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Tao Te Ching

Tao Te Ching or Dao De Jing is a classic text that has strongly influenced schools of thought, such as Legalism, Confucianism and Chinese Buddhism. For centuries, it served as the source of inspiration for many poets, politicians, painters, calligraphers and philosophers. This philosophical prose was written by Laozi, whose personal name was Li Er, a great philosopher and thinker as well as the founder of the Taoist school. There are many versions about the book, among which the most popular and recognised one is the commentary of Wang Bi, the scribes and one of the main representative figures of metaphysics during the Wei-Jin period. Tao Te Ching contains rich and simple dialectics, which fully reflects the philosophy of ancient Chinese people. It is an undisputed masterpiece with its poetic style.  


According to tradition, it was divided into two parts - dao and de. The dao part traditionally consists of 37 chapters while the de part includes the other 44 chapters of the book. Dao is usually understood as "the way". Although this term carries an important meaning for other philosophers, it contains a special meaning within the context of Daoism and it was thought to be related the invention and conservation of the universe.


De is often translated into English as "virtue" or "righteousness". This part is mainly about how dao must follow nature. One must cultivate and calm the mind in order to be productive, a king should rule by doing nothing against nature.