老子

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由CecileLi初步审校。多处中英文未放在对应位置,以及有缺失无格式的英文。

基本信息

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类别 信息
姓名: 老子(李聃) Li Dan 姓李名耳,字聃,一字伯阳,或曰谥伯阳
出生日期: 春秋末期,不详
逝世日期: 春秋末期,不详
所属学派: 中国道家
研究领域: 哲学



Lao Tzu (or), also rendered as Laozi; was an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer. He is the reputed author of the Tao Te Ching, 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 both various anti-authoritarian movements and Chinese Legalism.

老子(Lao Tzu/Laozi),中国古代哲学家、文学家,《道德经》作者。老子是中国文化的核心人物,李唐一族以及现在许多李姓族人都将老子视为李姓始祖。老子的思想和作品同时为儒家和法家所所接受。

名字

Lao Tzu itself is a Chinese honorific title: 脚本错误:没有“lang”这个模块。 (Old *rˤu ʔ, "old, venerable")[1] and 脚本错误:没有“lang”这个模块。 (Old *tsəʔ, "master").[1] In traditional accounts, Laozi's actual personal name is usually given as Li Er (脚本错误:没有“lang”这个模块。, Old *ʔ nəʔ,[1] Mod. Lǐ Ěr) and his courtesy name as Boyang (trad. 脚本错误:没有“lang”这个模块。, simp. 脚本错误:没有“lang”这个模块。, Old *Pˤrak-lang,[1] Mod. Bóyáng). A prominent posthumous name was Li Dan (脚本错误:没有“lang”这个模块。, Lǐ Dān).[2][3][4] Sima Qian in his biography mentions his name as Lǐ Ěr, and his literary name as Lǐ Dān, which became the deferential Lǎo Dān (脚本错误:没有“lang”这个模块。, Lǎo Dān).[5] The name Lǎo Dān also appears interchangeably with Lǎo Zi in early Daoist texts such as the Zhuangzi,[5] and may also be the name by which Lao Tzu was addressed by Confucius when they possibly met.[5] According to the Companion Encyclopedia of Asian Philosophy, "the 'founder' of philosophical Daoism is the quasi-legendary Laodan, more commonly known as Laozi (Old Master)".[6]

在中国,“老子”这个词本意是一个尊称。传统观点认为,老子的真实名字是李耳,字为伯阳,谥李聃。司马迁的《史记》中记载,老子名李耳,字李聃,人们尊称其为老聃。《庄子》中也用老聃称呼老子,据说孔子与老子相遇时称呼老子为老聃。 根据《亚洲哲学百科全书指南》(Companion Encyclopedia of Asian Philosophy),人们将道家学派的创始人称之为老聃,也叫老子。

The honorific title Lao Tzu has been romanized numerous ways, sometimes leading to confusion. The most common present form is still Lao Tzu, which is based on the formerly prevalent Wade–Giles system.[7][8] In the 19th century, the title was usually romanized as Lao-tse.[8][9] Other forms include the variants Lao-tze,[10] Lao-tsu[11] and Laozi/Lao Zi.

The honorific title Lao Tzu has been romanized numerous ways, sometimes leading to confusion. The most common present form is still Lao Tzu, which is based on the formerly prevalent Wade–Giles system. Other forms include the variants Lao-tze, Lao-tsu and Laozi/Lao Zi.

老子的称号有很多种形式,这也导致了在不同语境下的语意不明。但目前最常见的称呼仍然是由威妥玛式拼音而来的“老子”(Lao Tzu)。在19世纪,其称呼通常用罗马拼音“Lao-tse”。其它的变体形式通常包括Lao-tze,Lao-tsu和Laozi/Lao zi。

 --CecileLi(讨论)  【审校】英文顺序乱了有调整

As a religious figure, he is worshipped under the name "Supreme Old Lord" }}, Tàishàng Lǎojūn) and as one of the "Three Pure Ones". During the Tang dynasty, he was granted the title "Supremely Mysterious and Primordial Emperor" ,}} Tàishàng Xuānyuán Huángdì).

