Lao Zi and Zhuang Zi


Lao zi and zhuang zi share some similarity and differences in ideologies they hold. They were both daoists who believed that the universe was formed naturally. Like Lao zi zhuang zi believe that human beings should try and confirm to Dao or Tao rather than create their own ways of doing things. Like Lao zi, Zhuang zi applied the yin-yang school of thought to describe a dialectical creation of the world (Zhuangzi 7).


The two of them talk of being and non being but not necessarily referring to existence and non existence. The being and non being to them meant the finite and non finite things. To both of them the universe should not be named. This is because the universe was there in the beginning and it was the start of everything that is present today.

 There are differences between these two characters. Unlike Lao zi, zhuang zi recognized the world of human sentiments. Those human beings should be subjective as opposed to being objective. Zhuang zi`s discussion of the Dao focused much on how to transcend individual human views and look at other human beings as part of the world.lao zi said that one should love himself more than the way he or she loves the other human beings. This person, he says would be able to love and control the world. Lao zi states at one point that there are some things that are supposed to be named and others that are not supposed to be named (Zhuangzi 89).


Lao zi believed that everything is capable of changing to its extreme. Therefore, one to achieve a goal, he must begin with the opposite. That for one to be strong, he or she must remain weak. For zhuang zi people conform to the world because it does not change. The universe becomes an undifferentiated world. Thus naming should not be done because it will make changes between and among things.



Works cited

Zhuangzi, Chung Wu, The wisdom of Zhuang Zi on Daoism, Austria: Peter Lang, 2008

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