi, self-proclaimed Dam, is a historical official, keeping the bookstore of the Zhou dynasty.

When Confucius went to Zhou and asked Lao Tzu about the ceremony, Lao Tzu replied:

“The people you spoke of, their flesh and bones have all been crushed, only their words remain. Besides, if the time is right, the gentleman rides on a horse-drawn carriage; when he is not, he wears conical hats and walks on foot. I heard that good traders hide precious things carefully, treating the outside as nothing; A man of high moral character looks like a fool. You should get rid of your arrogance, your lustful heart, your eagerness, and your overzealous will, they won't do you any good. That's all I advise you to have."

Confucius returned and told his disciples: “A bird, I know it can fly; the fish we know it can swim; Animals we know can run. When we run we use nets to trap us, when we wade we use fishing nets to catch us, when we fly we use arrows to shoot. As for dragons riding the wind and clouds to the sky, we cannot know. Today I met Lao Tzu, is he a dragon?"

Lao Tzu cultivates morality; His doctrine consists mainly in concealment, anonymity. He stayed in the country of Zhou for a long time, saw the decline of the Zhou family, and left. Arriving at the gate, the mandarin Doan Hi said: "You're going to hide, so write a book for me to leave behind." So Lao Tzu wrote a book consisting of two heavens and lowers, talking about the meaning of "Dao" and "Dharma", with over five thousand words. Finish writing and go, no one knows how, where to die.

Someone said: Lao Lai Zi was also a native of Chu, and he wrote fifteen books about the benefits of the Dao family at the same time as Confucius.

Roughly, Lao Tzu lived over 160 years old, some said he was over 200 years old, asking him to practice the Way to prolong his life.

After Confucius died 129 years, the history records that the crown prince of the Zhou Dynasty, named Dam, met with Qin Hien, and said: "At first, Qin and Zhou joined together for 500 years, then separated, after 70 years of separation. a king appeared."

Some say that Dam means Lao Tzu, others say it's not. Don't know what the truth is.

Lao Tzu is a hidden gentleman. His son, Ton, served as a general of the Wei state, and was granted land in Doan Can. Ton's son is Uncle, Uncle's son is Cung, Cung's bit is Gia (or Gia). Pretending to be a mandarin under Emperor Hieu Van of the Han Dynasty. Jia's son, Giai, became the viceroy of Giao Tay, named Ngang, and therefore resided in Qi.

People of the world, when they follow Lao's theory, denigrate Confucianism, but according to Confucianism, they also denigrate Lao Tzu. "Different Taos are difficult to discuss together", is that what it means? Li Er advocates that just "doing no action" will make the people self-reform, "peaceful" but the people will naturally be righteous .

Also in the Chronicles, there is another passage where Lao Tzu advises Confucius:

“I have heard that rich people see each other off with money, good people see each other off with words. I am not a rich person, taking the liberty of calling myself a benevolent person to send him off with these words: it is difficult for intelligent and profound people to live because of their greed for criticism; Those who are good at arguing, knowing a lot, are in danger of themselves because they often say bad things about people. Both the son and the servant have no way to keep themselves . " (Part of the Family - Thien 47 - Confucius ).

To write the above two paragraphs, Sima Thien used many historical documents about Lao Tzu from the Tien Qin dynasty; especially the historical documents in the Chuang Tzu (the Heavenly Dao, the Foreign Objects, the Tian Yun …), the ancient histories or the Lao family genealogies, maybe even in the Quan Doan Tu book (see La Can Trach - the book) cited – p.255).

In addition, the books Tuan Tu , Han Phi Tu , Chien Quoc Book , and La Thi Xuan Thu also mentioned Lao Tzu , but only criticized the theory and did not give any more information about his life except for this point: Lao Tzu is a The teacher of Confucius ( La Thi Xuan Thu , Thien Duong infected) that no one could believe.

It was not until about two centuries after Sima Thien's History was published that we found another document in the Little Dai Ky, Thien Zeng death, recounting how Confucius asked Lao Tzu about the ceremony. All four stories are told by Confucius about Lao Tzu's words about keeping the ancestral tablets, about burial, and about mourning (story 1, 3, 4). There is only incident 2 that deserves our attention: That time Confucius followed Lao Tzu as a funeral assistant in Xiang Dang, and encountered a solar eclipse in the middle of the road. Lao Tzu said: "Stitch! Stop, put the coffin on the right side of the road, stop crying and wait for the transformation.” When the eclipse ended, the funeral continued. Lao Tzu said: "This is the ceremony" (…).

In general, there are only so many documents we know about Lao Tzu.

Sima Qian spent a lot of time searching through all the ancient books, carefully recording all the different opinions of many people and suggesting to the latter many questionable points, which we will consider in turn along with the opinions of some. recent scholars.

3. Lao Tzu was the first to comment on the universe

Ancient Greek philosophers, similar to the Spring and Autumn period in China, often discussed the issue of the origin of the universe, how the universe was born, what the nature is... , like Thalèse (640-480) for Water is the essence of all things, Anaximene (540-480) says that air is the element of all things, Anaximandre (610-547) says that the universe was originally a mass of fire enveloping everything, the sky was a dome of steam. , from which he was born from the mud; Héraciite (576-480) contemporaneously with Confucius, said that the universe was not created by God but ever since, it still exists, it will forever exist, but the element in the universe is fire.

The Chinese philosophers of the Spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period, with the exception of Lao Tzu, did not discuss this original issue.

The Chinese people, like all other nations, believe in God and worship God, since when, we do not know. They think that Heaven is the "root" of all things, the lord, having eyes, ears, will, knowledge, enough emotions like humans, and also doing good deeds as majestic as kings. There are countless verses in the Psalms expressing that trust.

But that was just the common belief of primitive mankind, not to mention the birth of the universe.

China also has the theory of the five elements: metal, wood, water, fire, and earth, around the 5th century BC; but not for a single act first, but that theory was first applied to history, then to science, medicine, and arithmetic, not to explain the creation of the universe.

In addition, there is also the theory of yin and yang, and it is not known when it appeared. According to the Quoc Ngu book , in the third year of the reign of Chu U Vuong (-779), an earthquake occurred and Ba Duong Phu said that "due to the compressed yang air being unable to escape, the compressed yin gas cannot come out, but that phenomenon”. But what gives birth to those two natural forces has not been mentioned, so we have to wait until the appearance of Translation Story , people add extreme concepts before drawing a schedule of changes in the universe. The upper story system says:

Doubt is yin and yang, the four statues are the four seasons, the trigrams are Qian (heaven), Kun (earth), Chan (thunder), Sun (wind), Kham (water), Li (fire), Can (mountain). , Doai (aim).

We believe that Lao Tzu was the first to discuss the origin of the universe. Before him, no one had raised the question of whether the universe had "water" or "common". He believed that the universe had a beginning and had almost no common ground.

Dao (What gives birth to all things)

Half-raw of the universe: There is a chaotic thing that is before heaven and earth (...) can be considered as the mother of all things in the world. That has no form, cannot be seen, cannot be touched, cannot be heard or smelled, which means something you do not know, but to refer to it he gave it a name, Lao Tzu named it Dao. . Everything has an origin, that source is the mother of all things. That one, you don't know whose son it is, maybe it predated God (chapter 4).

So Lao Tzu rejected the theory that heaven (God) created all things, but that something else gave birth to the universe, which preceded God. That, he did not know the name, temporarily named it " the way " (ch.25). He did not create a new word, but used an old word to express a new idea. The word Dao at first indicates a path, and then points to the right to follow, as when people say: Tao is a human being, a religion is a son...; finally the meaning expands further, and directs the law and order of nature. Lao Tzu probably chose the word Tao to refer to the origin of the universe for that ultimate meaning. But he admitted that the name, he used it temporarily because he could not find a suitable name, and even the original universe could not be described. So he opens the Tao Te Ching with the sentence:

The Tao that can be described is not the eternal and unchanging Tao; The name that can be given to call it (the Way) is not an eternal name.

He confessed to me that that religion is infinitely magical, eternal and unchanging, its uses are boundless, he cannot understand it (because man is only an extremely small part of it, life is exceedingly brief compared with its eternity) and can only give us a little of what he thinks about it, so that we can understand it somewhat intuitively, but he does not prove anything. .

To name something, it must have an image, it must not be in this place and in another place at the same time; but religion has no image (ch.14), "pervades everywhere, can go to the left, to the right" (ch.34), "there is nothing like it" (ch.67); So how do you find a suitable name for it?

Reading the Tao Te Ching, we see that he used the Taoist language less than seventy times, almost every chapter is about the Tao, but the chapters are arranged in no order at all, almost as if he thought about it, and discovered nothing. then record, each step a little closer to the Tao, sometimes repeating the previous ideas, sometimes as if stepping back, sometimes stammering, so it is very difficult for us to have a clear idea of ​​the Way. Part of it may be because the latter does not know how to arrange; Partly it could also be that he himself could not - or did not want - to make it clearer.

Here we are trying to summarize some important chapters on:

- essence

- magic

of religion according to our most likely biased perception.

3.2. The essence of religion

We said above that Lao Tzu considers Tao to be the "mother of all things", so it is the beginning of the universe. But in chapter 4 he says, "I don't know whose son he is," meaning that he suspects that there is something else before him that he can't conceive of.

- And whether there is a "common" religion, he asserts that it does not. Whenever he talked about Tao, he repeatedly used the word "usually" (ordinary religion) which means eternal and unchanging. Another reason is that he said that all things are born from the Tao, transform and then return to the Way; "The working law of the Tao is to return to the beginning". So he basically thinks that space may be finite, but time is infinite.

On that timeless timeline, the Way appeared at a certain time and he temporarily took that point as the beginning, so he said: "I don't know whose son it is".

In short, we guess that Lao Tzu thought that the universe had no common ground, but that there was a beginning - he called it the Tao - but he also suspected that there was something before that beginning, which he had not yet deduced.

Later on, Chuang Tzu asserted more than Lao Tzu , in the Tian Qi, the argument that if there is a beginning, then of course there must be something before that beginning, so if you go back and forth, you will find that the theory of having a beginning is not satisfactory.

Coming to the Trang sect to study the afterlife, they learn more definitively, there is nothing called "the beginning" and nothing can be called "the end".

Finally, in the Tac Thien, Thien Tac Duong, the same faction said that humans cannot know the universality of the universe. So don't talk about it.

- Talking about Tao, Lao Tzu, in addition to the word "lower", also uses the word great (large). It is very easy to understand: Tao gives birth to all things, nourishes all things (see the next paragraph), everything eventually returns to the Way, then of course there is nothing greater than the Tao, we do not have to discuss any more.

But does religion have any form? Is it like something? He only replied: there is almost nothing like it, but he cannot describe it because it cannot be seen, cannot be heard, cannot be grasped.

“Seeing without seeing is called di , hearing without seeing is called hi , grasping without being called vi . Those three couldn't find anything until the end, only seeing them mixed into one.

It is not bright above, it is not dark below, it is eternal and eternal, it cannot be named, it returns to the non-thing world, so it is said that the state has no form, the statue has no object. It is vague, vague. If you pick it up, you won't see its head, if you follow it, you won't see its tail."

“The Tao is something only vague, fleeting; vaguely looming, but inside there is an image; vague, looming but inside there are things; it's deep, dark, but inside there's the essence; That essence is very authentic, and very believable.”

Twice Lao Tzu called Tao, the original of the universe, as "things": Dao chi micro- organisms , mixed living things . The word "thing" that we should not understand is an object like a table is an object, a flower is an object... but should only be understood as a "something". Something is vast, "deep", dark, or not bright, not dark, looming, vague.

"It's a mess." The word "mixed" is also used twice, which can be understood as mixed, mixed up again.

But that path is formless (di), voiceless (hi), invisible (vi), so it cannot be seen. If it is "thing", then it is "being". But if it's formless, soundless, invisible, it's almost "no" (no). In fact, it's not like that. It's hard to teach. Twice Lao Tzu told him to "panic", that is, vaguely. Last time he called it a state of no form, a statue without an object (nothingness, no object). Next time he said in it there are images, there are things; moreover, he firmly believes that in it there is a "pure". That word crystal is said to be gas, but it can also be understood as the principle or the pure, the element of all things. Perhaps thanks to that "quintessence" that Tao gave birth to all things. So the Tao looks like there is , but it's like no. Saying if it's not, it's not because it's "a chaotic thing", it has "fine"; but say yes, what is its color, sound and shape, I don't know. Just tell it to be "panic", vague, fleeting. Vaguely looming, ie there is like no, in between yes and no. It's so mysterious.

"No" is to call the original water of heaven and earth;

"Yes" is to call the mother giving birth to all things.

It is also acting as if there is, as if there is no, both no and no. No and yes (no and being) in that sentence indicate the "mode" of the Way. Considering the subtle way of the way, consider it "no"; but the biochemical way to the end that it - thanks to its quintessence, as mentioned above - considers it "yes".

The passages of Lao Tzu trying to describe that religion make us think of the European definition of the noun Nébuleuse : a vast mass in the universe, blurred, very different shapes, like clouds like smoke, composed of many substances, gas.

At this point, we can say that according to Lao Tzu, Tao is the origin of the universe, possibly also the total principle or element of the universe.

3.3. Uses of Tao

The body of the Tao is magical; but its use is infinite, it creates all things, all things are born from it.

How does it give birth to all things, in what order? On this point, Lao Tzu speaks very vaguely, which we translate as:

Tao gives birth to one, one gives birth to two, two gives birth to three, and three gives birth to all things.

All things carry the yin and embrace the yang, conditioned by the destructive air.

And honestly I don't understand what is one, two, three, what is the same gas.

Someone preaches "no", "no" gives birth to "yes", so one is "yes"; or Tao is infinity, eco-extreme infinity, one that's extreme; there are people who say that the Tao is the total principle, the biophysics "qi", so one is the qi.

"Two", everyone agrees is yin and yang because "all things carry yin and embrace yang" as Lao Tzu said.

As for "three" is the qi that is born from the intersection of yin and yang? Or the reason it makes yin and yang harmonize?

There is another theory: one, two, three are not numbers (plural, singular) but ordinal: at first, something is born (such as yang), and then something is born. more (qi yin), and then something else is born again… and so on until infinity.

Anyone who wants to understand why can understand, and we only need to remember this is the way that gives birth to all things.

People imitate the earth, the earth imitates heaven, heaven imitates the Tao, and the Tao imitates nature

"The Way that imitates nature" must be understood that the Tao and the nature are one, the Tao means nature, because there is nothing else apart from the Tao. Thus we see that the Way makes rules for heaven, earth, people, and all things.

4. Germany (the things that make things grow)

The factors that make up the growth of all things Lao Tzu named Duc.

Talking about the birth of all things, Lao Tzu is very vague, but when it comes to the maturity of all things, his words are both concise and complete.

Tao gives birth to all things, virtue envelops, nurtures, nurtures to maturity, protects each thing (...); matter that makes each thing take shape; Circumstances [climate, hydrogeology] complete each object .

The Tao has merit in giving birth to all things; The work of nurturing and protecting each thing until it grows up is about "virtue".

The word "virtue" here is used by Lao Tzu with a very new meaning, not the word virtue that Confucianists often use such as virtue, faith, loyalty, and filial piety.

According to the passage quoted above – the virtue of raising each thing: the manifestations of great virtue depend on the religion ; According to those verses, we guess that "virtue" is a part of religion: when it is not yet manifest in each thing, it is Tao; when it is already present, the part that manifests itself in each thing is "virtue". Every thing has a "virtue", but the virtue of any thing comes from the Tao, is a part of the Tao, so virtue grows each thing and always depends on the morality.

