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The Book of Lieh-Tzü

The Book of Lieh-Tzü by Lieh-Tzu

The Liezi (Chinese: 列子; pinyin: Lièzĭ; Wade-Giles: Lieh Tzu; literally “[Book of] Master Lie”) is a Daoist text attributed to Lie Yukou, a circa 5th century BCE Hundred Schools of Thought philosopher, but Chinese and Western scholars believe it was compiled around the 4th century CE.

During the reign of Emperor Xuanzong of Tang, the Liezi was designated a Daoist classic, completing the trilogy with the more famous Daodejing and Zhuangzi.

The Liezi is generally considered to be the most practical of the major Daoist works, compared to the philosophical writings of Laozi and the poetic narrative of Zhuangzi. Although the Liezi has not been extensively published in the West, some passages are well known.

The book explores a number of classic Taoist themes, such as the relativity of all knowledge, the ideals of simplicity and effortless spontaneity, and the importance of calmly accepting death.

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