A classic Chinese text dating from the 6th century B.C., the "Book of the Way" consists of 81 short poems that unfold the spiritual nature of Taoism, one of the ancient Chinese religions. In describing the universal life force implicit in all things, this work shows readers a path that teaches contentment and balance. The simple language of Lao Tzu's manual on the art of living essentially encourages being humble, temperate, and considerate in the face of life's predicaments. The wisdom of being a part of the Tao leads to a serenity of spirit that improves all aspects of human life, from work to family, difficulties and joys. An essential for the meditation of Taoists for thousands of years, the "Tao Te Ching" is as beneficial and informative as it is enduring. This edition is drawn from the authoritative translation of James Legge and is interspersed with detailed critical analysis by the translator.
Laozi (also Lao-Tzu or Lao-Tze, Chinese: ¿¿; pinyin: Laozi, lit. "Old Master") was an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer. He is known as the reputed author of the Tao Te Ching and the founder of philosophical Taoism, and as a deity in religious Taoism and traditional Chinese religions. Although a legendary figure, he is usually dated to around the 6th century BC and reckoned a contemporary of Confucius, but some historians contend that he actually lived during the Warring States period of the 5th or 4th century BC. A central figure in Chinese culture, Laozi is claimed by both the emperors of the Tang dynasty and modern people of the Li surname as a founder of their lineage. Laozi's work has been embraced by various anti-authoritarian movements as well as Chinese Legalism.