Lao Tzu could not have explained it more clearly. It's up to us to understand why we want to understand.

Some people think that Tao is the total principle of all things, and virtue is the principle of each thing. Nothing more clear. Some people think that virtue is the effect of religion. Others say virtue is the dynamism of religion. Some scholars refer to it as "the insidious power that is also the use of the Tao".

Another house calls it "affinity," a force that keeps matter from disintegrating, so that the Tao element that makes up all new things does not fall apart.

It can also be considered as the survival instinct of each creature: when hungry, they eat, when thirsty, they drink; instinct to defend, to rest when tired, to seek safety, to avoid danger; genetic instincts, etc.. Thanks to those instincts, we can live, grow, nurture and protect ourselves; but those instincts are endowed, so they are very obedient to the laws of nature, very compatible with the religion, always "following the path". Is that possible?

Regarding the last two points in the passage that led: matter causes each object to form; circumstances [when climate, water and earth] complete each thing, it is very easy to understand and very true. All things are shaped by certain chemicals and are also influenced by circumstances, changing according to the circumstances: fish in the water have gills, people have lungs, animals in cold countries have thick and long hair, hot countries have long hair. sparse, short, etc…

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5. An Atheist Doctrine

When people compliment Einstein had found a formula E = mc-- 2 (basic nuclear science) and relativity, he borrowed the words of Newton (who found the law of gravity things) to respond: "I Just like a lucky child finding a pebble on the shore of an ocean.”

That humble answer is the truth. Not only the understanding of those two great men, but the entire understanding of mankind today compared to the secret in the universe is like a pebble, a grain of sand on the shore of an ocean. We only know a very small part of our own body, only know a very small part of the earth's crust, only set foot on the moon, took a few pictures, brought back a few rocks. … but the universe has billions of stars and planets, billions of billions of light-years wide and from what time period, no one knows, it is impossible to guess.

In the face of that secrecy, philosophers ask questions and can only make assumptions. A hundred hypotheses are unlikely to hit one, but they still come up with their brains. They are superior to us in that regard.

Before Lao Tzu, there may have been people who didn't believe in heaven, but they were heaven, emperor, emperor, god, god... born all things, raised all things; and certainly from the Western Zhou Dynasty, there was a king who did not worship heaven like King Tru, there were people who resented heaven, as it is written in the Psalms .

If you don't fear the sky but resent it, it's almost impossible to believe in heaven.

Confucius rarely talked about heaven and ghosts, almost avoiding that metaphysical problem, but he was certainly afraid of heaven and believed in heaven. It's just that he didn't think that heaven has eyes, ears, nose and mouth like humans (he said that heaven doesn't say anything, but the four seasons still rotate, hundreds of things still come to life; and when referring to heaven, he often uses the word "heavenly life". Heaven's life, that is, the natural law of nature, as when he said: "I know the destiny of heaven at the age of fifty years." That divine destiny is the natural law that makes all changes in harmony with reason. air conditioner.

That concept of Confucius is relatively advanced and similar to that of Lao.

But when coming to Mo Tu, he went back again, returned to the ancient beliefs, for heaven to be the sole lord of all mankind, a supreme being, very strict, very just like the patriarch of the house, the nation. When the army of a nation commits a sin against heaven, it cannot escape, because everywhere heaven sees and hears it all. The conclusion is that everyone must absolutely submit to heaven.

Lao Tzu completely rejected that concept, the whole Tao Te Ching has only one chapter, chapter 4, which refers to "di" (heaven), but puts "di" under the Tao. He said: Tao probably existed before God, that is, God was born (because Tao is the mother of the universe, whatever comes after Daoism is born from Tao).

There are many chapters where he uses the word "heaven", but with the meaning of the dome of the skysuch as: the things under the sky have the origin of the Tao, or with the meaning of the heavenly way, such as the inhuman way of heaven; God does not compete, but skillfully wins.

As for the demons, we only saw him mention it twice, but in chapter 60 he said, “If you use the Way to rule the world, the devil has no spirit; Not only do demons have no spirit, but gods cannot harm people."

He was completely atheist, on that point, during the Tien Qin period, no one was superior to him, because even at the end of the Warring States period, Xun Zi, although opposed to superstition, held that the affairs of heaven had nothing to do with the affairs of man and heaven. does not harm people - in contrast to Mo Tu - but still considers heaven to be the highest.

Lao Tzu has a very "philosophical" attitude, does not raise his voice to kill, overturn the beliefs of his contemporaries, just ponder, learn, and make a hypothesis about the universe.

That assumption is new, original, revolutionary. His notions of "moral" and "virtue", which we now accept partially, are somewhat compatible with science. By that we do not mean that science has understood the universe – it is long, long! – but just wanted to commend Lao Tzu for being much wiser than his contemporaries.

Again, he was humble, cautious: humble when he recognized in the first chapter that the universe was extremely mysterious, incomprehensible, incomprehensible; cautiously when he talks about religion, he uses badges: statue (probably), self (like), wan (likely), or (or). He just honestly expressed his thoughts, groping for words to describe the image of Tao that appeared in his mind, which was both condensed, profound, and polished, rarely seen in Chinese philosophy.

6. Character and Laws of Tao

In the above chapter, we have translated the word "usually" (ordinary religion) as eternal, unchanging. That word appears many times in the Tao Te Ching and also means common . As the saying: "People work, often close to success and fail" , can also be understood as: it is a common thing that people work close to success and then fail.

Or like the saying: God's way is not partial to anyone, always favoring virtuous people" , that is, there is a common law that those who have it will be blessed by heaven.

Returning to destiny is the immutable (or universal) law of things. Knowing the law of invariant (common) is wise, not knowing the law of invariant (common) will cause harm. Knowing that immutable (universal) law is tolerant.

The law of immutability in that chapter is the universal law of change in the universe, which governs all things.

In the previous chapter, Lao Tzu used his thinking and imagination to guess the body of the Tao. In this chapter, he used his mind to observe the universe to find out the character and laws of the Tao. Tao is the mother of all things, so all things have the characteristics of the Tao and must follow the laws of the Tao.

6.1. Sketch (rustic, simple)

Lao Tzu may have realized that in the universe, the smaller and lower an organism is like a worm, the simpler and simpler the body and life; while humans were in antiquity, their personalities were simple, their lives were very simple, and their social organization was very simple; More and more people turn out to be intrigued, cunning, and deceitful, the more complicated and luxurious life becomes, the more complicated the social organization is, which causes chaos, war, and human suffering; Then from that remark, he said that a characteristic of the religion is "broad" (rustic, spontaneous), humans as well as all things born from the religion must keep that character in order to be in harmony with the Tao, to have a happy life. happiness.

The Dao has no name forever, it is simple: "In the process of transformation, their lusts are emitted, we use the nameless simplicity - ie Dao - to suppress that phenomenon".

Chapter 28 he advises us to “return to the rustic”. Thus "outline" is a characteristic of the Way, or a state of the Way. Lao Tzu uses that word to refer to the Tao itself, because he considers it very important, symbolizing the Way. "Returning to the rustic" also means returning to the religion.

Vu Dong in Chinese general philosophy believes that "outline" is the basic material of the Tao, when that material is dispersed, it becomes concrete objects (things in the universe). Are those materials simply elements. Understand like Vu Dong can also be. In the next chapter we will consider the application of the rule of "outline" in the conduct and management of the country.


Another characteristic - it could be said as a rule - of religion is natural. Sketch is a form of nature, but nature is not just sketch. Much broader meaning. In the Tao Te Ching , natural language is used more often than the sketch; Nature is the most important point in Lao Tzu's doctrine, so in chapter 25 he said: "The way is natural", that is, the way follows nature, and the Tao and nature are one.

Something that is born from heaven, without human hands, we call it natural; a movement, language emanating from the heart without pre-calculation, we also call it natural.

The Tao gave birth to all things, let them operate and evolve according to their own laws, according to their instincts, without interfering, so Lao Tzu said that the Tao was natural. He wrote:

Tao gives birth to all things, virtue surrounds, matter causes each thing to form, circumstances complete each thing (…) morality and virtue do not interfere, govern everything but let things develop naturally.

Chapter 37 he said: everything will change by itself. "Automation" means "natural development". 'It is precisely because the Way allows all things to "self-made", without interfering, that the Tao does not accept its merits. The reason why Tao does not interfere in the lives of things is because it has no personality, no will, no subjectivity. That's not just Lao Tzu's. Confucius also said.

The four seasons keep changing and operating, everything instinctively adapts itself to the situation: fish grow on their own fins, birds grow wings on their own, tadpoles, when on land, cut off their tails. gills turn into lungs; the sturgeon makes its own cocoon so that it can later turn into a butterfly; And all animals are hungry, they find food, when they are full, they rest. When they are tired, they rest...

That everyone sees. The inanimate religion, of course, does not interfere with the life of all things, but sentient beings do interfere, and interference is often very harmful: for example, a tadpole is still small, but it is cut. if its tail goes, it will die; the sturgeon has just finished the cocoon, locked himself in it, but if we cut the cocoon to free it, it will die without becoming a butterfly; especially humans very often interfere in each other's lives, causing chaos and wars; Lao Tzu saw that harm better than anyone else, he said: "The world is a magical thing that cannot be conditioned" - it is possible to change it arbitrarily, so he emphasizes on the laws of nature, using an image. very new, to hit our brains, saying: "Heaven and earth are inhuman, treat all things like straw dogs", that is, the law of nature - ie religion - has no human love (inhumane), no thought. taste with something,

Do not interfere in the life of all things, ie non-action . Non-vii is also a key theory of Lao Tzu, which he repeated many times. Here we would like to briefly say that "doing nothing" does not mean doing nothing, but simply doing according to nature.

Chapter 37 is very important, but grabbed all three short reviews of this information and more on shows regimen , natural and unconditioned closely related to each other:

“In the eternal Tao, there is nothing that cannot be done without doing anything, because all things are born and grow thanks to it; kings who keep the way, all things will transform themselves (birth, greatness); In the process of transformation, their lust is emitted, we use the anonymous rustic (character, nature of the Way) to suppress that phenomenon, making everything no longer lustful. Without lust and calm, the world will stabilize itself."

Not interfering in the life of things also means letting things develop freely. So Lao Tzu may be the first person to advocate the policy of freedom, a kind of freedom for the masses and society, different from the freedom for individuals, for themselves, of a libertine artist like Chuang Tzu in nature. Spend the knife .

6.3. Law of retaliation (return)

The third character and law of the Way, the most important, is to betray , that is, to return.

Lao Tzu wrote: ([The Tao] is great (infinite) and circulates (unceasingly), circulates (unceasingly) goes far, goes far, returns). Chapter 40 explains it more clearly: The law of the Way is to return.

All things are born from the Tao and by virtue (we repeat, virtue is a part of the Tao, which comes from the Tao, has the merit of raising all things) but matures, of course, must follow the law of betrayal, so the chapter 65 says: Virtue is profound and mysterious, returning with all things, and then attaining natural harmony.

In those chapters, we see Lao Tzu using the word anti ; Chapter 16, he used the word more for : See all things grow, we see the response for the rule .

Opposing or surrendering, the meaning is the same, both returning.

In the I Ching , the law of rebellion is symbolized by the hexagram Fu . This hexagram consists of five yin above and one yang below. When the yin qi has reached its climax (the top six are all yin, which is the 10th month, the month the Chinese consider the coldest), a yang moat appears below, meaning the yang qi begins to re-born. Therefore, the hexagram is called Phuc (return). Restoration of month 11, the winter solstice

The law of antithesis of that religion - the cyclic law of the universe - mankind has recognized since the beginning: the sun rises, reaches the crown of the head, then descends, sets, the next day again; the moon to the full moon day is round, then waning to the end of the month, the next full moon is round again; the four seasons take turns, then spring again next year; tides rise and fall; trees grow from the ground, their fallen leaves return to the ground, and become manure for plants; man "from dust to dust". That's why: the whirlwind does not end in the morning, and the showers do not end the day. All things prosper and return to their origin. That "Origin" is the Tao .

One characteristic of the Tao is "outline", so to return to the root (return to the original) is also to return to "outline".

Chapter 14, he said "the way returns to the non-thing"; then all things return to the Way, ie back to the realm of nothingness. That idea is repeated: “The law of operation of the Tao is to return to the beginning (…) Everything in the world is born from "yes"; “yes” is the word “no” is born.

It's transparent, but it's also "logical". The beginning is "no". From "no" gives birth to "being", giving birth to all things; Everything changes to a certain state and then comes back, back to "no". Then from the "no" is born "be", just like the previous stage... Only then will the new path be extremely applicable, but the new path can be "permanent" (permanent). But the law of submission, that base is also eternal, unchanging (usually). Knowing that unchanging law is wise, if you don't know it, it will cause harm: "Returning to the original (root) ... is called "returning to destiny". Returning to destiny is the immutable (usually) law of all things. Knowing the law of immutability is wise, if not knowing, it causes harm . "

In short, Lao Tzu advocates that there is a law of "unrequited obedience". But we shouldn't ask that when each thing transforms to the end, returns to "no", returns to "the Way", completes a round, then comes the second round, does the Tao recreate the same things as in the previous round, or things a little different; but if it is the same things as in the previous round, will the same things, this time, transform in the same way as their previous lives, as Virgile thought in the Eglogue (the fourth song of the shepherd).

That 1st century B.C. Roman poet said that one day the whole universe has changed completely, gone through the first round, will intentionally or randomly return to the same very distant state. in the past, and then by an inescapable fate, will reenact in every detail the events of the past:

“Then there will be another Tiphus (oracle) and another ship called Argo that will carry other famous heroes (like Jason…), and there will be other wars, but the great Achille (a king). Greek hero, according to legend, which Homer described in the epic Iliad) will also be sent to fight Troy .

Lao Tzu did not raise the question of that "history overlaps", but the Chinese people, who have a lot of common sense, do not believe that one day there will be a king Yao ceding the throne to King Shun, a king Tru Vuong being defeated by the king. When the martial king died, there was a Duke of Zhou, and a Confucius was also born in the country of Lu, also taught and also traveled the world to find a king to worship. They only believe roughly like Mencius about how long after a period of rule, how long will it take to come to another period of turmoil, and then return to a reign, and so on.

Lao Tzu is not a poet like Virgile, a historian, nor a politician anymore, but just a thinker, a philosopher. He observes the universe, sees obvious laws of variation that are accepted by everyone, and he advises us to live by those laws, or else we will suffer. That's all.

He seems to think that different animals live according to the laws of nature and retain the "virtue" given to them; Only mankind has lost that "virtue", and then every day more and more degenerate, but the new society turns out to be as chaotic as in his time.

Chapter 38, he wrote: "So the way is lost, then there is virtue, after virtue is lost, there is benevolence, after the death of the benefactor, there is meaning, after the death of the righteous, there is ceremony. The ceremony is a manifestation of the decline of faithfulness, the focal point of chaos.

Chapter 18 also expresses the same idea: "Only when the great Tao is abandoned will be humane." Assuming that humans have lost their "virtue", they believe that humans can regain their "virtue" through a certain way of cultivation, that is, by admitting that we have free will; destined to be radical but also to some extent free will; can make the law of repulsion, that base move faster or slower. Lao Tzu did not say it, but perhaps he thought so, believed so? If you don't believe, but think that everything has a destiny, that society's prosperity or decline, rule or chaos is caused by natural, cyclical, and irresistible human laws, then you wouldn't have written a book. But there is this important point that he did not consider: the human race was born of religion, why did he lose his virtue? Why do we lose the sketch given by the rich? Due to intelligence? But intelligence also comes from the rich. Do the rulers arouse the lust of the people? But people must be willing to have sex to be able to evoke it, right?