在宗教领域,老子被冠以“太上老君”,“三圣”之一等称号,唐朝时被追封为“太上玄元皇帝”。

历代观点

In the mid-twentieth century, a consensus emerged among scholars that the historicity of the person known as Laozi is doubtful and that the Tao Te Ching was "a compilation of Taoist sayings by many hands".[12]

二十世纪中叶,学术界一致怀疑老子是否真实存在,认为《道德经》是“多人汇编的道教语录”。

The earliest certain reference to the present figure of Laozi is found in the 1st‑century BC Records of the Grand Historian collected by the historian Sima Qian from earlier accounts. In one account, Laozi was said to be a contemporary of Confucius during the 6th or 5th century BC. His surname was Li and his personal name was Er or Dan. He was an official in the imperial archives and wrote a book in two parts before departing to the west. In another, Laozi was a different contemporary of Confucius titled Lao Laizi (脚本错误:没有“lang”这个模块。) and wrote a book in 15 parts. In a third, he was the court astrologer Lao Dan who lived during the 4th century BC reign of Duke Xian of the Qin Dynasty.[13][14] The oldest text of the Tao Te Ching so far recovered was part of the Guodian Chu Slips. It was written on bamboo slips, and dates to the late 4th century BC.[15]

老子最早见载于司马迁的《史记》。一说老子生活于公元前六世纪或五世纪,与孔子同期。他姓李名耳,字聃,曾任周朝守藏室之史,西行前著书一本,共两篇;二说老子与孔子同期,但名为老莱子,著书一本,共十五篇;三说老子为周朝的占星术士,生活于公元前四世纪的秦朝咸阳。迄今为止,发现的最古老的《道德经》写在《郭店楚墓竹简》上,竹简上的文字可追溯至公元前四世纪后期。

According to traditional accounts, Laozi was a scholar who worked as the Keeper of the Archives for the royal court of Zhou.[16] This reportedly allowed him broad access to the works of the Yellow Emperor and other classics of the time. The stories assert that Laozi never opened a formal school but nonetheless attracted a large number of students and loyal disciples. There are many variations of a story retelling his encounter with Confucius, most famously in the Zhuangzi.[17][18]

According to traditional accounts, Laozi was a scholar who worked as the Keeper of the Archives for the royal court of Zhou. This reportedly allowed him broad access to the works of the Yellow Emperor and other classics of the time. The stories assert that Laozi never opened a formal school but nonetheless attracted a large number of students and loyal disciples. There are many variations of a story retelling his encounter with Confucius, most famously in the Zhuangzi.

传统观点认为,老子是一位学者,曾担任周朝守藏室之史。据记载,官职的原因使他能够广泛接触黄帝的作品和其他当时的经典作品。据说,老子从未开设过正规学校,但仍然吸引了大批学生和忠实的弟子。讲述他与孔子相遇的故事有很多,其中最著名的是《庄子》中的阐述。

He was sometimes held to have come from the village of Chu Jen in Chu.[19] In accounts where Laozi married, he was said to have had a son named Zong who became a celebrated soldier.

He was sometimes held to have come from the village of Chu Jen in Chu. In accounts where Laozi married, he was said to have had a son named Zong who became a celebrated soldier.

据说,老子是楚苦县厉乡曲仁里人。在老子结婚的地方,他有一个儿子,名叫宗,为著名将领。

The story tells of Zong the Warrior who defeats an enemy and triumphs, and then abandons the corpses of the enemy soldiers to be eaten by vultures. By coincidence Laozi, traveling and teaching the way of the Tao, comes on the scene and is revealed to be the father of Zong, from whom he was separated in childhood. Laozi tells his son that it is better to treat respectfully a beaten enemy, and that the disrespect to their dead would cause his foes to seek revenge. Convinced, Zong orders his soldiers to bury the enemy dead. Funeral mourning is held for the dead of both parties and a lasting peace is made.

The story tells of Zong the Warrior who defeats an enemy and triumphs, and then abandons the corpses of the enemy soldiers to be eaten by vultures. By coincidence Laozi, traveling and teaching the way of the Tao, comes on the scene and is revealed to be the father of Zong, from whom he was separated in childhood. Laozi tells his son that it is better to treat respectfully a beaten enemy, and that the disrespect to their dead would cause his foes to seek revenge. Convinced, Zong orders his soldiers to bury the enemy dead. Funeral mourning is held for the dead of both parties and a lasting peace is made.

