Laozi (Laozi), male, Han Chinese, surnamed Li, Er, Dan, and Boyang, is known as “Li Er”, “Li Dan” or “Laozi”, and is the ancestor of the surnames Li and Lao. He was a native of Bitter County (present-day Chenzhou, Henan Province) in the State of Chu during the Spring and Autumn Period, and also said to be a native of Qufu, Shandong Province. His birth and death dates are lost. He was an ancient Chinese thinker, philosopher, writer and historian, and the founder and main representative of the Taoist school. He is revered as the founder of Taoism and is called “Tai Shang Lao Jun”. In the Tang Dynasty, he was posthumously recognized as the founder of the Li surname. He has been honored as one of the world’s cultural figures and one of the world’s 100 historical figures.
He studied under Shang Rong, a minister at the end of the Yin Shang period, and served as an official in the Zhou Shou Zang Chamber at the end of the Spring and Autumn Period of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (the history under the pillar). His book “Tao Te Ching” (also known as “Lao Tzu”) is one of the most widely published and distributed works in the world.
Laozi’s thought has had a profound influence on the development of Chinese philosophy, the core of which is the simple dialectic. In terms of his view of nature, Laozi was a primitive materialist; there are also many elements of dialectics in his philosophy. His thought, however, was fundamentally tied to the consciousness of the fallen aristocracy. The limitations of his class led him to deduce results that could only understand the changes in nature as a mechanical process of repeated cycles. In politics, Laozi advocated the teaching of inaction and non-verbalism. In terms of power, Laozi preaches the principle that what goes around comes around. In terms of body cultivation, Laozi is the originator of Taoism’s dual cultivation of life and limb, and preaches the cultivation of a hollow heart and a solid belly, and not to compete with others. In terms of social life, he fantasized about returning to the simple life of the primitive communal era. He avoided reality; he took a nihilistic attitude toward music, as he did toward everything else. Thus, his musical ideas could not be separated from his whole social perspective, which was extremely reactionary at the time.
In 2010, the “International Forum on Laozi Culture” was held in Laojun Mountain, Luoyang, China, with more than one hundred renowned experts from China, Japan, Korea, Belgium and other countries.