Claim I: Alteration and Relativity of Contrasting Laws

Opposite means back which also means opposite. The universe approaches the extreme to a certain state, then returns, that is, passes through an opposite state, opposite to the previous state: as the sun sets against the rising sun, the waning moon opposes the full moon. , net tide is opposite to high tide, night is opposite of day...

It is the alternation of the contrasts that Phung Huu Lan has compared with Hegel's main theory , antithesis , and union . Phung quoted the sentence: extremely straight seems to be curved, extremely clever seems clumsy to prove that Lao Guo has the main policy, anti-combination. He said: "If it's only straight, then it's all curved, if it's only good, then it's too good to end up being awkward"; Because in the straight there is a curve, in the clever there is a clumsy, so [Lao Tzu] said that it is extremely straight (great integrity), extremely skillful (great skill), that is correct, it is a contradiction there. So a straight pole is not curved, just appears to be curved; Very clever is not clumsy, it just seems clumsy.

Grenier in his book L'esprit du Tao (Flammarion - 1957), page 51 argues that such a simile is only superficial. Lao Tzu's doctrine is in stark contrast to Hegel's. Hegel believed that there is an absolute progression over and over again (in the previous stage, the main, the anti-composite; through the later stage the fusion becomes the main, then there's the anti-composite, again, and so on and so on. up); and Lao Tzu, on the contrary, advocates "retreat to the roots", returning to the Way. So Hegel emphasized progress, Lao emphasized decline. Hegel's theory is "dialectical", while Lao's theory is mystical.

We think Grenier has a point. Some philosophers, east and west, are similar, often only superficially similar, but still have a different spirit.
Chapter 45: “What is perfect seems to be defective, but its use never ends; what is extremely full seems to be empty but the use is infinite; The very straight line seems to be curved, the extremely skillful seems clumsy, the extremely well-spoken seems to be faltering.

“The old books say: the light path seems to be dark, the progressive path seems to be regressing, the easy way seems to be stuck; high virtue seems low; chastity seems humiliating [also understood: really chaste seems dirty] ; Germany does not seem large enough, strong ethics, it seems lazy, naive faith, it does not seem damaged [with the translator is fickle] .

Extra large square has no angle [speaks of space, it has no angle because its angle is unknown] ; the extremely large instrument [dao] has no fixed shape; Extremely loud sounds cannot be heard, extremely large images cannot be seen, great Taos are hidden and cannot be explained…”.

In those two chapters, Lao Tzu both talked about Tao and the universe, both using many words "seeming" (literally weak ) to compare the two opposites: complete with defect, full with emptiness, straight with curved, light and dark, forward and backward, high and low, etc... to show the hidden, secret, and unteachable character of the Tao. That's why Grenier said that his theory was mystical.

The alternation of contrasts - the cyclicity of the universe - is something everyone sees, every philosopher talks about; Lao Tzu is more profound, even talking about the relativity of contrasts.

In Chapter 2, he writes: “Yes” and “no” give birth to each other; easy and difficult make up each other; short and long clarify each other; high and low lean on each other…; before and after each other”.

“Yes” and “no”, easy and difficult, short and long, high and low, front and back are, although superficially opposite, are actually mutually reinforcing, for without one there is no other: no” gives birth to “yes” ie everything, everything transforms to the extreme and then returns to “no”; besides, you must have it before you can see it, and vice versa; Just as it takes a long object to see another short object, a high object to see another low object.

So is beauty and evil, good and evil. “Everybody considers beauty to be beautiful, hence the conception of ugliness; Everyone considers good to be good, thus giving rise to the concept of evil" .

Good and bad, good and evil are all human notions; The Way makes no such distinction, just moves incessantly, from one stage to the next, each stage has its own task to prepare for the next stage, and finally to return to the Way. No stage is more important than the other: youth prepares for old age, winter prepares spring. After all, the same is true of all things, there are no precious things: there is nothing in the universe that is not useful in one way or another, for one species or another; For example, when using chemicals to kill all mosquitoes and worms in a lake, the fish will die, the lake will die, kill all the birds in a certain area, the worms will multiply and the crops will be damaged... And who doesn't know that bees help flowers to bear fruit, flowers help bees to have honey? Every species has merit to keep the balance,

For the Way, everything is equal, there is no preciousness, and there is no happiness because "disaster is the foundation of happiness, happiness is the hiding place of disaster, "right can turn into evil, good can turn into evil". Everything is just a matter of time to change, at this time it is precious, it is blessed, it is right, it is good, at other times it is convenient, it is bad, it is evil, it is evil. Relatively all.

It is an attribution of the law of rebellion, of the law of nature. And we can say that the theory of "things" (all things are equal), Chuang Tzu borrowed from Lao Tzu, is only developed more skillfully. Was Lao Tzu the first philosopher to advocate freedom and equality?

Our grandfather's words in this section and many others (such as: weakness over strength, absolute holy spirit, etc.) seem paradoxical. Lao Tzu himself admits that, so in chapter 78, he says: words that are righteous sound like paradoxes. He knew that many people considered his theory to be monstrous, ridiculing him: “The corporal - the darkest person with the lowest understanding - laughs when he hears the word. If you don't laugh, then the religion is no longer a religion.

Conclusion II: Surplus damage, supplementary deficiency

Another attribution of the law of disobedience is "residual damage, supplementary deficiency".

Everything from "no" that was born, a new beginning was small, weak (such as non-sufficient ), gradually grew up, strong - that is tonic; when large, strong to the extreme (so there is residual ), then vice versa, smaller, weaker - ie reduced, damaged; gradually decrease, gradually decrease until it returns to "zero", that's the end of a round. Therefore, Lao Tzu said:

“Is the Tao of Heaven like tying a bowstring to a bow? If the bowstring is too high, bring it down; if it's too low, bring it up; If it's too long, remove it, if it's too short, add it. The way of heaven reduces the surplus and makes up for the lack.

So in the universe, although everything is equal, every state is equally necessary, but Lao Tzu still prefers and loves the small, the weak, the empty, the little, the dark, the humble, etc. that is closer to the Tao, is "compensated" for.

This rule has countless applications in life, which we will consider in the next chapter. Here I just add one more sentence, following the above paragraph:

“Human religion is not like that [ordinary life is not like the way of heaven], we need to reduce what is lacking but give more to what is left over. Who has enough to provide for the needy in the world? Only the virtuous can do that.

What a benevolent, loving statement, a social justice policy rarely seen in Chinese philosophy during the Warring States period. "Having the ability to serve the world?". I like that sentence better than the ones: "People are precious, people are social, military are contemptible" or "People are filial, filial, people are shameful, oh chi", because it is a lament from the bottom. heart.

No (colorless, voiceless, invisible)

And in the end, Lao Tzu said that there is only one way to learn: "Study without learning" . That is, learn to be unconscious; in other words, taking "not learning" as "learning", thus helping people to return to the Way, helping all things to develop according to nature.

That way of learning is contrary to Confucius's way of learning, without using books, nor "learning things" (studying things one by one - University ), thus distinguishing troubles, details only add to fascination and keep. The soul is static, uses intuition to understand the Tao - the total principle of all things - understands himself, a part of the Tao, was born from the Tao and then returns to the Tao, the purpose is to find a way of life in accordance with the Tao.

Learn that way:

“Do not go out the door to know [the truth in] the world; do not look out the door but know the way of heaven. The further you go, the less you know (because only the immediate phenomena are known, the elements are known, not the whole). That is why sages know without walking, without seeing, they see clearly, without doing, they do.”

10. Overturning Confucian hierarchy

Here we have seen Lao Tzu overturning Confucian morality. He also overturned the hierarchical and feudal system of Confucius.

The old man considers all things the same, regardless of the precious and the convenient, so that is the policy of equality; he said to let things naturally develop according to their nature, not to interfere, that is the policy of freedom. Equality and freedom are values ​​opposed to feudalism based on military power, patriarchy and masculinity.

Lao Tzu is not as extreme as Chuang Tzu, but advocates anarchy. He still maintained the throne, but the king's duties and powers were reduced to almost nothing. The king has only one thing to do is do nothing, that is, not to interfere in the people's life, only to watch out for the people to live according to nature, to prevent the people from losing their pure nature in advance. That point, we will discuss further. Because he did not worship God, demons and gods, the king lost his right to the priesthood.

Moreover, although the king was above the people, he was not as precious as the people, because: "The high is the base, the high is the base". The new kings called themselves she (orphan), fruit (less virtuous), no cup (not good) for that reason .

So the king must put himself below, behind the people:

“The reason why rivers and seas are kings of hundreds of creeks [meaning where all the creeks gather] is because they are clever at low altitude, so they are kings of hundreds of creeks. Because saints [i.e. kings] want to be above the people, they must speak modestly, if they want to be in front of the people, they must step back.

Chapter 7 also expresses the same idea: "The sage puts his body behind, but the body is in front; put his body outside and the body can still be."

Lao Tzu does not talk about paternal authority (the father's right), but according to the rule of wu wu, without interference, the father's duties and rights are also reduced to the king's rights. A father just has to raise his children, protect them, guide them to live according to nature, that's the "father" (gentle father).

He also doesn't talk about masculinity (the rights of men, of husbands), but he clearly values ​​femininity over masculinity. Chapter 28 he advises us to: “Know the drum (masculine) but keep the roof (feminine) .

Chapter 61, he adds: “…should be like the female in the world. The female through static defeats the male (active).”

Because of his respect for femininity, he considered the religion to be feminine, not like Confucius for God to be masculine.

Right in the first chapter he said that Tao is "the mother of all things" . Then chapter 25, chapter 52: "mother of all things in the world" . Chapter 20: "mother of all species" .

Chapter 6 he uses "god of cave" to represent the Way: the body of the Tao is nihilistic, so it's called a cave, its use is infinite, so it's called a god; it gives birth to all things, so it is called "miracle mother".

Respecting femininity means respecting women, in stark contrast to Confucius, Mo and contemporary society. I'm not sure he meant a return to matriarchy; but a society according to his concept, a society where the rights and duties of kings and patriarchs are very limited, women are respected more than men, such a society is no longer a feudal, hierarchical society. , but like early society, when humans lived in tribes.

11. Discipline (how to handle)

Lao Tzu was the first, perhaps the only, philosopher to try to find the root cause of the downfall of mankind.

Confucius and Mo only looked for the causes of the chaos of contemporary society: in the rulers who did not follow the religion of the first king (Nao, Thuan), because the king did not become a king, and did not respect education as much as etiquette (Confucius). Or because people don't know how to love others like they love themselves (Wear) etc...

Lao Tzu went back up again and said it was not. The main reason, according to him, is that human beings are moving away from the Tao every day, do not live according to the Tao, that is, according to nature, lose their simplicity, have too many desires, the more intelligent they are, the more desires they have. more cunning, fighting with each other, killing each other.

The premise he posited is that the Tao is inherently perfect, the original human being created by Tao, nurtured by virtue, is also natural, simple, low in desire, sincere, and submissive. Whether that premise is true or not is something no one knows – and bringing it to the table is never-ending, no one can convince anyone. Maybe it's partially correct. Anthropologists agree that the primitive peoples were very simple and honest; There may be some pacifists, but most are also brutal. When hunting, they kill each other and eat each other. It is impossible to believe that early humans were all good.

But every philosopher has the right to set a premise; as long as it is partially correct - no matter how small - and then deducing it correctly so as to later come to a conclusion, a solution that will be useful to mankind for a certain period of time, correcting a few mistakes, is enough for philosophy. That theory is valid.

But Lao Tzu is very correct. People are inherently simple, just because the saints of Confucius and Mo set false values ​​(gentle and unscrupulous, precious and convenient, fame and gain), arouse the desires of the people, and then teach them wisdom. Even more so, how can there be no chaos? When they are in turmoil, they use virtue to correct them (like Confucius), they can't fix them, they resort to the concept of meaning (like Manh), they fail too, they uphold rituals (like Tuan), they stop worshiping the Dharma and the arts. (Han Fei). Nowadays, all over the world, magic and power are used everywhere. The means used by philosophers and politicians are increasing day by day, and the result is that the more chaotic society is, the more humanity will fall.

And Lao Tzu concludes: There is only one way is to change the way of life, to return to the Tao, to nature, which is to "rebellion".

The first step is to "have sex", reduce desire. In the Tao Te Ching we see a few places where the word celibacy is used . But we should remember that the word no is there, like the word no in the noun wu , does not mean completely empty, not completely opposite to being . Unconditioned is not completely do nothing that is against the law not to do anything natural universe; celibacy is not the complete lack of desire for anything, but not wanting anything but the bare minimum of human needs. So celibacy is the fruit of desire, or abstinence.

Regarding the point of abstinence, Lao Tzu's theory is nothing new, Confucius and Mozi hold the same position as him, except that he emphasizes more than the other two families, goes further, for the attitude of celibacy is perfect happiness. safety, is a condition to return to the religion that mankind will not be troubled, while Confucianism only considers it a condition for keeping the character (Confucianism), or raising the mind (Meng); and Mo Tu consider it an austerity that should be followed to achieve common happiness while many people are so miserable and austere that they only want to satisfy these three basic needs: enough food, enough clothing, and fatigue. , sick and rested: "The people have three worries: hunger but cannot eat, cold but no clothes, fatigue but no rest, these three are the three great worries of the people) - ( Phi Nhac ).

Lao Tzu repeatedly reminds us to be lustful. Above we have quoted his sentence: "no education" in chapter 64. In the same chapter he said that he must "have sex without sex", that is, only one thing should be desired, which is celibacy, lust.

Chapter 19 he associated the fruit of desire with "simplistic storm": "...expressing simplicity, keeping simplicity in mind, reducing self-esteem, reducing desire" .

Chapter 37, he said more clearly: " the process of transformation, when the lusts of all things come out, we use the nameless simplicity (ie the Dao) to suppress that phenomenon, making them no longer lustful. again. Without lust and calm, the world will stabilize itself."

Like Mac Tu, he said that people only need to satisfy the minimum natural needs: the stomach is full, the bones are strong; and rare things, which only arouse lust and cause chaos in society, must be discarded:

“Not respecting the good people so that the people won't fight for [reputation], not valuing rare things so that the people won't steal, not displaying anything that excites the people, so that the people's hearts won't be confused.

Therefore, the sage's politics is to make the people's hearts rotten, their stomachs full, their minds weak [no desire, no fighting], and strong bones .

So are things that are pleasing to the ear, pleasing to the eye, and appetizing, because:

“The five colors make people blind; five tones make people tinnitus; five flavors make people's tongue numb; horse-hunting makes people's hearts go crazy; gold, silver, and jewels make one's behavior corrupt. Therefore, the sage seeks fullness of the stomach but does not seek the pleasure of the eyes, giving up this one [luxury, polygamous] and choosing the other.

Just like the words of Mo Tu in the Heaven of Tiet, Upper: "[Eat] enough to fill the stomach, breathe, strong limbs, bright ears and eyes, just don't try to harmonize to the extreme the five flavors and aromas, no looking for exotic goods in the distance.”

Thus, Lao and Mo both advocate the abolition of fine arts, art, what we call the products of civilization: Lao Tzu lets people return to simplicity, not degenerate, compete with each other; Wearing death to save the people from suffering; Old for ideals, Wear for love of the people.

Fame, status, and money should be even more shunned:

“The house is full of gold and jade, how can it be kept; Being rich and proud is to bring disaster. After the siege is completed, you should retreat, that is the way of heaven."

“Reputation and life, which is precious? Life and wealth, which is important? Gaining fame but losing life, what harm? Therefore, if you are greedy for fame, you will lose a lot; if you have a lot of wealth, you will lose a lot” (ch.44) .