相传,李宗从小与父亲分离。有一次李宗打了胜仗后,将敌军尸体抛尸荒野,任由秃鹫侵蚀。老子周游列国、宣传道家思想,恰巧来到此地,被发现是李宗的父亲。老子教导李宗与敌为善,对死者不敬会招致敌人报复。李宗深受触动,命令手下埋葬敌军尸体并举行葬礼哀悼死者,从而实现了持久的和平。

Many clans of the Li family trace their descent to Laozi,[20] including the emperors of the Tang dynasty.[21][20][22] This family was known as the Longxi Li lineage (隴西李氏). According to the Simpkinses, while many (if not all) of these lineages are questionable, they provide a testament to Laozi's impact on Chinese culture.[23]

Many clans of the Li family trace their descent to Laozi, including the emperors of the Tang dynasty. This family was known as the Longxi Li lineage (隴西李氏). According to the Simpkinses, while many (if not all) of these lineages are questionable, they provide a testament to Laozi's impact on Chinese culture.

许多李氏一族追认老子为李姓始祖,包括李唐一族。该氏族被称为陇西李氏。根据辛普金斯一家(the Simpinses)的观点,尽管其中的许多血统都让人怀疑,但是这证明了老子对于中国文化的影响力。

The third story in Sima Qian states that Laozi grew weary of the moral decay of life in Chengzhou and noted the kingdom's decline. He ventured west to live as a hermit in the unsettled frontier at the age of 80. At the western gate of the city (or kingdom), he was recognized by the guard Yinxi. The sentry asked the old master to record his wisdom for the good of the country before he would be permitted to pass. The text Laozi wrote was said to be the Tao Te Ching, although the present version of the text includes additions from later periods. In some versions of the tale, the sentry was so touched by the work that he became a disciple and left with Laozi, never to be seen again.[24] In others, the "Old Master" journeyed all the way to India and was the teacher of Siddartha Gautama, the Buddha. Others say he was the Buddha himself.[17][25]

The third story in Sima Qian states that Laozi grew weary of the moral decay of life in Chengzhou and noted the kingdom's decline. He ventured west to live as a hermit in the unsettled frontier at the age of 80. At the western gate of the city (or kingdom), he was recognized by the guard Yinxi. The sentry asked the old master to record his wisdom for the good of the country before he would be permitted to pass. The text Laozi wrote was said to be the Tao Te Ching, although the present version of the text includes additions from later periods. In some versions of the tale, the sentry was so touched by the work that he became a disciple and left with Laozi, never to be seen again. In others, the "Old Master" journeyed all the way to India and was the teacher of Siddartha Gautama, the Buddha. Others say he was the Buddha himself.

《史记》中记载,周王朝礼崩乐坏、日渐衰落,老子感到厌倦。八十岁时,老子欲西行归隐。行至函谷关,守关官员尹喜认出老子,恳求老子在出关前以王朝兴盛为己任,将圣智著成书。老子所著人称《道德经》,不过其现存版本含有后世增补内容。另说尹喜为《道德经》所动,遂拜老子为师,与其一同离开,不知所踪。又说老子最后到达了印度,成为了佛陀释迦摩尼的老师。还有一种说法认为老子就是佛陀本人。

A seventh-century work, the Sandong Zhunang ("Pearly Bag of the Three Caverns"), embellished the relationship between Laozi and Yinxi. Laozi pretended to be a farmer when reaching the western gate, but was recognized by Yinxi, who asked to be taught by the great master. Laozi was not satisfied by simply being noticed by the guard and demanded an explanation. Yinxi expressed his deep desire to find the Tao and explained that his long study of astrology allowed him to recognize Laozi's approach. Yinxi was accepted by Laozi as a disciple. This is considered an exemplary interaction between Taoist master and disciple, reflecting the testing a seeker must undergo before being accepted. A would-be adherent is expected to prove his determination and talent, clearly expressing his wishes and showing that he had made progress on his own towards realizing the Tao.

