The Tao Te Ching, along with the Zhuangzi, is a fundamental text for both philosophical and religious Taoism, and strongly influenced other schools, such as Legalism, Confucianism, and Chinese Buddhism, which when first introduced into China was largely interpreted through the use of Daoist words and concepts.
Many Chinese artists, including poets, painters, calligraphers, and even gardeners, have used the Daodejing as a source of inspiration.
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There is some evidence that the chapter divisions were later additions—for commentary, or as aids to rote memorization—and that the original text was more fluidly organized. The first of these strategies creates memorable phrases, while the second forces us to create our own reconciliations of the supposed contradictions.
The Chinese characters in the original versions were probably written in zhuànshū (篆書 seal script), while later versions were written in lìshū (隸書 clerical script) and kǎishū (楷書 regular script) styles.
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