You have to put your body behind the world, put your body outside the circle of fame and gain, then your body will be in front of you, so that you can still get: "In the aftermath, I have a close relationship with my son and daughter " .

Even the body, should also forget it: "We are afraid of the big disaster because we have the body. If we don't have a body, why are we afraid of calamity?

"Having no body" means forgetting about it, letting our life flow naturally, when we return to the Way, when we return to "no" we return, when we die, we die.

- Sex must be "trivial". Lao Tzu is probably the first person to advise us to be content.

"Knowing what is enough is not humiliating, knowing when to stop is not dangerous" .

“There is nothing greater than not knowing how to have enough, nothing more harmful than the desire to have more. Knowing what is enough and being satisfied with that enough is always enough” .

Contentment is an essential condition of happiness that we in the East value. In addition to the two sentences mentioned above in the Tao Te Ching , the Chinese also have these maxims: "Triple, convenient, convenient, and convenient?" (Knowing what is enough is enough, when will it be enough to wait?) and "Human sex is not chewable, at the beginning of the story" (Human lust has no bounds, but look behind you. then that's the shore.) Westerners, on the other hand, want more and more, so they advance quickly, become rich and powerful, but suffer great hardships, and now there are many people who think that they must block the consumerist civilization, not allowing it to progress any further. .

Consciousness is to give up what is excessive and not allow any situation, no matter how good, to develop to its climax, because according to the cyclic law in the universe, when it reaches its climax, it will return (reveal). , will infer:

"Like anything, when you are strong, you will grow old" .

“Keeping the basin full, it's not as good as stopping; If you sharpen it, it won't stay sharp for long."

Once it reaches the climax, it stops, which is a case where things can decrease but increase; if on the contrary, if you don't stop but increase it, you will quickly decline, and quickly exhaust it, so it's going to increase but turn out to be less.

Supplies (using the soft to win the reins)

For me, it is lustful, rebellious; humble to people. Gentleness and gentleness are characteristics of the Tao.

Chapter 40 The wonderful use of the Way is weakness, that is, humility. The word weakness here is not a lack of will, who says so, but it means not to resist the natural law of creation; Therefore, Lao's outlook on life is generally according to the religion.

Chapter 37, he said:

---Weakness overpowers the strong.

Chapter 78, he repeats:

---The weak wins the strong, the soft wins the hard.

That is the law of nature, the proof is: “A person is born soft, but when he dies, he is stiff. Plants are born soft, but when they die, they become hard. Therefore, the strong are of the same species as death, and the weak are of the same species as life.

He gives an example like winning the reins: “In the world, the extremely soft [water] can overcome the extremely hard [rock], [because water erodes rocks]; The "nothing" can get in without a gap [like air that can get into rocks and hardwoods that we can't see on the surface] ].

He complains that everyone knows it, but no one can enforce it. That's why there are violent people who are reluctant to die; their "strong" is actually just violent, not strong, it is softness that is strong:

Because keeping the weakness, following the path, is having great energy; and also thanks to knowing how to be soft, know how to be soft, to endure, the body is preserved:

The meaning of those three words is the meaning of La Fontaine's fable Le Chene et le roseau (The tree "slug" and the reed) by La Fontaine: in a thunderstorm, the "slug" that is hardy against the storm breaks, uproots the tree, but A reed that falls with the wind is made whole. Humility goes hand in hand with tenderness, which are all feminine virtues. Humility is not conceited. There is nothing greater than the Tao: "The Way is pervasive, can pass to the left, to the right".

The merit of the Tao is also nothing like: "Things grow thanks to it, but it does not interfere".

Yet it is very humble, not conceited:

“Having been successful but not claiming it as their own; it nurtures all things without mastering all things (…) all things refer to it but it does not master, so it can be said that it is big. Because in the end, it doesn't claim to be great, that's why it accomplishes its greatness."

Humility does not manifest itself, does not claim to be right, does not count merits, does not conceit:

"Without self-expression, therefore, it is clear, without self-righteousness, so that it shines, without self-reporting, so it has merit, without being conceited, so it is eternal" .

Khiem does not compete with anyone. Lao Tzu saw that his time was in turmoil because kings fought for each other's land and treasures; and the people competed for position, fame and fortune... so he repeated several times: do not compete.

Chapter 22: "Just because I can't compete with anyone, no one can compete with me". At the end of chapter 66, repeat the same thing. "Don't compete with anyone, so no one can compete with you." Chapter 73: "The Way of Heaven does not compete, but wins well". Chapter 8: “A good person who enters a high rank [with high virtue] is like water. Water well benefits all things without competing with anything, because people hate [the low places], so it is close to the Way.”

Lao Tzu loves water because it is humble, does not compete with anything but flows down to the low places, where it is more precious than all things: "The river and the sea are the kings of a hundred creeks [the gathering place of all things] slot] because he is skillful at the bottom, he becomes the king of a hundred creeks". Thus is "to take the low as the base, the high to take the low as the foundation" .

Therefore, humility does not want to be above others, but also "doesn't dare to be in front of others" :  
Put yourself in the back, but "the body is in front".

There is no other philosopher who exalts humility like Lao Tzu. Everyone wanted glory, but he advised to keep humiliation, like water, to bear all the dirt that comes down from above. Confucius also liked water, but for another reason he said: Wise people like water, benevolent people like mountains...

Water flows, but the wise (wise) understand the reason, know how to act according to the time, so they like water. Mountains are firm and unchanging, but human beings maintain their moral principles, so they like mountains.

Nurturing – The Enlightened One

The art of nurturing life (Lao Tzu called the photographer ) of Lao Tzu consists of two characters, static. Chapter 16 he writes:

Trying our best to keep the poles of vanity, the poles of stillness (the poles of vanity, the prime minister ) , watching everything grow, we can see the law of submission. All things prosper and return to their origin. Returning to the root is static, [static is the nature of everything, so] returning to the root is called "returning to destiny". Returning to par is the (usually) immutable law of things. Knowing the law of immutability is wise, but not knowing the law of immutability will cause harm.

The word naughty in that chapter is naughty mind, that is, to let the heart be empty (not corrupt), ignorant, and celibate. If the mind is damaged, all resentments and worries will be eliminated, the soul will be calm, calm, no fighting, no delusions.

Chapter 3 tells you to "spoil your mind, lose your will", chapter 49 advises you to "have a strange mind ( let your heart be innocent ), that's all. Chapters 26 and 45, Lao Bao Tran conquers turbulence, tranquility is the norm in the world. Chapter 37, he said: "Without lust and calm, the world will stabilize itself."

Void, static is not wasted, but saves the spirit and mind; Lao Tzu called this "form" (savage), so that he soon learned to follow the Way, and when he followed the Way, he accumulated many virtues; If we accumulate a lot of virtue, there is nothing we can't overcome, if nothing can't be overcome, our ability will not know where the end is, thus being deeply rooted in [grasping] the eternal Tao.

So according to Lao Tzu, if the mind is corrupted, they will quickly understand the Way, return to the Tao, identify with the Tao, and identify with the Tao will last together with the Tao, thus being immortal, even though the body is destroyed. ruin.

The meaning is somewhat mysterious, but from time immemorial, everyone has recognized that it is the result of passion, not hot-tempered, aggressive, not competitive, if the mind is at peace, the mind is happy and strong, but the mind greatly affects the physical body. .

It's about the mind. Regarding his body, he advises that if you want to live a long life, you should not take care of yourself too late, that is, do not enjoy too much. “Those who can live long but die early are because they support themselves too late . It means to live frugally . This is also true.

In the end, Lao Tzu's life-sustaining practice is still rebellious, effective, and humble , no different from the discipline and support in the two sections above. His theory was unanimous.

If you want to be able to do that, you must "self-knowledge, win by yourself".

“He who knows others is wise, and he who knows himself is wise. Winning over others is strength, overcoming self is resilience (…) Not leaving one's place (ie the way) is long lasting; To die without losing (the Way) is longevity.”

And when we can do that, we will "return to childhood". Confucianism also likes children, as Mencius said: "He who has great virtue still retains his heart when he was born", that is, retains his innocence. Lao Tzu also said: "He who has thick virtue is like a red child", but he said it was for one more reason: It is soft, thanks to the qi it gathers. Still the meaning of "need".

Chapter 55 he explained more clearly: “[The red child] has weak bones, soft tendons, but his hands are tightly grasped. Not knowing how to have intercourse, but the cuckoo stands upright, thus the spirit is rich. Screaming all day without hoarseness, that's a very harmonious atmosphere."

In the next life, the Daoists dedicated themselves to qi refining for longevity because of these suggestions. And this is the portrait of the enlightened person , the ideal man of Lao:

“Everybody was as excited as if they were enjoying a big party, like spring on the radio; I'm calm, not showing any emotion like a newborn baby, can't smile yet; drowsy and walked away as if there was no home to return to.

Everyone has a surplus, but I am lacking; our hearts are stupid, stupid! People in the world are clear, but we are dark; People in the world are clear, but we alone are chaotic, like the waves of the sea, like the wind that blows endlessly.

Everyone has a place to use, but I am stubborn and slanderous. My own is different from other people, but your mother takes care of all species (ie religion).

Chapter 56, he added:

“Those who know do not speak, those who speak do not know. Blocking out all the ways, closing all the doors, not revealing the elite, removing the disturbances, blocking out the light, merging with the world, thus called "mystical harmony" (universal with all things in a perfect way) whole).

[When I reach that realm] no one is close to me, and no one can be close to me (because I have blocked all the ways, closed all the doors, given up lust, kept my mind calm); no one is doing me any favors or harms (because I don't show my flair, clear up my messes, keep it simple); No one can make me noble or low (because I have blocked the light, in harmony with the world). Therefore, the most precious in the world.

We notice: in chapter 20 (above) he again likens the enlightened person to a newborn baby. I have seen a painting depicting Lao Tzu as a stout old man, short, riding a buffalo, bald head, long beard, fresh face like a very cute baby; and saw another painting of a Taoist turning into a fat man, wearing a robe, clasping his hands, bowing his head slightly, grinning, seemingly silly, a little crazy. Certain painters have skillfully performed the sentences: "like a newborn baby" ; "My heart is stupid, how stupid!" .

Rule of country

Organic is broken (Treat water must be like cooking small fish)

Any ruler at that time was worried about expanding the land, talking about the happiness of the people, but acting on the contrary:

“The court is unclean, the fields are desolate, the barns are empty; but they wear embroidered brocade robes, wear sharp swords, boring food, and superfluous possessions. That's theft, not the right way . "

In the Tao Te Ching, only that chapter is harsh.

Lao Tzu, like Confucius and Mo Zi, truly loved the people and each family came up with a solution to save the people. Confucius said to be "righteous", Mo said to be "cum-loving".

Lao Tzu thinks that society is chaotic, people are miserable because they don't live according to religion, they are not pure, and the result is sexual; thus born greed, killing each other. So the sage (he used this word to refer to the king who knows how to keep the religion) must make the people "rebellious" first.

To do so, they themselves have to keep the "draw". Keeping the "outline" to control the hundred mandarins: "The sage keeps the simplicity and controls the hundred mandarins, so those who are good at governing the country do not divide the details".

Keeping the outline, all things will automatically submit: "The Tao is eternally nameless, simple, yet hidden, but no one can despise it. If the princes know how to keep it, all things will automatically submit."

The policy of governing that country, Lao Tzu called "no-vi".

Philosophers such as Confucius and Mo did not think so, but brought out the theory of humanity, justice, ceremony, and wisdom to command the world, and politicians proposed to amend the law, getting further and further away from the religion, becoming more and more confused contrary to the will.

Lao Tzu said that the world cannot be ruled in that way because:

“The world is a magical thing that cannot be conditioned, cannot be fixed. Being virtuous causes the world to be corrupted, stubbornness to lose the world" .

He used an ingenious image: "Treating a large country is like cooking a small fish".

Cook small fish that flips up and down, touches it too much, it will break, if big countries interfere in people's affairs too much, the people will lie and oppose. It is the consequence of the policy of virtuousness. On the contrary, if there is no action, little interference in people's affairs, so that the people can live according to nature, the people will become self-sufficient and will happily develop according to their instincts.

Chapter 57: "I didn't do anything but the people converted themselves, I liked the quiet but the people were pure and natural, I didn't give the commandments, but the people were self-sufficient, I was celibate, but the people turned out to be simple."

Thus, doing nothing but doing nothing, in accordance with the natural law of the Tao: "The eternal Tao does nothing (doing nothing - because it is natural) but nothing does not do (no action - because everything is not done). thanks to it born, that big); If kings keep the Way, everything will change by itself."

The use of wu wu is so great because the authorities assimilate with the religion and guide the people to assimilate with the religion. That few people can match.

The policy of volition (doing nothing, letting nature go)

The first step of non-action is to reduce, which Lao Tzu calls damage.

Chapter 48: “…According to religion, it decreases day by day. Decreasing and then decreasing again to the point of zero."

We remember a law of religion that is "residual damage". But the policy at that time was too troublesome, too disturbing. So Lao Tzu said to narrow the scope of politics to the minimum. Just satisfy the natural human needs:

“The sage's politics are to make the people: the heart is broken, the stomach is full, the will is weak (no desire, no competition), the bones are strong. Causing the people not to know, not want, but the clever do not dare to act. According to the policy of "doing nothing", everything is treated.

The other things like five colors, five sounds, five flavors, precious things... are all harmful and must be removed.

The old man really hated the precious gold and silver that he called "nan achievable", so in chapter 3 and chapter 64, he told again and again: "nothing precious and expensive" to keep people's hearts out of chaos.

In short, the saint "wants to fill his stomach but not to please his eyes" .

As in Chapter III, he criticized the Confucianism's benevolence, righteousness, ceremony, and wisdom, wanting to eliminate all saints, giving up all wisdom:

“Stop the saint (the saint of Confucianism), give up wisdom, and benefit the people a hundredfold; end the benevolence, the people are filial; end [wisdom] for profit, no stealing.

Skip the whole study, because "excellent learning" is "no concern"; the more you learn, the more desire and cunning you get every day; that people become more difficult to treat:

“In the past, those who skillfully used the Tao to govern the country did not make the people clever and cunning, but made the people kind and simple. The reason why people are so difficult to rule is because of many clever tricks . "

Confucius and Mo both believed that teaching the people was the most important task of the authorities, so there is the word "orthodox religion", when it comes to politics (ruling the people), it must refer to the laity (teaching the people); If you teach people, use rituals and music, and teach people about humanity and filial piety.

Lao Tzu, on the other hand, said: "Saints behave according to the attitude of "doing nothing", using the art of "not speaking" to teach" .

To teach by means of words is to let things grow without interference. From time immemorial, no one has believed in human nature more than Lao Tzu.

Therefore, Confucius's rule of "rich chi, teaching chi" must be abandoned. Without teaching the people, there is no need for writing and schools; without the need for laws or prisons . That's how we reasoned, not Lao Tzu's advice: If the order is clear (strict and detailed), the people will be arrogant . "

and:  “If the people are not afraid of death, why use the death penalty to threaten the people? If people are always afraid of death, and if anyone breaks the law, we can catch and kill it, who dares to break the law? [The truth is not like that, so the new legal form is invalid.]

There is a "slayer" (ie the way of heaven) who specializes in killing, if the king replaces the killer and kills the people, it will be like replacing the hewer. Changing the hewer rarely does not cut the hand” .

He believes that whoever does wrong will not be forgiven: "The net is wide, but it is difficult to penetrate".


