Annotation / Tao Te Ching / Lao Tzu

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Annotation: Lao Tzu- Tao Te Ching Lao Tzu is one of the greatest Chinese philosophers who lived in the 6th century B.C, although this has been subject for debate in modern philosophy. He is known to have authored many poems, which today, comprise of the great book known as Tao Te Ching. a collection of his greatest poems of all time. Having extensively authored in different fields of life, he emphasized on wisdom arising from individual thoughts. Among them, include basic ancient Chinese beliefs, common sense and natural law for societal coexistence. Given that in his era, there was little understanding and learning of literature, his literal skills still stand to amaze many and some of his common sense philosophies still apply in modern times. Many authors have expansively written on this great philosopher and thus there are many literary materials available discussing many aspects of his poetry and philosophy. This paper will thus consider his poetic skills as regards rhythm, harmony and knowledge with consideration to early Chinese believes which include, fire, wood, earth, metal and fire. Knowledge The Tao provision indicates that knowledge entails knowing oneself, which is not agreeable since ignorance of the world will lead to great oblivion. Among his powerful quotes from Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu grants that knowledge is one of the greatest assets of life (Mitchell 71). He contends that understanding of oneself is great, if not the greatest, wisdom while understanding other people in the environment is simply intelligence. He believed that providing others with literature would diminish their knowledge and thus preferred individual efforts of learning. Such attempts, as he implicated, would diminish peoples’ abilities to learn new experiences. He therefore did not believe in dogma, although this is agreeable. He thus assumed that people with the greatest amount of knowledge, which he referred to as masters, are observers of events and time, who intensely make such observations. He thus concluded that admittance to having knowledge itself was a great disease and gave regard to modesty as regards knowledge (Mitchell 71). He believed that death is a return to destiny, which he considered great respect and thus greatly valued the earth. He however does not indicate application of rhythm as stylistic device in his poetic career. Harmony Although his believes in the Tao made implications of non-attainment of knowledge, his latter consideration of it gives a promise of harmony. Lao believed that observation of Tao Te Ching would lead the world into harmony. His argument on it and harmony though remains cautious on its application. He contends that the Tao should not make people live in harmony but should live in harmony through it (Mitchell 37). These beliefs indicated that doctrines lead to harmony, a very different view of modern harmony. Harmony is regarded nowadays as consensus with observation of justice. Faith Lao is still regarded as one of the greatest influences of faith (Mitchell 38). His philosophies of faith indicate his sense of realism. To believe, he argued that, one had to make observation of the world and accept the way things are. Challenging reality would lead denial or misconception and thus front to either hope or fear. In order for one to be faithful to him/herself and thus life, there was need for consideration of reality and consequent acceptance. His utmost consideration of faith lay in rituals. With believe that humans are weak and sometimes may fail from many dimensions they believed in, they should find themselves in ritual. Ritual as carried out by ancient Chinese involved the use of fire, with assistance of metallic tools and thus fire and metal played a great role in fulfilling ritual and consequently the highest level of faith.Works citedMitchell, S. Tao Te Ching. Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn College, 2009. Retrieved March 8, 2012 from