According to legend, Lao Tzu, an elderly 5th-century-BC archivist, tired of the Zhou dynasty’s increasing corruption and left the empire to live a more honorable, hermetic life in the far-west mountains.
Whether this tale is true — and whether it’s true that Lao Tzu, at the behest of the last mountain sentry, gave the guard his Tao te Ching, his poetic collection of ancient Chinese wisdom — is of no importance.
No matter the myth of the Tao‘s inception — though the more charming the myth the better — what matters is the Tao itself.
And if, despite any evidence, generations have believed this tale, we might as well follow the Tao and be like water, going with the flow, waving farewell to old Lao Tzu as he wanders off toward sunset.
Looks like Chinese millennials are equally apathetic as their western counterparts. That’s according to China’s Global Times.
Rather than focus on capitalistic careers or communist-party dogma, China’s so-called Zen Generation is turning away from money and Mao and looking farther back in history, back to Buddha himself and his image of inner peace.
Sounds like these twentysomething Chinese are lacking a little Confucian structure. They prefer to lounge around in Lao Tzu’s Tao, waiting for wu wei to woo them off the couch.
Actually, this bodes well for China’s future. If she can detach from imported ideologies, if she can return to her own ancient wisdom, the rest of the world would be wise to follow.