A seventh-century work, the Sandong Zhunang ("Pearly Bag of the Three Caverns"), embellished the relationship between Laozi and Yinxi. Laozi pretended to be a farmer when reaching the western gate, but was recognized by Yinxi, who asked to be taught by the great master. Laozi was not satisfied by simply being noticed by the guard and demanded an explanation. Yinxi expressed his deep desire to find the Tao and explained that his long study of astrology allowed him to recognize Laozi's approach. Yinxi was accepted by Laozi as a disciple. This is considered an exemplary interaction between Taoist master and disciple, reflecting the testing a seeker must undergo before being accepted. A would-be adherent is expected to prove his determination and talent, clearly expressing his wishes and showing that he had made progress on his own towards realizing the Tao.[26]

唐代作品《三洞珠囊》中对老子与尹喜的相遇进行了补充。老子行至函谷关,自称贫贱老翁,但被尹喜认出,请求师从老子。老子不悦,询问原因。尹喜表达追寻“道”的强烈愿望,称自己好观天文,见紫气东来,知有圣人西行。于是老子收尹喜为弟子。这可谓是道教始祖与弟子互动的典范,反映了一个求道者在被接受之前必须经历的考验。一个追随者应该证明自己的决心和才能,清楚的表达自己的愿望,表明自己在实现道的道路上已经取得了进步。

The Pearly Bag of the Three Caverns continues the parallel of an adherent's quest. Yinxi received his ordination when Laozi transmitted the Tao Te Ching, along with other texts and precepts, just as Taoist adherents receive a number of methods, teachings and scriptures at ordination. This is only an initial ordination and Yinxi still needed an additional period to perfect his virtue, thus Laozi gave him three years to perfect his Tao. Yinxi gave himself over to a full-time devotional life. After the appointed time, Yinxi again demonstrates determination and perfect trust, sending out a black sheep to market as the agreed sign. He eventually meets again with Laozi, who announces that Yinxi's immortal name is listed in the heavens and calls down a heavenly procession to clothe Yinxi in the garb of immortals. The story continues that Laozi bestowed a number of titles upon Yinxi and took him on a journey throughout the universe, even into the nine heavens. After this fantastic journey, the two sages set out to western lands of the barbarians. The training period, reuniting and travels represent the attainment of the highest religious rank in medieval Taoism called "Preceptor of the Three Caverns". In this legend, Laozi is the perfect Taoist master and Yinxi is the ideal Taoist student. Laozi is presented as the Tao personified, giving his teaching to humanity for their salvation. Yinxi follows the formal sequence of preparation, testing, training and attainment.[27]

The Pearly Bag of the Three Caverns continues the parallel of an adherent's quest. Yinxi received his ordination when Laozi transmitted the Tao Te Ching, along with other texts and precepts, just as Taoist adherents receive a number of methods, teachings and scriptures at ordination. This is only an initial ordination and Yinxi still needed an additional period to perfect his virtue, thus Laozi gave him three years to perfect his Tao. Yinxi gave himself over to a full-time devotional life. After the appointed time, Yinxi again demonstrates determination and perfect trust, sending out a black sheep to market as the agreed sign. He eventually meets again with Laozi, who announces that Yinxi's immortal name is listed in the heavens and calls down a heavenly procession to clothe Yinxi in the garb of immortals. The story continues that Laozi bestowed a number of titles upon Yinxi and took him on a journey throughout the universe, even into the nine heavens. After this fantastic journey, the two sages set out to western lands of the barbarians. The training period, reuniting and travels represent the attainment of the highest religious rank in medieval Taoism called "Preceptor of the Three Caverns". In this legend, Laozi is the perfect Taoist master and Yinxi is the ideal Taoist student. Laozi is presented as the Tao personified, giving his teaching to humanity for their salvation. Yinxi follows the formal sequence of preparation, testing, training and attainment.

