Lao-tze (Chin.). A great sage, saint and philosopher who preceded Confucius.

Tao (Chin.). The name of the philosophy of Lao-tze.

Tao-teh-king (Chin.). Lit., “The Book of the Perfectibility of Nature” written by the great philosopher Lao-tze. It is a kind of cosmogony which contains all the fundamental tenets of Esoteric Cosmogenesis. Thus he says that in the beginning there was naught but limitless and boundless Space. All that lives and is, was born in it, from the “Principle which exists by Itself, developing Itself from Itself”, i.e., Swabhâvat. As its name is unknown and it essence is unfathomable, philosophers have called it Tao (Anima Mundi), the uncreate, unborn and eternal energy of nature, manifesting periodically. Nature as well as man when it reaches purity will reach rest, and then all become one with Tao, which is the source of all bliss and felicity. As in the Hindu and Buddhistic philosophies, such purity and bliss and immortality can only be reached through the exercise of virtue and the perfect quietude of our worldly spirit; the human mind has to control and finally subdue and even crush the turbulent action of man’s physical nature; and the sooner he reaches the required degree of moral purification, the happier he will feel. (See Annales du Musée Guimet, Vols. XI. and XII.; Etudes sur la Religion des Chinois, by Dr. Groot.) As the famous Sinologist, Pauthier, remarked: “Human Wisdom can never use language more holy and profound”.

Theosophical Glossary, H. P. Blavatsky


Tao Te Ching

See also: Taoist Texts


Selected Articles, Commentaries, etc.

See also:

The Real Origin of the Tao by Derek Lin

A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy by Wing-Tsit Chan

Biographies of Lao Zi and Confucius in the Shiji: An Illustration of Sima Qian’s Historiographical Stance by Derong Chen

The Tao of China by Don Lehman Jr.

The Taoist Body by Kristofer Schipper, University of California Press, 1993

Lao Tzu and Taoism, Max Kaltenmark, translated by Roger Greaves, (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1969)