Lao Tzu

People (Philosophy)
East Asia
Excerpts from Books and Wikipedia
Active in 6th century BC; [Smithsonian] "A simple border guard at a frontier pass asked him to set down his thoughts in writing, before leaving the world of men. And this Lao-tzu did. But whether the border guard could make head or tail of them I do not know, for they are very mysterious and hard to grasp. Their meaning is roughly this: in all the world – in wind and rain, in plants and animals, in the passage from day to night, in the movements of the stars – everything acts in accordance with one great law. This he calls the β€˜Tao’, which means the Way, or the Path. Only man in his restless striving, in his many plans and projects, even in his prayers and sacrifices, resists, as it were, this law, obstructs its path and prevents its fulfillment. Therefore the one thing we must do, said Lao-tzu, is: do nothing. Be still within ourselves." [A Little History of the World, p. 61]
". . . the typical Daoist took refuge in a philosophy of passivity expressed in the term wuwei, meaning 'action by inaction' or 'effortlessness.' . . . accepting without struggle the experience of life." [Fairbank: China, p. 54]