No one looking to live life in perfect harmony with themselves and happiness can omit the teachings of Taoism. It doesn’t matter if you’re religious or not; the lessons of Taoism can help you in many ways. They mostly are talked about in Tao Te Ching; likely the most excellent book ever written.
The legend says that it was written by Laozi or Lao Tzu as most people around the world know him. This ancient Chinese philosopher is as mythical and influential as Homer is in the West and equally a legend.
The Teaching of Lao Tzu and Tao Te Ching
No teachings of Taoism can be complete without studying the great Lao Tzu, its guiding figure. It’s said that he left the easy court life as he couldn’t stand the corruption he witnessed and went on to lead a simpler life.
While he led this life, he wrote the sacred text known as Tao Te Ching – the greatest book ever written in the East. It’s also believed that Confucius was Lao Tzu’s student.
Upon writing the book, Lao Tzu left to spend the rest of his life as a simple hermit. However, we can never know for sure how real this story is or if he was the only writer behind this immensely influential book.
The importance of Tao Te Ching lies in the fact that it attempts to show the way of integrity, as is the rough translation of the title itself. The book shows us how to live in the world as decent human beings, filled with goodness and integrity, something that every person needs to be fulfilled and happy. This ultimate wisdom is something that lacks in many of us in this day and age, and it’s vital for us to work towards becoming such people and teach others to do the same. As Lao Tzu said: “To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.”
Only like that can we truly live a complete life worth living. Finding your way in life is the basic premise of Taoism, which is why we said it’s not a religion in the conventional sense of the word. It does not have a God and no rigorous rituals and practices – it’s all about living a life of integrity and harmony with every living thing, which is the only thing that we truly need to learn true happiness.
In essence, you can find three key things in the book:
- See yourself as part of the universe in which you are in.
- Give up trying to control your life to gain control.
- See everything complicated in life as a collection of simple things. As Lao Tzu said: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether or not Lao Tzu is real, just like it doesn’t matter if Homer is real or not. The work accredited to Lao Tzu is to be respected and is worth studying by any person looking to reach a state of harmony and happiness.
If this all sounds inspiring and has given you wish to improve and make a positive impact on the world, you should join us at the next World Happiness Agora in March 2020. The last Agora has surpassed our wildest expectations, and we expect the upcoming one to do the same with more people, more teachings, and more inspired humans leaving with a wish to make a difference and do their part in making the world a better and happier place.