《三洞珠囊》的故事延续了一个追随者想要的追求。老子向尹喜传授《道德经》及其他道家著作时,尹喜接受了很多戒律。而这些戒律只是一个初步任务,尹喜还需要很多的修行来完善他的道,所以老子给了他三年时间来完善他的“道”。尹喜全身心的投入到道的学习当中,在三年时间过后,尹喜再次表现出决心和完全的信任,所有人都认为他是一匹道家思想的黑马。最终,他再次与老子见面,老子宣布他以阴天仙人的名字列入天界,并号召进行天界大游行,为尹喜穿上仙人的外衣。在这个故事中,老子还赋予尹喜许多头衔,并带他踏上了探索整个宇宙的修行之旅,甚至进入了九重天。经过这段奇妙的旅程,两位圣人最终进入了西游并传授道。在训练时期,“相聚”和“修行”代表着中世纪道教中最高的宗教等级,即“三洞的感受者”。在这个传说中,老子是完美的道家大师,尹喜是理想的道家学生。老子呈现为道的世俗化身,向人们传授道,让人解脱,获得救赎。尹喜则遵循了准备、测试、培训和得道的完备过程。

The story of Laozi has taken on strong religious overtones since the Han dynasty. As Taoism took root, Laozi was worshipped as a god. Belief in the revelation of the Tao from the divine Laozi resulted in the formation of the Way of the Celestial Masters, the first organized religious Taoist sect. In later mature Taoist tradition, Laozi came to be seen as a personification of the Tao. He is said to have undergone numerous "transformations" and taken on various guises in various incarnations throughout history to initiate the faithful in the Way. Religious Taoism often holds that the "Old Master" did not disappear after writing the Tao Te Ching but rather spent his life traveling and revealing the Tao.[28]

The story of Laozi has taken on strong religious overtones since the Han dynasty. As Taoism took root, Laozi was worshipped as a god. Belief in the revelation of the Tao from the divine Laozi resulted in the formation of the Way of the Celestial Masters, the first organized religious Taoist sect. In later mature Taoist tradition, Laozi came to be seen as a personification of the Tao. He is said to have undergone numerous "transformations" and taken on various guises in various incarnations throughout history to initiate the faithful in the Way. Religious Taoism often holds that the "Old Master" did not disappear after writing the Tao Te Ching but rather spent his life traveling and revealing the Tao. Other myths state that he was reborn 13 times after his first life during the days of Fuxi. In his last incarnation as Laozi, he lived nine hundred and ninety years and spent his life traveling to reveal the Tao.

自汉代以来,老子的故事就带有强烈的宗教色彩。随着道教的生根发芽,老子被尊崇为神。人们认为老子是道的启示者,由此推动了天师道的形成。天师道是第一个有组织的宗教教派。在后来成熟的道家传统中,老子逐渐被视为道的化身。据说他在整个历史中经历了无数的“转变” ,并以各种各样的化身形象来启蒙求道的信徒。道教中认为,老子在写完《道德经》之后并没有消失,而是一生都在游历和揭示道。在其他神话传说中,老子共有13次化身,从人皇伏羲到老子。最后一世作为老子,他活了九百九十年,用他的一生修行来揭示道。

道德经

Laozi is traditionally regarded as the author of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing), though the identity of its author(s) or compiler(s) has been debated throughout history.[29][30] It is one of the most significant treatises in Chinese cosmogony. As with most other ancient Chinese philosophers, Laozi often explains his ideas by way of paradox, analogy, appropriation of ancient sayings, repetition, symmetry, rhyme, and rhythm. In fact, the whole book can be read as an analogy – the ruler is the awareness, or self, in meditation and the myriad creatures or empire is the experience of the body, senses and desires.

Laozi is traditionally regarded as the author of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing), though the identity of its author(s) or compiler(s) has been debated throughout history. It is one of the most significant treatises in Chinese cosmogony. As with most other ancient Chinese philosophers, Laozi often explains his ideas by way of paradox, analogy, appropriation of ancient sayings, repetition, symmetry, rhyme, and rhythm. In fact, the whole book can be read as an analogy – the ruler is the awareness, or self, in meditation and the myriad creatures or empire is the experience of the body, senses and desires.

