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According to the biography, during the course of their conversations Laozi told Confucius to give up his prideful ways and seeking of power.Three are in the Inner Chapters, eight occur in chapters 11-14 in the Yellow Emperor sections of the text (chs.11, 12, 13, 14), five are in chapters likely belonging to Zhuang Zhou’s disciples as the sources (chs.However, based on recent archaeological finds at Guodian in 1993 and Mawangdui in the 1970s we have no doubt that there were several simultaneously circulating versions of the DDJ text that pre-dated Wang Bi’s compilation of what we now call the “received text.” Mawangdui is the name for a site of tombs discovered near Changsha in Hunan province.The Mawangdui discoveries include two incomplete editions of the DDJ on silk scrolls (boshu) now simply called "A" and "B." These versions have two principal differences from the versions.

Since such a liberty is one that only a person with seniority and authority would take, this style invites us to believe that Confucius was a student of Lao Dan's and thereby acknowledged Laozi as an authority.

In one of these passages in which Lao Dan uses Confucius’s personal name Qiu, he cautions Confucius against clever arguments and making plans and strategies with which to solve life’s problems, telling him that such rhetoricians are simply like nimble monkeys and rat catching dogs who are set aside when unable to perform (Ch. And on another occasion, Qiu claims that he knows the "six classics" thoroughly and that he has tried to persuade 72 kings to their truth, but they have been unmoved. " He tells Confucius not to occupy himself with such worn out ways, and to instead live the we should not forget that the context of this record is as a component in the theme that Laozi taught Confucius, who was confused and having no success with his own teachings.

The fact that we also now know there were multiple versions of the DDJ, even as early as 300 B. E., also suggests that it is unlikely that a single author wrote just one book that we now know as the DDJ.

Consider that for almost 2,000 years the Chinese text used by commentators in China and upon which all except the most recent Western language translations were based has been called the , after the commentator who made a complete edition of the DDJ sometime between 226-249 C. Although Wang Bi was not a Daoist, the commentary he wrote after collecting and editing the text became a standard interpretive guide, and generally speaking even today scholars depart from his arrangement of the actual text only when they can make a compelling argument for doing so.

Later they were gathered and arranged by an editor.

The internal structure of the DDJ is only one ground for the denial of a single author for the text.

When Laozi tells Wuzhi to return to Confucius and set him free from the disease of problematizing life and tying himself in knots by helping him to empty himself of making discriminations (ch. However, the attribution of authorship of the DDJ to Laozi is much more complicated than it first appears.

5), this same teaching shows up in the DDJ in many places (for example, chs. Likewise, Laozi criticizes Confucius for trying to spread the classics (12 in number in ch. 14) instead of valuing the wordless teaching, the DDJ has a ready parallel in Ch. While Confucius is teaching his disciples to put forth effort and cultivate benevolence ( but explains that it was a written text of Laozi’s teachings given when he departed China to go to the West. The DDJ has 81 chapters and about 5,000 Chinese characters, depending on which text is used. Moreover, although the text has been studied by commentators in Chinese history for centuries, the general reverence shown to it, and the long standing tradition that it was the work of the great philosopher Laozi, were two factors militating against any critical literary analysis of its structure.