Tao Te Ching
THE TAOISM OF LAO TZU
Fake Lao Tzu Quote
"Highly evolved people..."
This is NOT a quote from Tao Te Ching:
"Highly evolved people have their own conscience as pure law."
I don't hesitate to admit that I find this quote, supposedly from Lao Tzu, very objectionable.
Highly evolved people? That's social Darwinism, the repulsive idea that some people are more developed than others, as if natural selection by mutation would create people superior to their own species. It does not work that way. And if people assumed superior would use their own conscience as pure law, it simply means that they claim to be above the law of ordinary men.
The quote is definitely not from Tao Te Ching. Unfortunately the mistaken accreditation of it to Lao Tzu is somewhat supported in a book containing both his words and those of a much later text falsely claiming to transmit his words: the Hua Hu Ching, probably composed no earlier than the 4th century CE. The exact quote can be found in The Complete Works of Lao Tzu: Tao Teh Ching and Hua Hu Ching from 1979, by Hua-Ching Ni (page 199).
I have serious doubts also about the English wording of this quote, supposedly from Hua Hu Ching. Neither "evolved" nor "conscience" are concepts fitting Chinese thinking that far back. Anyway, it has nothing whatsoever to do with Lao Tzu.
For more on Hua Hu Ching, see my chapter Embrace all things.
September 14, 2020.
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