Lao Tzu advocates a liberal policy:   Chapter 57: “I do not give orders, but the people are self-sufficient” (…) “the more bans are issued, the poorer the country (because they are afraid to violate the ban but dare not do it, or such prohibitions hinder the business of the people, contrary to the law of nature, disastrous results)”.

Taxes will be very light: Chapter 75: “The people are hungry because the government collects taxes too heavily, so the people are hungry.” Forcing people to pay too much taxes to give the authorities luxury and self-care too much, they will despise death and rebel.

People just need to fill their stomachs, warm their bodies, and stay still, so in addition to cultivating and raising silkworms, they only need to make a few necessary items such as plowshares, knives, knives, bowls, etc. Even if they have boats, they can't sit. A tool that is ten times a hundred times a man's strength is not used. So industry is reduced to a minimum, but commerce is not necessary, just exchanging items with each other is enough.

About martial arts

Lao Tzu advocates non-war, of course, is more anti-war than anyone else. There are six or seven chapters in the Tao Te Ching dealing with that matter.

Chapter 30: "Those who keep the religion and support the king do not use military force to be stronger than the world. Because that kind of thing often goes back [to war, to die of war]. “Where the army is stationed, thorns grow there. After the great war, all crops were lost.

Even if you are strong for a while, you will eventually fail, "If you are strong, you will grow old" , that is the law of betrayal, the alternation of contrasts. Immediately following the next chapter, Lao Tzu said again: "Arms are insurmountable things, everyone hates them, so people who keep the Way don't like to use them."

Chapter 46: “If people have a religion, good horses are not used for war but for plowing; When people are unreligious, horses are used in war and mother horses give birth in battle [but not at home].

And he advised kings - big and small - to be humble in order to avoid war for the world:

“The great kingdom should be in the low place, the gathering place of the world, so it should be like the female in the world. The female through static defeats the male [active], taking stillness as a low place. Therefore, if a large country is humble towards a small country, it will be declared a god by a small country; A small country that is humble towards a large country is protected by a large country. Thus, one side is humbleto be [a small country confessing to a god], and the other side is humble and [protected by a large country]. Big countries just want to include small countries, small countries just want to worship big countries. Humility, both will get what they want; But great countries must be humble."

A world where every nation is humble and uncontested; If individuals are so humble and non-controversial towards each other, then humanity is extremely civilized; but the law of natural disobedience, the alternating law of contrasts, rising and falling, growing old, yang yang, and yin born, then peace will inevitably lead to war, there can't be a state of perpetual peace OK.

Perhaps Lao Tzu or his later disciples understood that, so what should be done in the case of unwillingness to use military force?

Granet said in a battle between Tan and Chu, one of Tan's chariots got bogged down, could not advance, the situation was dangerous, General Tan struggled not knowing what to do. General So stood still and watched and then showed him how to remove the horizontal bars of the same size and weapons, the Tan army obeyed and got out of the swamp.

As for Han Fei, he recalled the story of Song and the Department of War in Trac Coc. The Chu army was crossing the river, and the Song army demanded to take advantage of the opportunity to attack immediately. Cong Tuong did not allow it, told the enemy to cross the river first. When the troops crossed the river, the Song army asked to attack again, and Tuong Cong also said: "Wait, wait for them to set up the array". The department finished the formation and defeated the Song. Tuong Gong was injured, but he also said: "A gentleman does not fight the enemy when they are at a difficult stage".

The spirit of "gentleman" and "kindness" during the war of that Spring and Autumn period, I think, is hard to come by in the tribes who live according to nature when they confront each other in the hunts. In war, if you want to keep the law of nature, you have to be like tigers, falcons, and sharks.

But the following words Lao Tzu advise those who win battles are very true: " Those who skillfully use their troops when they are effective, only when they achieve their goals, do not dare to rely on being stronger than others. Achieving the goal without conceit, achieving the goal without boasting, achieving the goal without pride, achieving the goal without hesitation, achieving the goal without pride.” and: “Reluctant to use it, but to use it calmly [avoiding extremes] is best. Winning is also not good, if you think it is good, it means you like to kill people. Those who like to kill people cannot fulfill the ideal of ruling the world . "

Winning and crying means digging a hole to bury yourself. Therefore, Le Loi, after defeating the Ming army, and Quang Trung, after defeating the Qing army, were all "stretched" (achieved the goal without being conceited) as Lao Tzu said. But when faced with the situation that the more humble you are, the more brutal the enemy is, so what? Lao Tzu, as I said, just gives the principle, doesn't go into details. However, according to his "soft victory" policy, we can only "patience", patiently endure, wait until one day the religion will "lose" their "residual", and when they thinking then "virtue of vengeance". "Neu" like that is really "hard", it takes great energy, not cowardice. Such "Neu" is knowing how to be soft and submissive in order to preserve itself: "Koc Toan".

Before and after, absolutely do not use conspiracies and tricks. Chapter 36 has some people wondering. The chapter reads: “If you want something to shrink, you must first expand it. If you want to make someone weak, make them strong first. If you want to remove someone, please nominate them first. If you want to steal something, give it all. This is profound but clear."

It is said that Lao Tzu advised the rulers to use conspiracies and tricks like politicians of the Warring States period: for example, when Tan Hien wanted to attack the country of Yu, he first gave King Yu jade and a horse; Han Khang Tu brought the land to Tri Ba to make Tri Ba become arrogant, demanding Wei's land, other countries saw that Tri Ba was too greedy, afraid that his turn was coming, and quickly joined together to destroy Tri Ba.

Lao Tzu hates trickery but advises people to use conspiracies; he just wanted to break the conspirators' magic and told us to watch out.

Pre-prevention with "outline"

Thus, it is almost completely "unharmed", there is nothing to do: No ceremony, music, education, no criminal law, no equipment, no economic worries, no need to divide the fields and land. province), nor need to build barns, mansions, roads; The six sets (officials, figures, ceremonials, infantry, household, and public ministries) from having to establish the five fourths (the positions of private, private, private, monk, and private) turned out to be useless, government was reduced to a minimum: at the court there were ten officials, a few in each locality is enough. They have no right to interfere in the lives of the people, only the duty of keeping the people humble and simple. Thus: "Helping people go astray to return to the Way, helping all things to develop according to nature, without daring to do (interfere with) .

If, for the sake of freedom, someone still has a lustful heart, giving birth to greed, deception, and contention, the authorities will use a "sketch" to stop them, as chapter 37 pointed out: "During the process of transformation, When their lust comes out, we use the "nothing simple" - the simple and anonymous - to suppress and make everything no longer lustful. Without lust and calm, the world will stabilize itself."

It must be prevented early: “Solve difficult things while they are easy, practice great things from a young age [because] the difficult things in the world start from the easy, the great things in the world start at a young age. Therefore, sages have never done great things before, but they have accomplished great things.”

Must be very wise - thanks to the virtue of vanity - to foresee the impending chaos: "What is stable is easy to grasp, what has not appeared is easy (...) when unformed. The tree is one big big tree, born from a small sprout; A nine-story high platform begins with a basket of earth, and a thousand miles of travel begins with a single step."

If you want to prevent it from the very beginning, you can only follow the advice given in chapter three: not to expose what appeals to the people's desires, but to make the people unaware or unwilling, that is the basic rule. in governing the people, that was Lao Tzu's "no-action" policy.

Confucius was the first person to use the four words "no vigilance". He considered wu wi to be that the king should touch the people with his virtue, teach the people with rituals and music, and rarely use legal forms.

Lao Tzu considers wu wu to let the people live according to nature, not to interfere in people's lives, but still watch out, prevent people from having lusts, keep the government, only reduce it to a minimum.

Chuang Tzu thinks that is not enough, the government must be abandoned, let the people be completely free, follow their instincts to live, because the people know the disaster to avoid, no one can force the people according to their will. Not even instructing people.

As for Han Fei, the king thinks that the king only governs the mandarins, not the people, forces the mandarins to do everything, he doesn't do anything, but to do that, he has to put in place strict punishments, use magic to arrest the mandarins and the people. You have to do what you want, don't dare to contradict yourself. Thus, according to Lao Tzu, it is extremely conditioned, not unconditioned.

Trang and Han are at two extremes: Trang is extremely no, Han is extremely right; Kong and Lao are in the middle, Khong is near Han, and Lu is near Trang. Leaving aside Trang not to mention, Khong and Lao were both respected by the kings but did not follow; Han was killed by Qin Shi Huang, although it was still thanks to the policy of Korea - generally the French families - that China was unified. Since then, every country has followed the policy of virtuousness, which is becoming more and more "viable".

As a king

The most feared King of the French Family. The most respectable king is the ideal king of Confucius, and the cutest king is Lao Tzu's "no-vi" king. Confucius put forward the theory of legitimacy to force the king to fulfill his duties as a king and as a king, that is, to love, to provide for his people, to teach them, to respect himself and to work. homely.

Lao Tzu also believes that the king must serve the people and sacrifice for the people. At the end of chapter 13, he said, “He who values ​​the sacrifice of himself for the world can entrust the world to him. Those who are happy to put their bodies at the service of the world can send the world to them.”

He called the kings who know how to follow the religion and govern the people as saints. And the Tao is: "Heaven and earth are eternal. The reason why heaven and earth are eternal is because they don't live for themselves [but live for all things], so they can live forever."

So do kings and kings, so continue the above sentence: "Therefore, the sage puts his body behind, but the body is in front; puts his body outside and the body can survive. Isn't that because sages are not self-sufficient that they can do their own thing?" .

Not being self-centered (impartial) also means having no prejudice, considering everyone is the same.

“Saints have no prejudice, taking the people's heart as their own. Saints are good to good people, good to bad people, so that everyone turns out to be good; trusting the trustworthy and trusting the untrustworthy, so that everyone turns out to be trustworthy.

A sage in the world is selfless and celibate, while ruling over the world, he lets his heart be innocent. Hundreds of them all listened attentively to the saint, and the saint regarded them as children."

Using people does not leave anyone, even those who are not good, because: “The good person [who has attained the Way] is the teacher of the unwholesome [the person who has not attained the Way]; Unwholesome people are used to be borrowed by good people. If you don't respect your teacher, or don't love your possessions, even if you're wise, it's still a big mistake . " Then why is there a sentence: Heaven and earth are inhuman, treating all things as straw dogs; Inhuman saints, treating hundreds of families like straw dogs ?

Wieger used that phrase to criticize Lao Tzu's policy of using people as cruel, arbitrary, and squeezing lemons out of the skin, like the policy of the later legalists. According to Weiger, the word "hundreds" here refers to a hundred francs. Any mandarin that is useful to the water should be used, if it is useless or harmful to the water, it should be destroyed, like a dog made of straw to use in making offerings to the gods, when making offerings to the gods. then solemnly display it on the altar, after making offerings, then throw it into the street for passersby to step on their heads and necks.

We think that's not the case, Lao Tzu just wants to advise us to rule the people, then follow the way, follow nature, without prejudice, without self-interest, just like the way towards all things.

Finally, kings must have the virtue of humility, and Lao Tzu emphasizes this virtue the most. The merits of saints are great, but they must not show off their talents or rely on them.

“…[the saint] skillfully nurtures all things without taking it as his own, does it without relying on it, and does it without caring about it. Because I don't care, my new career is still alive."

Chapter 10 repeats:

“…[sage] gives birth and nurtures all things. Born without taking it for yourself, working without relying on merit, letting all things grow on their own without their own mastery…”.

Then another chapter 77: "Saints do things without confidence, accomplish things without caring, and do not show their virtues".

Not only that, "after succeeding, you should retreat, that is the way of heaven"; “do not dare to be in the world”; but should be below the world, like the river and the sea at the lower part of the creeks and creeks, so that all the creeks and creeks can be gathered together and become the king of the creeks; In the lowest place in the world, one has to accept all the disgrace and all the calamities, only then can he be king of the world, and then he will be able to command people well.

Thus, to know how to take the low as the root, the high to know the low as the foundation. The higher the class, the more humble they have to be, so the new kings call themselves she, fruit, real.

Only Lao Tzu forced the king to be so humble. Such humility is: "If the king is above and the people do not feel heavy for him, in the front, but the people do not see harm to him, he will happily push the saint forward without getting bored" .

The king who humbles himself, avoids himself to the point that the people don't know that there is a king anymore, forgets about the king's work, and enjoys peace and happiness thanks to the king, but thinks that "it's natural to do so", that king is the right king. Taoist thought:

“The best ruler of the people, the people do not know that there is a king; the lower one, the people love and praise; lower than that, people are afraid; At the lowest level, the people despised the city, and when the job was done, hundreds of them all said, "Of course I can."

That is truly the pinnacle of the unconditioned. According to Lao Tzu's concept, the holy kings of Confucius such as Yao, Shun, Ha Vu, Van Vuong, and Martial King are only second-class, kings who are good at using the magic of the Dharma family are ranked third, while those who are good at using French magic are ranked third. Last Rating.

People do not know that there is a king, forget the merits of the king, thus Lao Tzu puts the people above the king. So in chapter III of this section we say Lao Tzu overturns the hierarchy of the feudal system.

Ideal country

The penultimate chapter of the Tao Te Ching outlines an ideal country according to Lao Tzu:

“The country is small, the people are few, even if the equipment is ten times a hundred times the human strength (some people translate it as even if there is a weapon - translating it in any way is not contrary to Lao Tzu's thought) it is not used. Everyone considered death so important that they did not go far. There are boats and vehicles without sitting, there are weapons but not displayed. [Removing all letters] forcing people to use the ancient way of tying strings [to write things to remember]. The food is meager but feels good, the clothes are mediocre but it's beautiful, the housing is rudimentary but likes it, the customs are simple but happy (meaning just eat full, dress warmly, stay still, live happily, hate) luxury). Close neighbors can see each other, one can hear the sound of chickens and dogs in the other, and the people of those countries do not interact with each other even if they are old or dead .

That ideal is to return to the ancient democratic, self-sufficient, self-sufficient tribal system, everyone lives according to nature, although there is a king or chief, the chief also lives like other people, without interfering in life. anyone's.

We see that Lao Tzu does not want to unify the world. This is also the opposite of the policy of Confucius, Mo Tu, and Legalists, contrary to the trend of the times.

That ideal society seems barbaric but is actually extremely civilized, because knowing the harms of civilization and voluntarily abandoning it (having a boat but not sitting, having a weapon but not using it), it is not because to the level we call civilization. Just as a rich man hates a luxurious material life that is harmful to the soul, but returns to the simple and frugal life of the poor - the case of Léon Tolstoi when he is old - not because he does not know the riches. precious.

The correct application of Lao Tzu's counter-reaction theory leads to such a society, but only in such countries can his theory be applied.

Many people blame him for being delusional, but what philosopher wants to build a new society without some illusion?


Legend has it that Confucius, seven days before his death, said to Tzu Kung with tears in his eyes:

“The world has been in turmoil for a long time, but not a single king will follow his advice. I'm going to be here."

In the Tao Te Ching , there is also a complaint that no one understands or listens to you. Chapter 70 reads:

“My [teaching] is very easy to understand, very easy to do, but no one else can understand or do it. My words have a principle, my work has a basis. Because people don't understand my speech, they don't know me."

Some people suspect that these words are not really Lao Tzu's words because he is very generous, does not complain about himself, does not blame life like that. That makes sense too. But if it is true that Lao Tzu, fed up with contemporary Chinese society, crossed the Ham Coc border gate, went to the West, and disappeared, the complaint cited above is easy to understand. Lao Tzu's life will forever be a secret, we cannot be certain of anything.

Anyway, chapter 70 shows us two things:

- The author of that chapter admits that the theory of Lao Tzu is very systematic, basic,

- That doctrine few people follow.