《道德经》作者或编者的身份一直是人们争论的焦点。传统观点认为,老子就是《道德经》的作者。《道德经》中国宇宙起源论中最重要的论文之一。老子和大多数中国古代哲学家一样,常常运用悖论、反讽、类比、用典、反复、对仗、重章叠韵、音韵和谐等方式来阐释自己的思想。事实上,《道德经》整本书都可以看作是一个类比——统治者是冥想中的意识或者自我,芸芸众生和列国则是则是对身体、感官和欲望的体验。

文件:Ping Sien Si - 016 Lao zi (16135526115).jpg
Laozi Immortal and Grand Master of Heaven

The Tao Te Ching, often called simply Laozi after its reputed author, describes the Dao (or Tao) as the source and ideal of all existence: it is unseen, but not transcendent, immensely powerful yet supremely humble, being the root of all things. People have desires and free will (and thus are able to alter their own nature). Many act "unnaturally", upsetting the natural balance of the Tao. The Tao Te Ching intends to lead students to a "return" to their natural state, in harmony with Tao.[31] Language and conventional wisdom are critically assessed. Taoism views them as inherently biased and artificial, widely using paradoxes to sharpen the point.[32]

The Tao Te Ching, often called simply Laozi after its reputed author, describes the Dao (or Tao) as the source and ideal of all existence: it is unseen, but not transcendent, immensely powerful yet supremely humble, being the root of all things. People have desires and free will (and thus are able to alter their own nature). Many act "unnaturally", upsetting the natural balance of the Tao. The Tao Te Ching intends to lead students to a "return" to their natural state, in harmony with Tao. Language and conventional wisdom are critically assessed. Taoism views them as inherently biased and artificial, widely using paradoxes to sharpen the point.

《道德经》因其作者老子的名字而被简称为《老子》 ,老子把道描述为一切存在的源泉和理想: 它是看不见的,但并不是超越认知的,它是非常强大却又是极其卑微的,是万物的根源。人们有欲望和自由意志(因此能够改变自己的本性)。但是许多人的行为“不自然” ,打破了道的自然平衡。《道德经》意图引导人们“回归”到他们的自然状态,与道和谐相处。在书中,言语和传统智慧受到批判。道教认为它们天生带有偏见,是人为的,并在书中广泛使用悖论来强化这一观点。

Livia Kohn provides an example of how Laozi encouraged a change in approach, or return to "nature", rather than action. Technology may bring about a false sense of progress. The answer provided by Laozi is not the rejection of technology, but instead seeking the calm state of wu wei, free from desires. This relates to many statements by Laozi encouraging rulers to keep their people in "ignorance", or "simple-minded". Some scholars insist this explanation ignores the religious context, and others question it as an apologetic of the philosophical coherence of the text. It would not be unusual political advice if Laozi literally intended to tell rulers to keep their people ignorant. However, some terms in the text, such as "valley spirit" (gushen) and "soul" (po), bear a metaphysical context and cannot be easily reconciled with a purely ethical reading of the work.[32]

Livia Kohn provides an example of how Laozi encouraged a change in approach, or return to "nature", rather than action. Technology may bring about a false sense of progress. The answer provided by Laozi is not the rejection of technology, but instead seeking the calm state of wu wei, free from desires. This relates to many statements by Laozi encouraging rulers to keep their people in "ignorance", or "simple-minded". Some scholars insist this explanation ignores the religious context, and others question it as an apologetic of the philosophical coherence of the text. It would not be unusual political advice if Laozi literally intended to tell rulers to keep their people ignorant. However, some terms in the text, such as "valley spirit" (gushen) and "soul" (po), bear a metaphysical context and cannot be easily reconciled with a purely ethical reading of the work.

