Lao-Tzu, (Lao-Tsu, Laotze, Lao Zi, Laocius, and other variations), was a mystic philosopher of ancient China, and best known as the author of the Tao Te Ching. His association with the Tao Te Ching has led him to be traditionally considered the founder of Taoism (also spelled “Daoism”). He is also revered as a deity in most religious forms of the Taoist religion, which often refers to Laozi as Taishang Laojun, or “One of the Three Pure Ones”. Laozi translated literally from Chinese means “old master” or “old one”, and is generally considered honorific.
According to Chinese tradition, Laozi lived in the 6th century BC: 604 – 517 BC.
Historians variously contend that Laozi is a synthesis of multiple historical figures, that he is a mythical figure, or that he actually lived in the 4th century BC, concurrent with the Hundred Schools of Thought and Warring States Period.
A poem from his book “Tao Te Ching”:
Knowing others, one is learned;
Knowing thyself, one is enlightened.
Conquering others requires force;
Conquering oneself requires strength.
Knowing contentment, one is rich;
Having perseverance, one is firm;
Abiding in the center, one endures;
Even in dying, one enjoys eternal life.
Eckhart Tolle about the Tao Te Ching:
A playlist with videos about the Tao Te Ching.