Summarized from Wikipedia; Tao te Ching was written and compiled in the 6th century BC by one of the record keepers of the Zhou Dynasty. Some of the earliest recorded texts date back to the 4th century BC, which proves they had the same problems with human nature we do today. It is considered to be the fundamental text of the Tao religion. The Tao religion and the Tao te Ching are not the same. Tao te Ching is not a religion. It is a way of virtue in your life.
Tao te Ching is generally translated to mean the Classic Book of the Virtuous Way and is written very simply to allow it to be memorized. It is believed that much of the later text was added as an aid to rote memorization.
Legend says that Lao Tse was an Old Master who had lived for 996 years with 3 previous incarnations and gained much wisdom. He was a contemporary of Confucius and was a chief Historian and an Astrologer to the dynasty leader Xian. He is said to have compiled the knowledge of the Tao te Ching. Most likely is was added to over a period of 250 years and codified as such.
There is real evidence of texts that exist from those very early days in China's history. So there is no doubt that this is real. It is a philosophy of life, so beautiful that if you, your friends and neighbors were to embrace it, the world would be so very peaceful. But instead we have religions who seek to destroy everyone else's religion.
There is much study of the various verses and sayings. And much is written of its meaning. It is a beautiful script and I find it to be most calming and to the point of our lives today. We all need calmness, for sure.
If you have stuck with me this far, and not shut your mind because you think this is a religion that will attempt to replace your own, then join me on an introspective journey relating these texts to my life as a Quilter.
You will most likely recognize yourself as well!