Other Articles by Kerby Kuek
Teaching of Dao
Exclusively brought to you by Kerby Kuek
Dao Sages-Lao Tse(老子) and Zhuang Tse (莊子) or Lao Zhuang (老莊)
Lao Tse is revered as a
deity in most religious forms of Taoism. The Dao De Ching (道德經), also referred to as the Lao Tse was created in the
late Spring and Autumn Periods (770-478 BC). Such scripture covers every aspect
of nature, society and human life. Such
text was translated into more than 500 versions in 30 languages. The spirit
expressed in Dao De Ching can help people relax and produce serenity in their
soul and minds in today’s’ ever changing environment.
According to Chinese
tradition, Lao Tse lived in the 6th century BC. Historians variously contend
that Lao Tse is a synthesis of multiple historical figures, that he is a
mythical figure, or that he actually lived in the 4th century BC, concurrent
with the Hundred Schools of Thought and Warring States Period.
A central figure in
Chinese culture, both nobility and common people claim Lao Tse in their lineage.
Throughout history, Lao Tse's work has been embraced by various
Lao Tse was described as a
‘cool’ sage while Zhuang Tse was regarded as a ‘happy go lucky’ sage
where Zhuang Tse placed emphasis on freedom over others. Lao Tse’s Dao De
Ching with approximately 5000 words were simple but not so easy to understand
and comprehend while Zhuang Tse’s work was with anecdotes and easy to
comprehend. But the core is the same that is to find the right ‘Dao’ in
Zhuang Tse expresses pity
to a skull he sees lying at the side of the road. Zhuang Tse laments that the
skull is now dead, but the skull retorts, "How do you know it's bad to be
It was the butterfly dream
that makes Zhuang Tse famous. Once Zhuang Tse dreamt he was a butterfly, a
butterfly flitting and fluttering around, happy with him and doing as he
pleased. He didn't know he was Zhuang Tse. Suddenly he woke up and there he was,
solid and unmistakable Zhuang Tse. But he didn't know if he was Zhuang Tse who
had dreamt he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was Zhuang Tse.
Between Zhuang Tse and a butterfly there must be some distinction!
E-mail address of Mr.Kerby Kuek : Kerbykuek@gmail.com