Tao Te Ching
THE TAOISM OF LAO TZU
Fake Lao Tzu Quote
"Most of the world's religions..."
This is NOT a quote from Tao Te Ching:
"Most of the world's religions serve only to strengthen attachments to false concepts such as self and other, life and death, heaven and earth, and so on. Those who become entangled in these false ideas are prevented from perceiving the Integral Oneness."
What would Lao Tzu, who lived in China around 2,400 years ago, know about the world's religions? He was not even that interested in deities and such of his time and place. He mentioned one specific deity in Tao Te Ching, only in passing, while contemplating the origin of Tao (chapter 4, my version):
The concept of religion is in itself of much later origin, getting its present meaning from the Renaissance and on, when other beliefs than the Christian one were increasingly explored. In ancient China, the term would have had little meaning, especially in plural.
Moving on through the quote, Lao Tzu would definitely not agree that the concepts of heaven and earth were false. He mentioned them frequently in Tao Te Ching, as opposites making up the world. In chapter 5 he wrote:
Hua Hu Ching is a text falsely claimed to be by Lao Tzu, though composed hundreds of years later, which only exists in fragments discovered as late as 1900. For more about it, read the chapter Embrace all things.
An earlier version than Walker's of Hua Hu Ching was written by Hua-Ching Ni, first published in 1979: The Complete Works of Lao Tzu: Tao Teh Ching and Hua Hu Ching. It is not based on the old fragments of the text, but on "education from my parents" (page 105). Walker readily confessed his dependence on it, but Ni's wording of the same quote is different (page 121):
September 18, 2020.
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