Sima Thien, when writing about Lao Tzu's life, said that the two sects of Confucianism and Lao Tzu disparaged each other: "Different religions cannot be discussed together".

The old scholar was indeed criticized by some scholars at the end of the Warring States period, but it was mild, in general, he was too attached to weakness ( Tuan Tu, La Thi Xuan Thu ), the vanity and silence ( Zhuangzi - Thien Ha) . Sima Thien only said: "Li Er advocates that "there is no action, but the people are self-imposed, the people are calm and the people are pure and natural", but did not criticize anything.

Actually, that's just a comment, not a criticism or refutation. Absolutely no one is smitten. It is clear that Lao Tzu's words actually contradict (not just seem to contradict) all contemporary doctrines: Confucius, Mo, Fa.

It is very easy to criticize Lao Tzu. You can write 10,000, 20,000 words to refute 5,000 words in the Tao Te Ching. We have seen Truong Khoi Quan write about 12,000 words ( Lao Tzu philosophy – pp.83-100) and Ngo Tat To write about 2,000 words ( Lao Tzu p.107-116) to criticize Lao Tzu. And how many more houses we haven't read yet!

One can blame Lao Tzu for being too devoted to "nature", for nature to be supremely perfect, infinitely capable, a "god when", human beings only have to obey, not to do otherwise, no sought to be modified, the more modified, the more harmful. Looking at the colors, parts of a flower, a butterfly wing, the more we analyze the body of a bird, a newborn baby, the more we think about the workings of the stars, etc... the more we see the miracles. of nature, that miracle took shape through billions of years of transformation, not in a generation or two. But nature is not perfect, it will continue to change for countless billions of years, there will be more progress, and "microscopicity" has been able to help it progress faster even to a limited extent. small. Wild chrysanthemum flowers are not as beautiful as chrysanthemums in Ngoc Hoi (Hanoi), wild guava, wild mango are not as delicious and as big as Xa Lo guava in My Thuan, Can Tho sand mango. Manpower clearly wins out sometimes: babies don't die as much today as they did in the past, we've landed on the moon, and newspapers have a number of scientists trying to catch signals from planets. The planet is billions of light years away from Earth (the speed of light is 300,000 kilometers per second).

Worshiping nature, killing humanity, that is, denying progress and civilization, returning to the "legend of barbaric people", for the happiest early human life, their cute temperament Best. That myth is no longer believed, and the people who made it must have never lived in the headhunting tribes of Africa, or in some of the Solomon Islands to see the aborigines raising fat women like pigs for meat. during holidays. ( The Origin of Civilization by Will Durant – Renaissance – p.23).

In general, it is true that the more civilized people are, the more deceitful, the more sexual desire increases, the fiercer the competition for survival. The "sketch" of primitive people has a real charm, but they say they are ideal people, more precious than those we call moral; and then concluded that to "absolutely holy spirit", to give up all humanity, righteousness, ceremony, wisdom, faith, to drop out of school, to give up writing, and to use the "knot-knot" method again is absurd. Everyone respects Confucius, Lao Tzu, Shakyamuni, Christ... more than simple people who eat hair in their holes, but those people are created by civilization and "human factors", not by freedom. course. From the time there were humans until there were those, it took millions of years, tens of millions of years of experience and education.

Even bringing nature and humanity against each other is a point of absurdity. Know where is the boundary between those two? Lao's ideal society in chapter 80, although it is really simple, is not natural, but human. Primitive man did not have clothes, a house, did not know how to raise chickens and dogs. It is natural to have to eat hair in the hole, living like a tribe in the middle of the African forest is already "human". But if you want to keep the "virtue" of Lao, the "brain" of Lao has to be like animals, millions of years ago, so it is now. We are different from animals in that we want to improve our lives and have enough intelligence and talent to improve it. That desire is natural, not human. If it is said that that desire is contrary to nature, then where does it arise, because according to Lao, people are born by virtue, nurtured by virtue,

Humans not only have the need to eat well and dress warmly, but also have a need to eat well, dress well, learn more, and create something. Telling the people to rule the people should only make the people "the heart is broken, the stomach is full, the mind is weak, the bones are strong and hard" is not close to love.

Besides, you have advocated non-vigilance, but why do you still propose to abolish civilization? How can I delete it? Destroy all from castles, bridges, utensils, machines, books, letters, clothes, carriages, horses...? Even if it is possible, living like primitive people for a while, people will explore, develop, gradually create a new civilization. That is not realistic.

The philosophy of humility and non-confrontation is very harmful, leading to the destruction of the body and genocide. It is also contrary to nature, to the human instinct to defend itself. If you want to be completely natural and religious, you should be advocating free competition, because the law of competition for survival is a natural law.

People also blame Lao Tzu for the fallacy: If you don't compete with the enemy, how will you win? Why don't poisonous insects sting in babies, wild animals don't pounce, and evil birds don't snap? How can a person who is skillful in taking care of life go on the road without encountering a rhinoceros, a tiger, and in the army, he is not injured by weapons. Why "don't enter the land of death". That means never going to the forest, but in the battlefield, looking for a place to hide, not fighting?

There are many more criticisms, for example, there are some contradictions: see part I, ch. II, section C. It makes sense, if it's not true more, it's also less right; but those who criticize will criticize, those who follow will follow, no one can convince anyone. But there are many people who like Lao Tzu, they do not use reason to analyze like the upper class, only use their hearts to sympathize with Lao Tzu.

When we sympathize with Lao Tzu, we see that his person is very endearing, precious, and noble. Although he talked about politics, he was not a politician, just a pure philosopher, that is, he only gave a theory, not a practice.

He saw that the society at that time was in chaos, because of polygamy, multiple tricks, and competition; he saw the harm of civilization, of excessively conditioned policy, so he had to act, saying that following the old direction, society would be more chaotic, had to change direction, and he showed us the opposite direction: must live simply, with less lust and deceit, but yield to each other, do not compete with each other, and respect each other's freedoms.

That direction is correct. As for how to do it, where to go, he left it to the authorities to decide. But he also told him not to do anything outrageous; and reminds us to try to keep three "rewards": self-love, frugality, but people. Sometimes he exaggerates, but just to hit our brains to draw our attention, reading him should not be word for word but breaking him word for word. So like Dao Uyen Minh, it's okay if you can, no need to think about it. He knew that it was impossible to radically oppose, abolish all civilizations and live like primitive people, so he proposed a model of society in chapter 80. Making humanity live happily is not a beautiful ideal. huh? Based on that chapter to criticize you contradicting yourself, yes, but do you really understand him?

The political part is not an important part of Lao Tzu doctrine. The ideas of equality (respect for lowly people, love for people gradually), freedom (less interference in people's lives), respect for peace, do not compete and fight with each other, but give in to each other. tolerance, love for the poor "who is the one who has more to give more to the needy in the world?", and the natural, simple, contented, peaceful lifestyle... these are the human values. very high, no true philosopher does not want to aim. They have a power to attract us, making us more upward, higher, purer, romantic and poetic at the same time. Therein lies the attraction of Lao Tzu theory.

That is the same reason that for over two thousand years, in China, there was not a single person in Confucianism who killed the Elder, although, as I said in Part II, Lao's position was in stark contrast to that of Confucius; It is Lao, not Mo or Han Fei, who opposes Confucius the most: Confucius respects the holy wisdom and benevolence, and Lao is the absolute best in the holy spirit and the excellent in humanity.

Not only did they not kill Lao as Han Du did Buddha, but they also liked Lao, respecting Lao as well as Confucius. Some of the poets and writers of Confucius were greatly influenced by Lao, such as Dao Uyen Minh of the Luc Trieu Dynasty, the author of the poems Dao Hoa Nguyen Ky , Qui past Lai from ; Lieu Ton Nguyen of the Tang Dynasty, the author of the poem Ngu Khe , was a close friend of Han Du who was more liberal than Han; Li Bai with Manh Hao Nhien, Vuong, especially Han Son of the Tang Dynasty, each house left many immortal articles describing natural scenes; To Dong of the Song Dynasty with two rich songs of Xich Bich, but the post of Hau Xich Bich had the adventurous voice of a Taoist…

Chinese painting is also influenced by Lao more than poetry: it can be said that all paintings of mountain water, juniper, stream clouds, chrysanthemums, bamboos, apricots, cranes... are all thanks to Lao. Painters such as Vuong Duy of the Tang Dynasty, Me Phi of the Song Dynasty were both Confucian and Laotian.

The Chinese people also liked him, even though he treated him as Confucius. They are like scholars, when young, they follow Confucian's "conformity", but in old age, they want to follow Lao's "non-vii"; When it comes to times of peace, he wholeheartedly helps the country, but when it's too chaotic, it can't be saved anymore, he withdraws, keeps his temper and waits for a more convenient time.

In short, the whole Chinese nation from mandarins to people, from scholars, artists to farmers, instinctively feels that Confucius and Lao are not diametrically opposed but complementary: Confucius guides them in family, ruling the country, in business, necessary for them as the sun is necessary for the growth of all things; He suppressed his eagerness to succeed, taught them abstinence, contentment, and gentleness, like the moon calming their souls, making their minds calmer, cooler, brighter like the scenery under the sun. moon. Lam Yutang in The Importance of Living said that thanks to Lao Tzu, the Chinese nation has survived for three or four thousand years of struggling with life, without many people suffering from madness, debilitating neurological disease, and severe illness. bloodline like Westerners.

Reading article 25 Tien Tien (The Analects ) saw that Confucius wanted to be like Zeng Tich. At the end of spring, together with a group of young people and children, they took each other to bathe in the river and then go to Vu Vu temple to cool off. singing, I have the feeling that if they live together, then Khong and Lao can be close friends. The aspirational, the soul of the two families are the same, the only difference is that Lao Tzu is a pure philosopher, while Confucius is both a philosopher and a politician, so he has a more realistic mind: he must "revenge revenge" In terms of politics, it is right, but in terms of human love, it is not as high as Lao Tzu: "Yu Duc takes revenge" Compare chapter 77 of Lao with lesson 1 Thien Quy ThiConfucianism, we see the attitude of the two families even more. Thinking of the poor and wishing for a balance in the country, Lao Tzu as a moralist lamented: "Who is the one who has more to give to the needy in the world"; Confucius, as a politician, thought of the government's duty: "Those who have a country have a home; they don't worry about a few people, but they don't have a balance, don't worry about poverty, but they don't have peace."

From the beginning of the 18th century, the Italian, French, and Y Pha Confucian missionaries... discovered the doctrine of Lao Tzu for Westerners. But over the next century they translated the Tao Te Ching and since then the translations and critiques have increased. The Tao Te Ching is the most popular Chinese work in Europe, far ahead of the Four Books, the Five Classics , and even Li Bai's poetry, in large part because of its compact, maxim-like form with both mysterious and contradictory meanings. Lao Tzu's life. The vast majority of Western readers in the past read it out of curiosity. Recently, after the second world war, they understood Lao Tzu better and wanted to find in the Tao Te Ching a cure for their eagerness to enjoy, too eager to progress, to live unnaturally.

Max Kaltenmax, in the conclusion of Lao Tseu, said that in our time in Europe and America, many people like Lao Tzu's theory of nothingness and emptiness, but after all, Lao Tzu 's non-interventionist, natural attitude is not contrary scientific spirit at all, because a truly scientific spirit always respects the laws of nature.

Moreover, two scientists: Lynton K. and Victor C. Ferkiss in Technological Man (1969), both advised Westerners to return to live with nature.

Caldwell said that we must obey the laws of nature, that if we do anything against nature, disaster will happen, and we should review the theory of Lao Tzu, of Saint François. That word is correct. Because science and technology are so advanced, losing the balance and harmony in the universe that has been gradually established for billions of years, since the existence of the earth, so that today's humanity has to deal with catastrophic explosions of numbers (as a result one third of humanity is starving and hundreds of millions of people will starve to death); environmental pollution; The land, rivers, air... are contaminated by the same toxic fumes from factories, cars, disinfectants, and chemical fertilizers. Those two disasters alone have caused thousands of discussions among scientists around the world that have yet to be resolved, they become the immediate danger of mankind.

Loss of harmony in the universe, but also loss of harmony in ourselves, in our souls: desire for progress, too much materialism, the soul cannot be quiet, morality declines, love decreases, life not happy either. Many young Europeans and Americans are tired of the consumerist civilization, working from morning to night to produce more, then consume more to produce more; they rebel against their society like hippies, provos; They read Lao Tzu, Thoreau, invited each other to live freely in flower gardens, fields, close to nature.

Ferkiss shall also launched a new philosophy, which he called Tan neo nature . According to that theory, man is a part of nature rather than something separate from nature. The whole universe is a process of transformation, a constant movement and man is part of that movement. That ideology he said was new, how similar to Lao Tzu's!

Being a part of nature cannot be separated from nature but must live according to nature, in nature, live simply, simply, as Caldwell advised.

Two other American scientists, Paul and Anne Ehrlich, authors of Population, Resources, Environment (San Françisco - 1970) said:

- Developed peoples must change their attitudes towards some values ​​of the times; healthy living is happiness; wealth must be distributed more equitably, giving 20% ​​of gross national product to disproportionately helping underdeveloped countries.

- As for the underdeveloped ethnic groups, they should not compete for European and American countries, living in the European and American way.

There are hundreds of other scientists who advocate like the four above, hundreds of works advising to live in harmony with nature, it is impossible to read them all.

So, in the West, there has been a "rebellion" movement. And there are signs that each person's movement is up. It is an honor for Chinese philosophy because as far as we know, the Tao Te Ching is the only work that presents the theory of wu (non-interference, according to nature) in a complete, systematic way, with a pen. unique method, half as rich, half as poetic.

Ethics and Ethics

Chapter 1.

Dao (which we) can be called, / No (still) must be the "permanent" way. / The name (that we) can be called, / No (also) must be the "normal" name. / Nameless, is the root of heaven and earth, / Named is the mother of all things. / Therefore, often without lust, only receive the miraculous place of the Tao. / Often suffers from lust, so he only sees the separation of the Tao. / Those two are the same, / the same root, different names. / Dong should call Huyen, / It is the entrance and exit of all miracles in heaven and earth.

Chapter 2.

Everyone knows that good is good, / is already bad. / We all know that what is good is good. / Then there is what is not. / Therefore, / Yes and no are born together, / Difficult and easy are together, / High and low are in the same direction, / Voice and voice are the same, / Before and after. / Therefore, / Use "non-verbal" to practice, / Use "non-verbal" to teach. / Let all things become without obstruction, / Create without taking, / Work without relying on merit, / A city without staying. / Because by not staying, So not being left.

Chapter 3.

Do not respect the wise, / Make the people not compete. / Not to value hard-to-earth, / To prevent people from stealing. /Do not display lust, /Make the hearts of the people not disordered. / Therefore, / The rule of the saint (is to make the people): / Broken heart, / No stomach, / Weak will, / Strong bones. / Often causes people not to know, not to desire, / To make the wise / not dare to use their wisdom. / (If) follow wu wu, there will be nothing that cannot be treated.

Chapter 4.

The Tao is empty, but it pours into it and is not full. / Tao is like an abyss, it seems to be the ancestor of all things. / It sharpens the sharpness, / Removes confusion, / Harmonizes light, / Copper and dust. / It's so clear! / It seems to last forever! / I don't know whose son it is, / It seems to have existed before God.

Chapter 5.

Heaven and earth have no human, / Treat all things like straw grass. / Saints have no human, / Treat hundreds of families like straw dogs. / The space between heaven and earth, / Like a bellows. / Although empty but endless, / The more you move, the more you breathe, / The more you talk, / The more it doesn't work, / It's better to keep the middle.

Chapter 6.

