Dao literally means the “Way.” Over the millennia, the West has come to interpret Dao as a spiritual and moral pathway, yet in China and among the Chinese people, it is, and always has been, much more. It is a practical guide to life, to rules, to the law, to the use of power, to relationships, and to policy, including economic policy. In the West, Confucius (called the First Sage) and his philosophical ideals serve as China’s cultural trademark. However, in modern-day China, and because of historical circumstances, Daoism is a confluence between two Confucian philosophical influences, that of his most important successor, Mencius (called the Second Sage), and Lao Tzu (usually considered to be Tan the Historian and an older contemporary of Confucius). Lao ...

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