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What we know now is that in spite of the view that the text had a single author named Laozi, it is clear to textual critics that the work is a collection of smaller passages edited into sections and not the work of a single hand.
Most of these probably circulated orally, perhaps as single teachings or in small collections.
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.
Lao Dan addresses Confucius by his personal name "Qiu" in three passages.
Based on the probable date of the closing of the tomb, the version of the DDJ found within it may date as early as c. Sima Qian reports that Laozi was a historiographer in charge of the archives of Zhou.
Moreover, Sima Qian tells us that Confucius had traveled to see Laozi to learn about the performance of rituals from him.
We cannot be sure, then, that there is any real memory of Confucius’s occupation being preserved for us, as the story may be an entire fiction meant to make a point about the inadequacy of Confucius’s teachings.
Finally, in Ch.14, , Lao Dan makes a direct attack not only on the rules and regulations of Confucius, but also the teachings of the Mohists, and the veneration of the ancient emperors and legendary sages of the past, displaying his preference for experiential oneness with (hereafter, DDJ) represent collectively one basis for the traditional association of Laozi as author of the text. 3, Qin Shi valorizes Laozi by saying that he accomplished much, without appearing to do so, which is a reference both to the Old Master’s rejection of pursuit of fame and power and also praise for his conduct as Qin Shi’s praise of Laozi is also consistent with Laozi’s teaching to Yangzi Ju in Ch. Such conduct and attitudes are encouraged strongly in DDJ 2, 7, 22, 24, 51 and 77. E., it was accepted by tradition and lore that Laozi was the author of the DDJ.
When Confucius returned to his disciples, he told them that he was overwhelmed by the commanding presence of Laozi, which was like that of a mighty dragon.