Not Again! Just one more, maybe.

Another wise man, who lived around the same time as Confucius, grew tired of bowing and the daily rituals of life. He wanted to know more about the mysteries of life. So he quit his job and went to live as a hermit in the lonely frontier mountains of China.

A border guard, asked him to write down his thoughts before he went ahead. And that is what Lao-tzu did. There meanings were hard to understand and went something like this: in all the world in wind and rain in plants and animals, in the passage from day to night, in the movement of the stars- everything acts in accordance to one great law. He called it the "Tao", which means the way or the path. Only man in his actions and projects, restless striving and even his prayers and sacrifices resists the fulfillment of this great law.

Therefore, he said we must do nothing. Only when we have become like a tree or a flower, empty of all will and purpose do we begin to feel Tao. The great universal law that turns the heavens and brings the spring begin to work in ourselves.

These ideas are hard to grasp, and harder to follow. Within the solitude of the distant mountains Lao-tzu was able to take "doing nothing", to such an extreme that the law worked within himself.

I think it was probably better that Confucius was the great teacher at the time. What do you think?

Source E.H. Gombrich, A Little History of The World.

Uploaded 04/29/2010
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