|Literary Masters, Inc.
Publicists for Short Stories, Books, Poems and Songs
Long Island, New York 11971
|Once There Was an old man called Lao Zi (The Old Master ) who changed the mind of Confucius. This
old man used ellipsis, repetition, symmetries, rhymes, and rhythm in his writings—which were deemed
poetical, dense and often obscure. They often served as a starting point for cosmological or introspective
According to tradition, Lao Zi was an older contemporary of Confucius and worked as an archivist in the
Imperial Library of the Zhou Dynasty (1122 BC – 256 BC). Confucius intentionally or accidentally met
him in Zhou, near the location of modern Luoyang, where Confucius was going to browse the library
scrolls. Over the following months, they discussed ritual and propriety, cornerstones of Confucianism.
Lao Zi strongly opposed both as he felt them to be hollow practices.
When asked of “the way of things,” Lao taught Confucius about an unnameable, inherent order or
property of the universe: “the way Nature is” Lao explained. He highlighted the concept of wu-wei, or
“action through inaction.” This does not mean that one should sit around and do nothing; but that one
should avoid explicit intentions, strong will, and proactive action and then reach real efficiency by
following the way things spontaneously increase or decrease. Lao believed actions taken in accordance
with Nature are easier and more productive than actively attempting to counter Nature.
Lao Zi also believed that violence should be avoided when possible, and that military victory was an
occasion to mourn the necessity of using force against another living thing, rather than an occasion for
triumphant celebrations. He also taught that codified laws and rules result in society becoming more
difficult to manage than less.
Legend claims that these discussions proved more educational for Confucius than all of the contents of
the libraries at Luoyang.
After their meeting, Lao Zi travelled west on his water buffalo through the state of Qin and from there
disappeared into the vast desert. Accounts place a guard at the westernmost gate convincing Lao Zi to
write down his wisdom before going into the desert. Until this time, Lao Zi had shared his philosophy in
spoken words only. And so it was that at the gate, or way, into emptiness that Lao Zi wrote the Tao Te
The book is a mystical treatise covering many areas of philosophy, from individual spirituality to
techniques for governing societies. It is a book that had one of the greatest influences on Chinese
Literati, through the ideas of individualism, freedom, care freeness and art. Over time, it became the
cornerstone of Chinese art.
If one refers to this book, one can draw in a few lines what and how Lao Zi was thinking. He emphasized
a specific “Tao” which often translates as “the Way” and widened its meaning to an unnameable,
inherent order or property of the universe: “The way Nature is.”
Although Lao Zi did not have as deep an influence as Confucius in China, he became widely respected.
Even revered as one of the best-known Chinese philosophers in the Western world.
©2015 Su Chang-Wu [All Rights Reserved]
What an historical trip, Su Chang. No one can teach quite like you. You always mix our humanity,
compassion and spirituality with wisdom and philosophy in such a delightful blend of knowledge. Thank
God for Websites like LMI that offer outlets for imagination, enjoyment and writings such as yours.
*****__Jean Ann Morgan.
I love the way Su Chang always begins her stories with an old fashioned "Once Upon A Time." I love
her messages and her willingness to be free with her wisdom. She is a great teacher that one should
read again and again. *****__Michelle Banda.
While Su Chang always provides thoughtful messages for us, this history lesson is truly unique. How
wonderful to be reminded of the teachings of the "ancients" who offered truer, purer examples of how
to live better lives. Thank you Su Chang once again for trying to keep our hearts and minds pure.
*****__Barbara A. Sabo.
I have been wishing for an opportunity to review one of Su Chang's new short stories. I think she is one
of LMI's finest writers. She is so well read in her culture and a great teacher of her country's "ways." I
marvel at the depth of her knowledge and the ease with which she imparts it. Thank you, Su Chang, for
making my day a little brighter. *****__Sonya Cast-Sun.
It is a daily delight for me to come to this Website. Although I am a new contributor to the short stories'
section, I feel perfectly at home. As if I were among old friends. Of course, I am, and Su Chang is one of
my favorites. I have read all of her stories more than once trying to learn from the simplicity of style
and the story telling magic she imparts. Thank you Su Chang for being such a good teacher of the art
and of life. *****__Linda McIntire.