The cave god does not die, / Should be called mysterious. / The door of the occult, / The roots of the earth and sky. / As long as it's still there, / Using it all the time, it doesn't end.

Chapter 7.

The sky is long, the earth is long. / Heaven and earth are long, / because they don't live for themselves, / so they can live forever. / Therefore, sage, / Put the body behind, but the body first. / Let the body out, but the body remains. / Is it because it is not private, / But it becomes private?

Chapter 8.

The "superior" is like water. / Water often benefits all things without fighting. / In a place where everyone hates, / Should be close to the Way. / I usually choose a low place to stay. / The heart has a deep place. / If you do, you like to use humanity. / If you speak out, you will not fail to be loyal, / If you correct, you will make peace. / Work is suitable for talent, / Movement is in accordance with the times. / Oh, because I don't fight, / So it's okay to make mistakes.

Chapter 9.

Hold the pot full, / It's better to stop. / Use a sharp knife, Not sharp for a long time. / Gold and jade fill the house, Hard to keep for long. / Rich but proud, / Self-deprecating superiority. / So work, retreat, / That's the way of heaven.

Chapter 10.

Make the soul one, / Indivisible, okay? / Make the breath gather, / Like an infant, okay? / Wash away the lust for magic, / Don't have any filth, okay? / Love the people and rule the country, / If you don't do it, won't you? / The doors of heaven open and close, but act like a roof, okay? / Being born there, raising it, / Born without taking it for yourself, / Working without relying on merit, Being a great leader without mastering, / That is called profound virtue.

Chapter 11.

Thirty spokes, combined for one gourd, but thanks to the "no" place, there is the "use" of the car. / Stuff the earth to make dishes, / Thanks to the "no" place, there is the "use" of the dishes. / Break the door, make the room, / Thanks to the "no" place, there is the "use" of the room. / Therefore, / Take that "yes" for profit, take that "no" for use.

Chapter 12.

Five colors make people dark. / Five voices make people deaf. / Five smells make people's tongue numb. / Hunting horse stride, / Make people's hearts go crazy. / Wealth is difficult to obtain, / Causes people to suffer many harms. / Therefore the sage, / For the sake of the belly, but not for the eyes. / Should give up this and get the other.

Chapter 13.

Honor and humiliation are both fear. / Precious and eunuch are because of having a body. Why is it that calling honor and humiliation both fear? /It is because of the honor above, the shame is below, / To gain is also afraid, / And to lose is also afraid. / That's why it's called "all honor is fear". / Why is it called "precious and eunuch because they have a body"? / Because, I have great worries because I have a body. / If I'm not close, / I'm not worried. / Therefore, / He who knows how to treasure himself for the sake of the world, should entrust the world to him. / Those who know how to love themselves for the sake of the world, / should entrust the world to them.

Chapter 14.

Seeing but not seeing, so the name is "Di". / Slang without listening, so the name is "Hi". / Catching but not grasping, so the name is "Vi". / Those three are indistinguishable, / because they are mixed into one. / Above it there is no light, / Below it is not dark, / Long and long without a name. / Then return to where it is not. / This is called the formless form, / The form of the non-thing. / It's called "panic". / If you pick it up, you won't see its head, / If you follow it, you will not see its tail / To keep the old Tao, / To rule the present's possessions. / Knowing the clues of the past, / That is called grasping the ties of the Tao.

Chapter 15.

The ancient perfect, / Subtle, mysterious, / Super mysterious, clear. / Deep is unfathomable. / Because it's unfathomable, / Temporarily imagine It. / Caution seems to cross the river on solid water. / Hesitation seems to be afraid of looking around. /Honoring strangers, / Melting ice like melting ice, Homeland as unhewn wood, / Empty as a mountain cave, / Mixed with cloudy water. / Who often thanks to the purity to turbidity, / Who used to stand still because of movement? / Those who keep the Way, don't want to be full. Only because I don't want to be full, / should I be able to cover it. / Without becoming new.

Chapter 16.

To the extreme of space, / Is to hold firmly in the pure. / All things are born together. / I see it back to the original, / Oh! All things coincide, / They return to their roots / Returning to the roots, called Pure. / It is called the Resurrection. / Phuc Mang called Normal. / Know often called Minh. / If you don't know the Way of the ordinary, you will cause harm. / Knowing the Tao is often tolerant, / Tolerance is just, / Righteousness is all-encompassing, / All-encompassing is Heaven, / Heaven is the Way, / Tao is long-lasting, / (Who can do this) / Life is not risk…

Chapter 17.

Early life, people only know there is. / Next, people close and praise it. / Next, people are afraid. / Next, people despise it. / Because they did not believe enough, the people did not believe. / The ancient sages, precious words, / Done the work for the people, / But the people think "naturally do it by themselves".

Chapter 18.

When the great Tao is lost, there will be humanity. / Wisdom is born, there is a lie. / Six bodies are not in harmony, only filial piety. / The country is in turmoil, I'll be there right away.

Chapter 19.

End the saint to give up the mind, / People benefit one hundred percent. / The people give up the cause, / The people are good again. / Stop taking advantage, / There is no stealing. / Stop those three items, / Where is enough. / Must be like this: / Live a simple and simple life, / Have little privacy, / have little desire.

Chapter 20.

Stop studying, don't worry. / "Yes" and "Oh", what's the difference? / What is the difference between good and evil? / Where you fear, / Am I not afraid, / But there is nothing, fear is useless. / People are happy, / Like enjoying labor. / Like going to the spring station. / I am silent alone, leaving no trace. / Like an infant, not yet knowing how to smile. / Go away drunk, go nowhere to return. / People have a surplus, / We are poor. / How stupid are our hearts? / Tired of waiting! / The world is bright, / My own is dim. / People distinguish, / My own is chaotic. / The calm seems to be dark, / The rush does not seem to be still. Everyone in the world has a place to use, / Particularly stupid, rude. / I am separate from other people: / I cherish my mother and raise all species.

Chapter 21.

Duc's figure is large, / Following the Tao, / The Tao gives birth to things, / Faintly vague, / Faintly vague, / There are pictures in it. / Blurry looming, In which there are objects. / Deeply dark, / In which there are crystals. / That spirit is very real, / There is faith in it. / From time immemorial, / That name is not lost, / The origin of all things, / How do we know its state. / Thanks to that.

Chapter 22.

What's missing is perfect, / What's bent is right. / What is deep is full, / What is old is new. / Less is good, / More is to fall in love. / Therefore, the saint "holds the One" to set an example for the world. / Do not consider yourself to be bright, so bright. / Not for yourself is right, so dazzling. / Do not consider yourself to be meritorious, should have merit. / Do not brag, should be on top. / Just because we don't fight, people don't compete with us. / Where the ancients called "the defect is perfect", / Is the saying wrong? / Thanh, is to return to the whole place.

Chapter 23.

Talk less, let nature. / Therefore, / The whirlwind doesn't blow all morning, / showers, it doesn't rain all day. / Who made it rain and wind? / Oh my God. / The work of heaven and earth can not be long, / Let alone the work of people. / Therefore, / Following Dao is synonymous with Tao, / Following Duc is synonymous with Virtue, / Following Loss (Germany), is synonymous with Loss (Germany). / Together with Dao, Dao is also happy after that, / With loss, loss is also happy after that. / Believe it is not enough, / Therefore, it is not enough.

Chapter 24.

If you raise your heels, you won't be able to stand, / If you split your legs, you won't be able to walk. / If you consider yourself bright, you are not bright. / If you consider yourself right, it is not dazzling. / If you consider yourself meritorious, you will not. / Self-conceit is not at the top. / According to Tao, it is: / "Excess food, excess work, / Everyone hates". / So people with Dao do not do.

Chapter 25.

There are things that should be chaotic, / Born before heaven and earth. / Quiet, empty. / Stand alone without change, / Walk around without getting tired, / May be the mother of the world. / I don't know the name, / Call it Dao, / It's big. / Large is to pervade, Pervasive is to go far, / To go far is to return. / So, great Tao, great heaven, / Great earth, great man. / There are four great things in life. / That you are one, / You imitate the Earth, / The Earth imitates Heaven, / Heaven imitates the Tao, / The Tao imitates nature.

Chapter 26.

Heavy is the root of light, / Purity is the master of turmoil. / That's why, saint, / All day long walking without leaving the heavy vehicle. / Although I see a glorious scene, / But my heart is quiet above all. / Why is the king of the kingdom of ten thousand surpluses, / With his body, he underestimates the world? / Light will lose root, / Rebellion will lose master.

Chapter 27.

Go smart, leave no footprints. / Speak well without making mistakes. / Smart calculation, do not use math problems. / Closed smartly, no need to lock without opening. / Tie well, no need to tie without untie. / Therefore, Saints / Often save people / so no one is left behind. / Often clever at saving things, so nothing is abandoned. / It's called "as bright as two". / Therefore, the righteous are the teachers of the unwholesome, / The unwholesome are the possessions of the righteous. / Don't love that good person, / Don't love that bad person, / Even the wise are crazy. / That's the magic.

Chapter 28.

Know like a cock, keep like a hen, / Make a creek for the world, / Make a creek for the world. / Always follow Germany without leaving. / Back to childhood again. / Know white, keep black, / Be a model for the world. / Make a model for the world. / Constantly according to the new virtue fully. Back to the rustic. / Rustic, scattered, born all kinds of people. The saint uses the talented class, / Phong is the chief of staff. / So, the large value does not divide.

Chapter 29.

I want to take the world to do (according to my will). / I find it impossible. / The world is a godsend, / You can't do what you want. / When you do it, you lose it, / When you keep it, you lose it. / So, object / or go, or follow, / or breathe, or inhale, / or strong, or weak, / or cover, or break. / That's it, Sage. / Avoid the excess.

Chapter 30.

Whoever uses Dao to support the king, / Does not force people with military force, / will see good results. / The place where the division is located, / The thorns are full of thorns, / After the main battle / Many years of crop failure. / So win skillfully, / don't dare to use force. / Win without boasting, / Win without self-praise, / Win without pride, / Win without oppression, / Win without oppression. / Strong things will grow old, / It is contrary to the Way, / Opposing the Way dies early.

Chapter 31.

A good weapon is a bad thing, / Everything hates it. / Should spend, people with Dao do not use. The gentleman is important to the left, / The military is to the right. / Soldiers are bad things, / Not the things of a gentleman. / Forced to use, / Calm is more. / Winning the battle is not good, / But it is good. / Is funny murder. / Killing people with pleasure, / Unable to please people./ Good deeds favor the left, / Evil deeds favor the right. / Deputy General on the left, / Senior General on the right: / is the stand during the funeral. / Many murderers / Sorrowful crying. The victor, / Judgment by the funeral.

Chapter 32.

The Tao is usually nameless, simple, / Although small, / Under the sky, nothing can be obeyed. / If the prince keeps it, / everything will declare itself a god. / Heaven and earth harmonize, Sweet dew falls, / People are not obligated, / But self-submit. / The Dharma is laid out, then there is a name / The other name already has, / must also know how to stop. / Knowing to stop is not harmful. / Dao compares with the world, / like rivers and seas with streams.

Chapter 33.

Knowing others is wisdom, / Knowing oneself is light. / Winning over others is strength, / Winning yourself is strong. / Knowing enough is rich. / To be rich is to have will. / No loss of nature is permanent. / To die without dying is to live a long life.

Chapter 34.

The great Tao pervades, / Right and left. All things are born through It, / And not a single thing is rejected by it. / Done, no name. / Covering, nurturing all species, but not mastering. / Often has no desire, / So it can be called Small. / Being followed by all things without mastering, / So it can be called big. / The sage, until the end, / Do not consider yourself great. / So, you can achieve your great work.

Chapter 35.

Grasp the great statue, / Go around the world, / Wherever you go, there will be no harm, / Have peace and quiet. / Music and cake, / Passing guests stop. / Dao is out of the mouth, / Lat is tasteless. / Seeing is not enough to see, / Listening is not enough to hear. / Use It, not over.

Chapter 36.

Wanting to shrink it, / Is about to expand it. / Wanting to weaken it, / Is about to make it stronger. / Wanting to throw it away, / Is about to arouse it. / Wanting to rob it, / Is about to give it more, / This is called the mysterious light. / The weak beat the strong hard. / Fish cannot escape the abyss. / The country's wealth cannot be told / let everyone know.

Chapter 37.

Tao usually does not do, / but nothing does not do. / The prince can keep it, / Then everything will change by itself. / If we want to change, we intervene, / We should stop it, / Use the simplicity of "anonymous", / The rustic of "no-name", / Should we not desire? / If you don't desire, you will be calm, / The world will be at peace.

Chapter 38.

If virtue is high, there is no virtue, / That is why there is virtue, / If virtue is low, there is no loss of virtue, / so there is no virtue. / If you have high virtue, you won't do it, / If you don't rely on it, you will do it. / If Germany is low, then they can do it, / They think they can do it again. / If it's high, then do it, / But don't think it's done. / The meaning is high, and the hand is also glaring, / It is considered to have done. / If you can't do it, / If you can't answer / then roll your hands and glare. / Therefore, losing Dao, then having virtue, / Losing virtue, then having humanity. / Losing Humanity, then having Meaning, / Losing meaning, then having Ceremony. / Feast is only a thin shell of faithfulness, / It is also the focal point of chaos. / Pre-consciousness is only the flower of the Tao, / It is also the root of stupidity. / That's why the great man / In a thick place, not in a thin place, / Prefers fruit, does not like flowers, / Should leave here and keep it.

Chapter 39.

These are the things that used to be the first throne: / Heaven gets One and clear, / Earth gets One and rests, / God gets one but spirit, / The cave is filled with one. / All things have one and live, / The king gets one and rules the world. / They've all reached the place where they should all be. / If the sky is not clear, it will break, / The land will not rest. / The cave that is not full will be exhausted, / The gods without the spirit will disperse, / All things that do not live will end, / The Monkey King who does not rule the world will die. / Therefore, / You take convenience as the root, / High takes low as the foundation, / So spend, / Most of the kings call themselves "orphans", / "less virtuous", "unwholesome", / That is taking "convenience". "do root? / Isn't that so? / So too much praise is like no praise. / The sage does not want / to be esteemed like a pearl, despised like a pebble.

Chapter 40.

Returning is the movement of the Tao, / Weakness, softness is the use of the Tao. / Everything under heaven is born "Yes", / "Yes" is born where "no".

Chapter 41.

Master Sergeant listens to the Tao, / Try to follow immediately. / The sergeant heard the Tao, / At first I remembered, at first I forgot. / Corporal listens to Dao, / Both laugh and ignore. / If you don't laugh, / Why is it enough to call it the Tao./ So why, the ancients said: / In the light of the Tao, it seems dark, / When it comes to the Way, it seems to retreat. / Equal to Tao, seemingly trivial. / Virtue is high, nursing low, / It is pure white, seems dirty. / Germany is abundant, it seems not enough. / Germany is solid, seemingly sloppy. / The sincere, seems to change. / Large square, no corner, / Large pot, late to the wall. / Loud sound, little sound. / Large statue, no figure. / The Tao is secret, without a name / Only the Tao. / Or give, back to work.

Chapter 42.

Dao gives birth to One, / One gives birth to Two, / Two gives birth to Three, / Three gives birth to all things. / In all things there is nothing / that does not carry yin and yang. / Multiply each other's places to get together. / The person's hate / is "she smuggled", "virtuous fruit", "unwholesome" / yet the kings / use that to declare themselves. So things in life / less is more, / More is less. / Where the ancients taught, / I now also teach: / Use violence, die brutally. / The person who said that sentence was my teacher.

Chapter 43.

