Lao-tzu is perhaps the most mysterious and criticized character of the ancient Chinese philosophy and culture. His name means the Old Sage. He also was known as Lao Tan. He would have live about
200 years. (Read more about his biography here).
Most of the information regarding his biography comes from the Historical Records
of the Ssu-ma Ch'ien. The author says that Lao-tzu worked as a librarian at the court of Chou sovereign, and he met Confucius to talk about rites. This meeting is capital as it illustrates the open opposition between the Lao-tzu's philosophy and Confucius'.
Lately, he would have quit the court and gone West. When passing through the pass he would have meet the guardian Yin Hsi, and wrote the Tao-te ching upon his direct request.
Nothing more is known about Lao-tzu after he wrote the book.
Lao-tzu is considered to be the father of philosophical Taoism (tao-chia) and was also deified in the religious Taoism (tao-chiao) as the supreme God.
You may learn more about Lao-tzu, the meaning of his meeting with Confucius and his Tao-te ching by taking our 10-lesson email course intended for beginners. Click here to learn more.
-> Read also: Tao-te ching summary