Livia Kohn 举例说明老子如何通过改变而非行动回归自然。技术可能让人误以为社会在进步。老子并不排斥技术,他追求平静的无为状态,摆脱欲望。这与老子鼓励统治者保持人民“无知”或“思想简单”的许多言论有关。一些学者坚持认为这种解释忽略了宗教语境,另一些学者则质疑这种解释是对文本哲学连贯性的辩护。如果老子真的打算告诉统治者让他们的人民保持无知,这是非常寻常的政治建议。然而,文本中的“谷神”、“魄“等术语,具有形而上的语境,并不能与作品的纯道德解读相吻合。


Wu wei (無為), literally "non-action" or "not acting", is a central concept of the Tao Te Ching. The concept of wu wei is multifaceted, and reflected in the words' multiple meanings, even in English translation; it can mean "not doing anything", "not forcing", "not acting" in the theatrical sense, "creating nothingness", "acting spontaneously", and "flowing with the moment".[33]

无为,字面意思是“不为”,是《道德经》的核心观点。“无为”有多重含义,也有多种英语翻译。在文学意义上,它可能意味着“不做任何事情”,“不强迫”,“不行动”,“虚无”,“自发行动”和“随时间流逝”。

It is a concept used to explain ziran (自然), or harmony with the Tao. It includes the concepts that value distinctions are ideological and seeing ambition of all sorts as originating from the same source. Laozi used the term broadly with simplicity and humility as key virtues, often in contrast to selfish action. On a political level, it means avoiding such circumstances as war, harsh laws and heavy taxes. Some Taoists see a connection between wu wei and esoteric practices, such as zuowang "sitting in oblivion" (emptying the mind of bodily awareness and thought) found in the Zhuangzi.[32]

It is a concept used to explain ziran (自然), or harmony with the Tao. It includes the concepts that value distinctions are ideological and seeing ambition of all sorts as originating from the same source. Laozi used the term broadly with simplicity and humility as key virtues, often in contrast to selfish action. On a political level, it means avoiding such circumstances as war, harsh laws and heavy taxes. Some Taoists see a connection between wu wei and esoteric practices, such as zuowang "sitting in oblivion" (emptying the mind of bodily awareness and thought) found in the Zhuangzi.

Potential officials throughout Chinese history drew on the authority of non-Confucian sages, especially Laozi and Zhuangzi, to deny serving any ruler at any time. Zhuangzi, Laozi's most famous follower in traditional accounts, had a great deal of influence on Chinese literati and culture. Lao Tsu influenced millions of Chinese people by his psychological understanding. He persuaded people by his inaction and non-speaking.

Political theorists influenced by Laozi have advocated humility in leadership and a restrained approach to statecraft, either for ethical and pacifist reasons, or for tactical ends. In a different context, various anti-authoritarian movements have embraced the Laozi teachings on the power of the weak.

 --CecileLi(讨论)  【审校】缺失翻译 补充:无为是一个用来解释“自然”或“与道和谐”的概念。它包含价值差异是意识形态的,并将各种野心视为同一来源的概念。老子广泛地使用这个词,把朴素和谦逊作为主要美德,并常常把它们与自私的行为形成对比。在政治层面上,这意味着统治者要避免战争、实行轻徭薄赋等政策。一些道家学者认为,无为与深奥的行为有联系,如《庄子》中的左王“坐忘”(清空身体意识和思想的心灵)。

纵观中国历史,士大夫以老庄思想为工具,拥护王道而非霸道。庄子继承发展了老子的主要思想,对中国文化和文化产生了深远的影响。老子的修身养性、无为无言影响了千百万中国人。受到老子影响的政治理论家都提倡谦逊治国、无为而治,无论是出于伦理或和平原因,还是出于战术目的。历代反专制起义都不同程度地接纳了老子的弱者之道。

道教

人们一般认为,因为老子与道德经和“原始”道家有着密切的联系,所以他是道家的创始人。民间流行的道教典型地将玉皇大帝作为官方最具权威的神。知识分子(“精英”)的道家,如天师派,通常把老子(老君)和三净奉为神明。

影响

纵观中国历史,士大夫以老庄思想为工具,拥护王道而非霸道。庄子继承发展了老子的主要思想,对中国文化和文化产生了深远的影响。老子的修身养性、无为无言影响了千百万中国人。受到老子影响的政治理论家都提倡谦逊治国、无为而治,无论是出于伦理或和平原因,还是出于战术目的。历代反专制起义都不同程度地接纳了老子的弱者之道。

