Tao Te Ching Summary

Tao Te Ching was written by Lao Tzu at the request of Yin Hsi, the Guardian of the Pass. The intend was to provide a handbook of teachings dealing with the Way, or the path one should follow in order to avoid failure .

The Book is made of 81 chapters. The chapters are traditionally divided in two section: the Book of Tao (the Way) (first 37), and the Book of Te. Each chapter consists in a short essays on various topics. The main themes of the book are: Tao, te, wu-wei, human perfection, p’u (simplicity), fu (returning), the power of the weakness, spirit of valley, water, the art of ruling, military strategy.

Basically there are three themes: the Tao and Te, the human spiritual perfection (sageness) and the art of ruling through applying the Tao principles.

The book addresses two kinds of people: those who follow the Tao as sages, that is people retreated from this world and looking for the unity and spiritual perfection, and the noble men, who take part in the life of communities or the ruler who is guided as to how to lead his country in a beneficial way.




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