Lao Tzu is credited as the father of Daoism. His major work, Dao De Jing, in contrast to the Confucius’ teaching, represents 21 of the two dominant schools of Chinese philosophy. Its concerns are broad, dealing with personal spirituality, ethics,
politics, and metaphysics. 22 the Confucian Analects focuses on social relations, Dao De Jing is more concerned with how
life should be perceived by the individuals. Moreover its style is often indirect and the approach mystical.
Dao De Jing is written in two parts, the Book of Virtue (De Jing), dealing with politics and ethics, and the Book of Way
(Dao Jing), 23 with metaphysics. “Dao” refers to the governing principle of life and the universe. It is the natural working
of things. Dao De Jing states that we cannot grasp Dao using the language and that the ineffability of the subject matter may
account for some of the difficulties in interpretation. If we attempt to 24 Dao by exercising our intellect, we are bound to
fail. Indeed, thinking is the cause of all problems and any human striving is counter-productive. Rather, we should 25 the
pursuit of goals and allow Dao to “flow through” us. This approach to life, known as wu-wei, or “nonstriving,” is the key to
living in tune with Dao.