Laozi's Creative Use of The Concept of Dao

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Daoist Beliefs
The Great Dao
Original Meaning of Dao
Laozi's Creative Use of The Concept of Dao
The Main Meaning of the Concept of Dao
The Major Functions of Dao
The Significance of Virtue
Expression of the Unity of Dao and Virtue
Becoming an Immortal by Attaining
Dao is ruled by Spontaneity
The Significance of Spontaneity
Observing the Way of Heaven and Following its Motions
The Creation of the World
Formation of the Daoist Theory of Universal Evolution
The Process of The Creation of the World
The Thirty-six Heavens
The Netherworld
Yin-Yang and the Supreme Ultimate
Yin-Yang and the Supreme Ultimate
Vital Breath
The Infinite and the Supreme Ultimate
The Infinite
The Supreme Ultimate and the Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate
Yin-Yang and the Five Agents
Social Ideals
Social Ideals
The Ideal of Supreme Peace
Purity, Tranquility and Non-interference
Salvation of Humanity
Philosophy of Life
Understanding Dao and Establishing Virtue
Education by Daoist Enlightenment
Ethical Education and Practise
Ethical Education and Practise
Accumulation of Hidden Merits
The Secret Meaning of Karma
Norms for Doing Good Works
Methods of Doing Good Works

Deep elaboration of the concept of Dao began with Laozi ( 老子 Laozi ). Laozi made Dao ( 道 Dao ) into the core of his philosophical system; hence, his school came to be known as the 'Daoist School' ( 道家 Daojia ).

The Laozi was the first book to elaborate on the concept of 'Dao'

Laozi, whose surname was Li and whose name was Er, lived during the Spring and Autumns period. He left to posterity a book of approx. 5000 characters, divided into two chapters, which people called the 'Laozi', meaning Venerable Master. After the Tang dynasty, it was called the Perfect Book of Dao and its Virtue ( 道德真經 Daode Zhenjing ). In this book, Dao is considered as the origin of the world, and hence is regarded as the highest final category. Laozi considered Dao to be an undifferentiated whole which existed prior to the creation of Heaven and Earth: "it is made of undifferentiated substance, and was born before Heaven and Earth". From it are derived Heaven, Earth and all beings. Laozi gave a complete description of the different attributes of Dao. His thought was later greatly elaborated by his successors. From the pre-Qin era onwards, Daoist philosophers engaged in a great many reflections and discussions on Laozi's ideas: over one thousand commentaries were written on the Laozi alone, while even more works were written based on his ideas. Hence, expositions of Dao are rich and varied.