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When Laozi tells Wuzhi to return to Confucius and set him free from the disease of problematizing life and tying himself in knots by helping him to empty himself of making discriminations (ch. However, the attribution of authorship of the DDJ to Laozi is much more complicated than it first appears.
5), this same teaching shows up in the DDJ in many places (for example, chs. Likewise, Laozi criticizes Confucius for trying to spread the classics (12 in number in ch. 14) instead of valuing the wordless teaching, the DDJ has a ready parallel in Ch. While Confucius is teaching his disciples to put forth effort and cultivate benevolence ( but explains that it was a written text of Laozi’s teachings given when he departed China to go to the West. The DDJ has 81 chapters and about 5,000 Chinese characters, depending on which text is used. Moreover, although the text has been studied by commentators in Chinese history for centuries, the general reverence shown to it, and the long standing tradition that it was the work of the great philosopher Laozi, were two factors militating against any critical literary analysis of its structure.
There are 71 slips with material that is also found in 31 of the 81 chapters of the DDJ and corresponding only to Chapters 1-66. The first known attempt to write a biography of Laozi is in the ) by Sima Qian (145-89 B. His surname was Li, and his personal name was Er, and his style name was Dan.
Since such a liberty is one that only a person with seniority and authority would take, this style invites us to believe that Confucius was a student of Lao Dan's and thereby acknowledged Laozi as an authority.
In one of these passages in which Lao Dan uses Confucius’s personal name Qiu, he cautions Confucius against clever arguments and making plans and strategies with which to solve life’s problems, telling him that such rhetoricians are simply like nimble monkeys and rat catching dogs who are set aside when unable to perform (Ch. And on another occasion, Qiu claims that he knows the "six classics" thoroughly and that he has tried to persuade 72 kings to their truth, but they have been unmoved. " He tells Confucius not to occupy himself with such worn out ways, and to instead live the we should not forget that the context of this record is as a component in the theme that Laozi taught Confucius, who was confused and having no success with his own teachings.
Based on the probable date of the closing of the tomb, the version of the DDJ found within it may date as early as c. Sima Qian reports that Laozi was a historiographer in charge of the archives of Zhou.
Moreover, Sima Qian tells us that Confucius had traveled to see Laozi to learn about the performance of rituals from him.