Lao-Tse, also called Lao Tzu, Lao Zi, is a Chinese philosopher, considered one of the most important personalities of Chinese civilization.
Chinese tradition states that he lived in the sixth century BC. but many modern scholars argue that he may have lived approximately in the fourth century BC. during the period of the One Hundred Schools of Thought and of the Warring States.
He is credited with writing the Dào Dé Jing (or Tao Te Ching), an essential work of Taoism.
According to this book, the tao (or dao, ‘way’) can be seen as the permanent change, and this is the universal truth.
There are some authors who doubt he actually existed, but within all of the mystery surrounding his life, work and time he lived in, it is believed that he could be a contemporary of Confucius.
“When you succeed in connecting your energy with the divine realm through high awareness and the practice of undiscriminating virtue, the transmission of the ultimate subtle truths will follow.” Lao Tzu.
Although in other cases there is an impressive transmission in terms of narrations, chronicles and detailed lists of rulers, officials and other relevant personalities of ancient China, we find very little about Lao Tzu.
The sources that due mention him, do it through anecdotes and legends, and among them, we find a story about him in the work of Zhuangzi (Chuang-Tzu) Nan hua zhen jing (‘true book of the [cultural] fluorescence of the south).
The first historical or biographical source is found in the Historical Memories of Sima Qian from the 1st century BC. however, he himself writes that his sources and materials were very insecure and that he has found very contradictory statements about Lao Tzu.
Therefore, it has been argued by many that one of the greatest ancient Chinese philosophers never existed.
Little is known about his life.
Both its historical existence, and his authorship of Dào Dé Jing, are the subject of controversy.
However, Lao Tzu became an important cultural hero for generations and generations of Chinese people.
Tradition has it that he was born under a plum tree in a village in the prefecture of Kuin the province of Henan, during the last years of the Period of Spring. He was given Li-Er (plum ears), as his first name, although other versions maintain that he was Po Yang-Li.
Nevertheless, Many centuries ago, this great Philosophical genius spoke of FOUR cardinal virtues and said that if we were to practice them as a way of life, it would help us understand the truth of the universe.
By practicing these ancient teachings, one would access higher wisdom and greater happiness in life, as they realign you to the source and enable you to access all the powers that source energy has to offer.
The four cardinal virtues, or rules for living life, can offer a framework for a life filled with inner peace and purpose.
1. Reverence for all Life
According to this virtue, it is manifested as having unconditional love and positive regard for everything that exists in the universe, of course starting with ourselves, and naturally flowing ono everyone, and everything else.
The reverence for all life is exactly that for all life and not just some forms.
Honor life in every single form. Its essence has an innate spiritual understanding of how exactly the universe we live in works. We are all sparks of a single fire.
When a person lives with reverence for all life that exists, we let go of our need for control and dominations. We look at life differently and feel appreciation and gratitude for all life.
2. Natural Sincerity
This virtue can be translated as kindness and authenticity. When a person is sincere and acts with integrity, it helps bring inner peace and tranquility.
According to American Philosopher Wayne Dyer, this virtue is honesty, simplicity, and faithfulness. It is about being true to yourself, after which you will be true to the universe.
In today’s society, we misinterpret Gentleness for weakness. However, Gentleness is a powerful trait which irradiates sensitivity, respect, and reverence for all life in the universe.
The Dalai Lama explains this virtue best: “my religion is very simple, my religion is a kindness.”
A Person can be a strong foundation for others, but it can also weaken the strongest feet. When we are supportive for ourselves, we become naturally supportive for others. We become a strong foundation.
By practicing Supportiveness, we become meaningful and our hearts full. Supportiveness is about service. Perhaps best explained by the following quote by Poet Hafiz: “Even after all this time, the sun never says to the earth ‘you owe me.’”