Lao Tzu And Current Government Essay

949 words - 4 pages

Tao-te Ching (in English pronounced “dow deh jing”) is believed to be written by Lao-tzu (6th century B.C). However, it is not for certain that he wrote the book. Lao-tzu is translated as “Old Master”. He was born in the state of Ch’u in China. It’s been said that he worked in the court of the Chou dynasty. The day that he was leaving the court to start his own life, the keeper of the gate urged him to write his thoughts as a book. Lao-tzu’s work mostly illustrates Taoism –a religion founded by Chang Tao-ling A.D. 150. His main purpose in this piece is practicing peace, simplicity, naturalness, and humility. Lao-tzu believes that people are overloaded with temporal objects in this world. He recommends his readers to let go of everything and always keep the balance in anything. In my opinion, Lao-tzu would more likely dislike our government and the way that people live nowadays. The reason is because majority of the people are attached to secular things. To paraphrase the famous, people have materialistic characteristics in today’s world which is completely against Lao-tzu’s view.
In my opinion, it is not completely appropriate to compare our government with the one that Lao-tzu suggests. When comparing two things together, the factors that affect the issue must stay equal. To illustrate, the fact that Lao-tzu wrote this book hundreds of years ago and his audience was people in his time, disobey the comparison between his ideas and ours. In addition, he was partly practicing a religion –Taoism which was popular at the time. However, his book is not only about a religion, but about moral behavior and a guide in which how to wisely rule as well. As a result, it would be reasonable to discuss what he would like about us and what he would not.

Lao-tzu basically doesn’t believe in any government as the way we have right now. He advises that a good government intercedes only if necessary and without any conspiracy intentions. For instance, he says “If you want to be a great leader, you must learn how to follow.” (Lao-tzu 29). Instead, he focuses on introducing Tao- the path to live or the way to enlightenment. However, Tao cannot be translated in one meaning. It has different interpretations which depend on the use of the term. As he refers in his book, Tao is the ideal path to live our life and “Master” is the one that governs people without being felt existed. Lao-tzu pointed out that “[t]he Master leads by emptying people’s minds and filling their cores, by weakening their ambition and toughening their resolve.” (3) By saying this, he meant that people’s desires can negligent them from the real world and that is how the “Master” leads; by eliminating desires that make people steal and...

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