Confucius and Laozi, The Great Philosophers of the East
Laozi and Confucius, the two most famous sages in Chinese history, But I do not know how Laozi could rise and fly like a sublime dragon riding on Confucius spent all his life teaching people how to live decently—in. Taoism Initiation Page. Confucius Meets Lao-tzu. The story of the meeting of Confucius and Lao-tzu in the state of Chou, while Lao-tzu was currator of the royal. It is equally clear that Confucius did meet Lao Tzu, and they, though different, Books were a rare possession of a few privileged people, and Confucius had.
The text Laozi wrote was said to be the Tao Te Ching, although the present version of the text includes additions from later periods. In some versions of the tale, the sentry was so touched by the work that he became a disciple and left with Laozi, never to be seen again. Others say he was the Buddha himself. Laozi pretended to be a farmer when reaching the western gate, but was recognized by Yinxiwho asked to be taught by the great master.
Laozi was not satisfied by simply being noticed by the guard and demanded an explanation. Yinxi expressed his deep desire to find the Tao and explained that his long study of astrology allowed him to recognize Laozi's approach. Yinxi was accepted by Laozi as a disciple.
This is considered an exemplary interaction between Taoist master and disciple, reflecting the testing a seeker must undergo before being accepted.
A would-be adherent is expected to prove his determination and talent, clearly expressing his wishes and showing that he had made progress on his own towards realizing the Tao. Yinxi received his ordination when Laozi transmitted the Tao Te Ching, along with other texts and precepts, just as Taoist adherents receive a number of methods, teachings and scriptures at ordination. This is only an initial ordination and Yinxi still needed an additional period to perfect his virtue, thus Laozi gave him three years to perfect his Tao.
Stories of Lao Tzu, Confucius, and Chuang Tzu
Yinxi gave himself over to a full-time devotional life. After the appointed time, Yinxi again demonstrates determination and perfect trust, sending out a black sheep to market as the agreed sign. He eventually meets again with Laozi, who announces that Yinxi's immortal name is listed in the heavens and calls down a heavenly procession to clothe Yinxi in the garb of immortals. The story continues that Laozi bestowed a number of titles upon Yinxi and took him on a journey throughout the universe, even into the nine heavens.
After this fantastic journey, the two sages set out to western lands of the barbarians.
Confucius and Laozi, The Great Philosophers of the East
The training period, reuniting and travels represent the attainment of the highest religious rank in medieval Taoism called "Preceptor of the Three Caverns". In this legend, Laozi is the perfect Taoist master and Yinxi is the ideal Taoist student.
Laozi is presented as the Tao personified, giving his teaching to humanity for their salvation. Yinxi follows the formal sequence of preparation, testing, training and attainment.
As Taoism took root, Laozi was worshipped as a god. The running ones can be controlled using traps. The swimming ones can be caught using nets. The flying ones can be shot using arrows.
Yet, dragons are sometimes in the cloud and sometimes in the sky; I don't know how to deal with them. Laozi is a dragon. His thoughts are like the dragon flying in the vault. I opened my mouth, but I was speechless. I stretched out my tongue, yet I couldn't retract it back. I feel anxious and can't find myself anymore. What Laozi talked about was the way of cultivation, which is much higher than the ordinary people's realm.
That's why Confucius couldn't completely understand Laozi's words. After losing virtue, there is humanity. After losing humanity, there is justice. After losing justice, there is courtesy. However, Confucius couldn't understand the Tao that Laozi talked about. Though the two lived during the same historical period, the difference between Confucius and Laozi tells us a principle, which is that the cultivation of Tao exceeds all knowledge in the human world.
Cultivators can understand everything in the human world and not be moved by any interests and desires in the human world.
Ordinary people that don't cultivate are lost in the illusion of the human world, and they regard cultivation as mystery that's difficult to understand. The reason for causing such a difference is as what Laozi pointed out, "When a person doesn't have the correct understanding of Tao, Tao will absolutely not come to his heart. After Buddhism spread into China, it greatly enriched the culture of cultivation.
It helped people to know that there are other forms of cultivation. At one point, Confucius had determined to ask all the questions to get to the root of the matter.
But at the end, Confucius seemed to be shrouded in thick fog and nothing was clear. He knew neither what to ask nor how to ask. His heart was still pounding, ears humming, and his throat choking when everyone at the party had dried their cups and were saying goodbye. Was this really the same Lao Tzu whom he had stayed with in the last few weeks in the capital?
Lao Tzu had been a kind, warm, and often humorous, old gentleman, treating him as his own son. When Confucius was on his way home with the capital in the distance, a few men were hunting on horse back. A duck fell from the sky at the release of the bowstring. Fish can swim but will be hooked by the fisherman. A dragon can fly into the sky, ride on clouds, dive into the ocean. A dragon is powerful yet so intangible to us.
Now the two, Confucius and his disciple Gent-Road, left their books in the hotel and rode on horseback to the hilly suburban area where Lao Tzu was said to have retired to. Since it was far away from the capital, the two set off so early they passed the city gate with a few stars twinkling overhead. Confucius was so happy when they reached the hilly suburb.
There would be plenty of time to consult this senior scholar.Confucius & Lao Tzu
Confucius had many interesting topics in mind to discuss with Lao Tzu. Nobody seemed to know this former curator of the royal library or where he lived. They were first directed by some local residents to a few mansions of government officials but none of them had the slight traceable link to Lao Tzu.
Of course they knew of Lao Tzu but their minds seemed to be blanker than their faces as to the whereabouts of this former curator. It suddenly dawned on Confucius that Lao Tzu as a modest person must have chosen a plain house in which to live. They began to look for ordinary houses nearby but this turned out to be equally disappointing. But some had met an immortal man with the white hair of a hundred years but the glowing face of middle-aged man, and he was able to chat with animals.
He lived deep inside the woods. Gent-Road urged his master to give it a try. He wanted to see this strange man even it was not Lao Tzu.
Laozi - Wikipedia
When it was getting dark, the two had long left their horses trudging through the dense woods on foot. They had found neither the immortal man nor Lao Tzu. The bitter experience of their wandering years helped them to endure the physical fatigue and manage their hunger with wild fruit and eatable herbs.
Confucius and his disciples had visited one state after another for 14 years to promote their political ideology: They were out of food for about a week on one occasion and encircled by hostile armed men for five days on another. This time the two had to turn back with nothing accomplished except their exhaustion.
To make it worse, they lost their way and did not even know which direction was the way out of the endless woods. Heaven sympathised with them by showing a hatched hut in distance.