China’s only native-born religion.Daoism began,like Confucianism,as a philosophical response to the chao and bloodshed prevalent in Chian during the Warring States Period( 403-221 BC),It later slit into several schools,certain of which absorbed elements of folk religion and cencentratd on alchemy and other practices it was hoped would lead to immortality.With its emphasis on change and general distrust of authority. Daoism was the antithesis of Confucianism and remained largely on the fringes of Chinese civil society,more at home in the mountains than in the citeis.
The founder of Taoism was Laozi,whose family name was Li and given name was Er.he lived in thel ater ears of the Spring and Autumn Period,and woked as an archivist in the Omerial Library of the zhou’s court.His masterpiece “ Tao De Jing”( The Book of the Ways and Its Virtue,) although with only about 5 000 characters, had a significant impact upon the toughts of later generations.
Laozi applied “ Tao” to elucidating the origin and evolvement of the universe. MoreoverLaozi maintained that the characters and laws of “ Tao” could be applied to guide people’s thinking and behavior,which should be in conformance with the nature.
Laozi believed that what appears soft and weak can actually defeat what is hard and strong,inasmuch as what looks fragile is hard to nature.
Proficient in the philosophy of Laozi, Zhaungzi was an inheritor and promoter of Daoism. Zhuangzi once workded as an official in charge of painting works at the town of Meng in the Song State, in the book bearing his name,Zhuangzi succeeded to and developed Laozi’s viewpoint that “ Dao is defined by nature” , and claimed that everything exterior can be eqated with self,and life and death are equal. What Zhaungzi had been pursuing is a spiritual realm of absolute freedom. Since there are so many similarities between Laozi and Zhuangzi in terms of thinking,descendants usually mention them comparably.