老子是无政府主义的倡导者。左派自由主义者尤其受到老子的影响——无政府工团主义作家和活动家Rudolf Rocker在他1937年出版的《民族主义和文化》(Nationalism and Culture一书中赞扬了老子的“温和智慧”以及对政治权力与人民和社区的文化活动之间的对立的理解。在1910年发表在《大英百科全书》的文章中,Peter Kropotkin还指出,老子本质上是无政府主义概念的最早支持者之一。近年来,无政府主义者如 John p. Clark 和Ursula K. Le Guin 以不同的方式写了关于无政府主义和道教之间的联系的文章,特别强调了老子的教义。在讲述《道德经》时,Le Guin 写道,老子“并不把政治权力视为无限制的权利。他认为合法的权力是挣来的,错误的权力被篡夺了... ... 他认为自我牺牲或他人牺牲是权力的堕落,权力对任何遵循道路的人都是有效的。所以无政府主义者和道教徒会成为好朋友。”

右翼自由主义经济学家Murray Rothbard认为老子是第一个自由主义者,他把老子的政府观点比作Friedrich Hayek的自发秩序理论。James A. Dorn对此表示赞同,他在书中写道,老子和许多18世纪的自由主义者一样,“认为最小化政府的作用,让个人自发发展,才是实现社会和经济和谐的最佳途径。”同样,Cato研究所的David Boaz在他1997年出版的《The Libertarian Reader》一书中也引用了《道德经》中的一些段落。然而,哲学家Roderick Long认为,道家思想中的自由意志主义主题实际上是从早期的儒家作家那里借鉴来的。

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  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Sima Qian identifies the old master as a "Lao Dan"...." in Rainey, Lee Dian (2013) (in en). Decoding Dao: Reading the Dao De Jing (Tao Te Ching) and the Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu). John Wiley & Sons. p. 31. ISBN 978-1-118-46567-7. https://books.google.com/books?id=YNFiAgAAQBAJ&pg=PT31. 
  6. "The 'founder' of philosophical Daoism is the quasi-legendary Laodan, more commonly known as Laozi (Old Master)" in Carr, Dr Brian; Mahalingam, Indira (2002) (in en). Companion Encyclopedia of Asian Philosophy. Routledge. p. 497. ISBN 978-1-134-96058-3. https://books.google.com/books?id=xIwrBgAAQBAJ&pg=PA497. 
  7. Also encountered as Lao Tzu and Lao-Tzu.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Franz, Alex et al. ed. Google corpus. 2008. Retrieved 17 Jan;2014.
  9. Also encountered as Lao Tse and Lao-Tse.
  10. Also encountered as Lao Tze and Lao-Tze.
  11. Also encountered as Lao Tsu and Lao-Tsu.
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    "Until recently, the Mawangdui manuscripts have held the pride of place as the oldest extant manuscripts of the Laozi. In late 1993, the excavation of a tomb (identified as M1) in Guodian, Jingmen city, Hubei, has yielded among other things some 800 bamboo slips, of which 730 are inscribed, containing over 13,000 Chinese characters. Some of these, amounting to about 2,000 characters, match the Laozi. The tomb...is dated around 300 BC.
  16. "Lao Tzu (Lao Zi) Scroll Paintings and Posters". Edepot.com. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
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  20. 20.0 20.1 Woolf, Greg (2007). Ancient civilizations: the illustrated guide to belief, mythology, and art. Barnes & Noble. pp. 218–19. ISBN 978-1-4351-0121-0. https://books.google.com/books?id=94NuSg3tlsgC&q=Li+Er+Laozi. 
  21. Latourette, Kenneth Scott (1934), The Chinese: their history and culture, Volume 1 (2 ed.), Macmillan, p. 191, retrieved 8 February 2012, T'ai Tsung's family professed descent from Lao Tzu (for the latter's reputed patronymic was likewise Li)
  22. Hargett, James M. (2006). Stairway to Heaven: A Journey to the Summit of Mount Emei. SUNY Press. pp. 54–. ISBN 978-0-7914-6682-7. https://books.google.com/books?id=m21KGsV8ihgC&pg=PA54. 
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