Lao Tzu literally means "old child" but it actually means "Old Sage".
Who was he? Lao Tzu was born in China presumably in 604 B.C. He spent his years at in the Chinese Imperial Capital at Luoyang, first as the palace secretary and later as Keeper of the Archives at the Court of Chou.
He lived during a violent period of Chinese History. One day at the age of 80 he became fed up with the corruption at court, left his post. He got on a chariot drawn by a water buffalo and proceeded to leave China by its western border. The gate keeper of the Han-ku Pass Yin Hsi asked him to stay a while and write down his teaching. Lao Tzu wrote a book of 5,000 character, the Tao Te Ching which means the Way and its Power. Then he left and was never seen again.
Lao Tzu was a man of his own times, thought his own thoughts but above all was a man gifted by God to see and express in words the mystery underlying all of reality which he called the Tao. In the Tao Te Ching there are many parallel sayings with those of Christ but as Holms Welch points out "Though it is true that in certain situations the two teachings would recommend to a man the same course of action, they would do so on different grounds." 57
This being said, we must also realize that "All wisdom comes from the LORD... (Sir 1:1,8) and that hidden within it lies not only the mystery but the future unfolding which God reveals through his Son presence in history. Or, to put it in the words of St. Seraphim of Sarov, "The presence of the Spirit of God also acted in the pagans who did not know the true God, because even among them God found for Himself a chosen people."
"How deep are the riches and the wisdom and the knowledge of God!
How inscrutable his judgments, how unsearchable his ways!