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The spurned wisdom of Daoism被忽视的道教智慧

The ancient Chinese philosopher Laozi probably wasn’t a single person, and his seminal Daodejing not just one singlehanded text. But his Daoism can be easily understood by anyone: a good life is a balanced one; wisdom is found in accepting conflicts and contradictions; human potential lies in resolving them. With such a philosophy, it’s not surprising he’s simply called Laozi, or "the old one," as these truths often dawn at life's end, after mistakes have been made and larger ones are in the making by a next generation.


To illustrate this human condition, consider a story, whether apocryphal or not, about Laozi himself. At the end of his life, and I’m talking about events 2500 years ago, he felt bitter that nobody took him seriously, seeing him as a laughingstock and denying him the social respect he believed he deserved. This sentiment might echo with those today who advocate for immediate ceasefires, urgent climate action, necessary ethical controls on Artificial Intelligence and other matters of common sense. Laozi (also known as Lao Tse) chose to leave his world for solitude, symbolized in his time by heading west, beyond the gates of ancient China, where meaning and purpose seemed nullified—a place as barren as my journey has been.


Yet, at the gate, supposedly the west gate of Luoyang, stood a guard named Yinxi, known for his philosophical inclinations. Learning of Laozi’s quasi death wish, Yinxi asked him to first write down concisely his beliefs, which became the Daodejing. Thus, thanks to Yinxi, we now can learn the value of living in harmony with nature, following the Dao, accepting the multidimensionality of the world around us, and cultivating compassion, moderation and humility.


Indeed we can, but alas, we don’t.



Journey to be continued...

and to follow the Journey by





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