The very soft of the world, / Win the very hard of the world. / The "nothing" still interferes / is the place that can't be interfered./ That's why we know the benefits of "no-action". / Teaching without words, / The benefits of non-action, / Few people in the world understand.

Chapter 44.

Name and Body, which is more precious? / Body and Wealth, which is more important? / Dang and Los, which is more miserable? / Therefore, / If you love a lot, you will lose a lot, / If you hold a lot, you will lose a lot. / Know enough, not humiliating. / Know to stop, not dangerous. / And maybe long term.

Chapter 45.

Perfect achievement seems to be unfinished, / Then its use is not damaged. / Fullness seems to be empty, / Its use is infinite. / Very upright seems crooked, / Very skillful seems clumsy, / Very eloquent seems to falter. / Irritability overcomes cold, / Silence wins over enthusiasm. / The new purity is the world.

Chapter 46.

The world has the Dao, / Horses ride and cultivate the fields. / Under Heaven, there is no Tao. War horses are raised outside the city. / There is no greater disaster than not knowing enough. / There is no harm as great as desire. / Therefore, / Knowing enough in the enough, is always enough.

Chapter 47.

Do not go out the door, / But know the affairs of the world. / Do not look outside the door, / But see the Way of Heaven. / The further away, / the less you know. / Therefore, sages, / You know without going, You don't see, you understand, / Don't do, you understand.

Chapter 48.

Studying, more and more. / According to the Tao, less and less. / Less and less again, / To the point of non-action. / If you don't do anything, you won't do it, / If you use "doing" often, you will win the world, / If you use "the conditioned" it will not be enough to rule the world.

Chapter 49.

The heart of a saint / is not always the same, / But takes the heart of a hundred students as one's own. / With the righteous, live in good, / So be well. For the faithful also live in faithfulness, / So be faithful. / The saint takes care of the world, / But does not reveal his heart. / Hundreds of students pay attention to their eyes and ears. The saint treats all as his own children. /

Chapter 50.

Out of life, in and out of death. / The road of life has thirteen. / The road of death has thirteen. / Human life, / Going to death also has thirteen. / Why is that? / Because I worry too much about living my life. / Who knows the way of the photographer, On the way do not meet wild animals. / Go into battle without being wounded, / Numbness has no place to stab, Tigers have no lugs, / Knives have no place to hurt. / Why is that? / Because there is no place to die.

(Note: 13 things are vanity, nothingness, purity, purity, softness, weakness, words, thrift, insensitivity to the lower heavens, sufficiency, chi only, no desire, no action).

Chapter 51.

That Taoist student, / That foster virtue, / The species that form that shape, / Therefore, / All things respect the Dao, precious virtues. / It's not a religion, dear Duc. / Is a mandatory duty, / It is a natural tendency. / So, / That Taoist, / That Nurturing Virtue, / That support, that nurture, / That care, that strength, / That nurture, that protection, / That birth without taking it as one's own. / Do without credit. / Being a superior, without mastering, / That is called Huyen Duc.

Chapter 52.

People have their origin, / Used to be the mother of the world, / As long as they keep their mother, / They know their children, / They know their children, / Return to their mothers. / Body to death is not dangerous. / Close your mouth, / Close your eyes and ears, / Life without labor, / Open your mouth, / Make up excuses, / Life can't be saved. / Seeing the subtle, is bright, / Keeping soft, is strong. / Use the light of the Tao, / Return to your own light. / The body is not afraid of calamity. / It's twice as bright.

Chapter 53.

If I have good understanding, / I follow the great Way. / Just afraid to do it wrong! / The great way is wide and smooth, / The people like the narrow but winding road. / The royal court is splendid, / The fields are full of weeds, / The barns are empty. / Wow, really classy pants, Wear a sharp sword. / Eating and drinking, / Excess wealth.../ But that's the way of thieves, / Not the way of the great Dao.

Chapter 54.

If you plug it in tightly, you can't pull it up. The children and grandchildren sacrifice themselves without stopping. / If you cultivate yourself with the Tao, / Then your virtue is sincere. / If you take care of the house with Tao, / Then you will have a surplus. / If you take care of your neighbors with Tao, / Then that virtue will be long. / If you take care of the country with the Way, / Then your virtue will prosper. / If you take care of the world with the Way, / Then your virtue will be wide. / What should be spent, / Judging by the body, / Judging by the house, / By the village, by the village, / By the country, by the country, / by the world, by the world. / How do I know such things in the world? / Then take that place.

Chapter 55.

The one whose virtue is thick, / Like a red child, / Poisonous insects do not bite, / Wild animals do not eat, / Evil birds do not bite. / Weak bones, soft tendons, / Hard grip, / Not known to have intercourse, / Excess temperament. / Screaming all day long, / And the voice is not hoarse, / In perfect harmony. / Knowing peace is called normal, / Knowing often is called Minh, / If you are too greedy to live, it will be harmful. / The wrong mind is strong. / Strong and large objects are old. / It is against the Tao. / Discord died early.

Chapter 56.

Know, do not say, / Say, do not know. / Often closes his mouth, / Closes his eyes and ears, / Sharp spots, / Drops stools. / Mixing light, / Dusty copper, / It is called Huyen Dong. / Can't get the body. / Can't get the first place. / Can't take advantage. / Can't take harm. / Can't take the precious place. / Can't get a convenient place. / Therefore, Under heaven there is nothing more precious.

Chapter 57.

Take it straight and treat the water. / Using danger to use troops. / Get "nothing" that people get. / How do I know? / Here it is: / There are many taboos in the world, / The people are poorer. / The people are more profitable, / The country is darker. / People have many talents, / Strange things arise. / The more obvious the ordinance, / The more thieves and robbers are born. / So, the sage said, / I am "innocuous" but the people turn themselves into, / I like purity, but the people are self-righteous, / I am "unharmed" but the people are rich, / I have no desire, but the people become substance. sketch.

Chapter 58.

The main order is dim, / Then the people are peaceful. / It is the order of the people, / The people make mistakes. / Painting is the support of happiness. / Happiness is the hiding place of disaster. / Who knows its end? / On but not righteous, / Then immediately become false. / Good becomes evil. / The passion of people, / has been for a long time. / Therefore, the sage: / To be square and not to be cut. / Sensing people without hurting. / Pull immediately without correction. / Shines light without glare.

Chapter 59.

Treat people, help heaven, / Not spending by saving. / Saving should be the first concern. / Take it to work first, / Then contain virtue. / Contain virtue, / Then nothing is invincible. / Nothing is invincible, / No one knows the end of it. / No one knows the end of it, / Only then can hold the water. / Keeping the mother of water, / can be long-lasting. / That's called "durable deep roots". / The Dao "long life and eternal market".

Chapter 60.

Treating big water is like cooking small fish. / Using the Tao to control the world, / The devil does not show his majesty. / It's not that demons can't reveal their majesty, / It's that demons can't harm people. / It's not that gods can't harm people, / It's because saints can't hurt people. / Both do not harm people, / So their virtues are connected in one place.

Chapter 61.

The great country makes the low place, / Will be the place where the people gather, / The female of the world. / The female often uses the net to win over the male. / Take the net as a low place. / The great nation humbles itself before the small, / Ắt to make the small nation a god. / A small country humbles itself before a great one, / Ắt to protect the great nation. / Should, / Or humble yourself to gain. / Great countries just want to include feeding people. / The small country just wants to worship people. / Both get their own place. / The great should humble themselves.

Chapter 62.

The Way is / The secret place of all things. / Treasures of the righteous. / The refuge of the unwholesome. / Good words can be expensive. / Good work can increase the price of people. / But the unrighteous, / Why leave them? / Therefore. / Newly established worthy of the Son of Heaven, / Newly set up the steps of the three gongs, / Although holding the wall, / Sitting in a chariot with four horses, how can it be better than sitting on a horse and ruling the people. / Why did the ancients cherish that religion? / There's not a day that they don't pray for, So even if they're at fault, they're excused, right? / Therefore it is the precious treasure of the world. / All things have clothes / Heaven's treasures / Unscrupulous people have treasures.

Chapter 63.

Do but "don't do", / Lo but "don't worry", / Taste but "no smell". / See as big as small. / Consider more as less. / Get vengeance for vengeance. / Hard work, easy place to catch. / Do big things, start small places. / Difficult things in life, start in small places. / That's why the sage, In his lifetime, does not do great things, / The one who promises easily, has little to believe. / Those who see anything easy, will encounter many difficulties. / Therefore, / The sage considers everything to be difficult, / So there is no difficulty in life.

Chapter 64.

Quiet object, easy to hold. / Not showing signs, easy to worry. / The object is soft, easy to disperse, / The object is small, easy to disperse. / Prevent when not present, / Swat treat when not disordered. / The tree is one hug, / The small root is born. / The tower is nine stories high, / The beginning of the little earth. / Go a thousand miles, / Start a step. / If you do it, you lose it, / If you keep it, you lose it. / Therefore, a sage, / If you do not do it, you will not lose it, / If you do not keep it, you will not lose. / If the people do it, / If they are close to the city, they will lose. / Rear guard as before, / Ắt undamaged. / So the saint, / Wanted but didn't want. / It's not hard to be. / Learn without learning, / Help them repent and return. / Help all things live according to nature. / Without daring to touch it.

Chapter 65.

In the past, people were good at practicing religion. / Do not make the people clever / Make the people honest. / The people are difficult to rule, / Because of many wise men. / Therefore, / Rule the country with wisdom, / It is a curse for the country. / Do not rule the country with wisdom, / It is a blessing for the country. / Knowing these two things, / Is knowing how to make patterns. / Often knows how to make models, / Should be called mystical virtues. / Mystic virtue is deep, deep. / By which all things return. / Then come to the great agreement.

Chapter 66.

The reason for the river and the sea to make the king of a hundred caves. / Because it is good at standing low, / Should be king of a hundred caves. / Therefore, / Wanting to sit on top of the people, / He must have humbled himself by words. / I want to stand in front of the people, / I must put myself behind. / Therefore, Saint / Above, the people are not heavy. / In front, people do not see harm. / Therefore, / People are not bored, but still push forward, / Because of that there is no competition, / So people cannot compete with it.

Chapter 67.

People all call my religion great / But it doesn't seem to be the same. / Because it's big, it's nothing like it. / It's as bad as it is, / It's been small for a long time. / I have three treasures, which I always hold and embrace: / One is "From", / The second is "Kien", / The third is "don't dare to stand in front of people". / The new word is Dung, / The new Kiem is wide, / If you don't dare to stand in front of people, you will get the high throne. / Now, if you give up Tu to gain Dung, / Quit Saving to gain Broad, / If you leave behind to get ahead, you will die! / Take the word and fight, then win. / Take the word that entrenched is firm. / God wants to save someone, / Take the word to help.

Chapter 68.

A good general does not use force. / Good fighters don't get angry. / Skillfully defeat the enemy without competing with it. / Cleverly using people who humble themselves to help. / That is the virtue of not fighting. That is the art of using people. / That is in line with the extreme of the Tao.

Chapter 69.

There is a saying in the military: / It is better to be a guest than to be a master. / Better to rot a step, than to advance an inch. / It's called:. / step without going to. / Embarrassed without rolling up. / Capture the enemy without the enemy. / Holding without weapons. / There is no greater calamity than contempt of the enemy. / If you despise the enemy, you will lose your treasure. / So, the two sides exchange troops, / The one who gives way wins.

Chapter 70.

My words are easy to understand, very easy to do. / Yet people do not understand, do not do. / My word has a root, / My work has a master. / Because people don't understand that place, / So they don't understand me. / Understand me, few people, / So we are precious. / Therefore, the sage, / Outwardly dressed in robes, his heart is full of jewels.

Chapter 71.

Knowing the unknown is high (or Knowing is considered not knowing, is high), / Not knowing that knowing is disease (or Not knowing is considered knowing, then disease). / Know it's a disease, / Then it's not sick anymore. / The saint is not sick, / Because he knows it is a disease, / So he is not sick anymore.

Chapter 72.

People do not fear the terrible, / All the great fear must come. / Do not criticize your accommodation narrow. / Don't get bored with your life. / Because I don't criticize, / So I'm not bored. / Therefore, the sage, / Know yourself, but do not consider yourself bright. / Love yourself but don't appreciate yourself. / Should leave here and keep there.

Chapter 73.

The courage of daring to do is death, / The courage of not daring to do is to live. / Those two are either beneficial or harmful. / The hateful place of heaven, Who gets a pretext? / The sage also stumbles into that difficulty! / Dao of heaven: / Do not fight but win. / Do not speak, but someone listens. / Do not call but come by yourself. / Relax and finish the job. / The nets of the sky are full, / Yes, but not through.

Chapter 74.

People are not afraid of death, / How can they be threatened with death? / Weakness makes the common people afraid of death. / And there are people who break the law, / I catch and kill them, / So that no one dares to violate anymore. / Who dares to do it? / Usually there is a savior to kill. / Now I kill again like that, / It's like a hewer. / It is rare to see a broken hand.

Chapter 75.

The people are hungry, / It's because they have to pay a lot of taxes. / That's why I'm hungry. / The people are difficult to rule, / It is because the above uses the conditioned way / So it is difficult to treat. / People despise death, / It is for the sake of life, / That is why they despise death. / He who does nothing to live. / Better than those who try to live.

Chapter 76.

People at birth are soft and weak. / And when you die, it's hard and strong. / All things, plants and animals, are soft at birth. / And when it dies, it withers. / So, / Hard and strong are death's friends. / Soft and weak are friends of life. / That's it, / A strong army does not win. / A strong tree will break. / Hard and strong on the lower level, / Soft and weak on the upper level.

Chapter 77.

God's religion? It is like a bow raised: / The high place is pressed down, / The low place is raised. / If there is a surplus, then reduce it. / If it is not enough, make up for it. / The Way of Heaven: / Make up for the surplus, / Make up for the lack. / Human's religion is not like that: / Eliminate the shortage, / Make up for the surplus. / Who has no spare to make up for the world. / If not the one who has been Dao! / Therefore, the sage: / Working without relying on merit, / After being successful, don't stay, / I don't want anyone to see my talent.

Chapter 78.

Under the sky, soft and weak, nothing more than water. / Can't spend more than that. / Can't afford that. / Soft wins hard, / Weak wins strong. / Under heaven no one does not know, / But no one can do it. /That's why the saint said: / "Dare to accept the dirt of the water, / Only then can you be the master of society. / Dare to accept the misfortune of the country, / Only be able to be king of the world. / Words immediately sound opposite.

Chapter 79.

Reconciled a big sentence, still have resentment, / Why is that right? / That's why the saint / Holds the contract on the left without blaming him. / The virtuous are gathered together, / The unvirtuous are divided. / The way of heaven is not friendly to anyone, often gives favors to good people.

Chapter 80.

Small country, few people, / Even if it has ten or a hundred weapons, / It will not allow it to be used. / Make people afraid to die without going far. / Although there is a complete car, / There is no seat up. / Even though they have armor, / They are not allowed to use them. / Make people use the knot again. / Eat the delicious food of that place, / Wear the beautiful clothes of that place, / Stay where you are, / Enjoy the customs of that place. / The water is close to each other, / The sound of chickens and dogs is heard together, / The people are old and dead.

Chapter 81.

Honest words are not beautiful, / Beautiful words are not sincere. "Good" people do not argue, / People who argue are not "good". / The wise do not study widely, / The wide learners do not have wisdom. / The sage does not keep, / The more for people, the more we have, / The more we give, the more we have. / The way of heaven, benefit but not harm. / Dao of the Saint, Do without fighting.

Published under Blog on 19 June, 2021.

Latest update on 23 July, 2021.