Laozi’s Daodejing or Classics of Way and Its Power is traditionally assigned to the sixth century bce, but possibly dates from as recently as the third century bce. It has only about 5,250 Chinese characters in eighty-one brief sections or paragraphs, yet is known as the foundation of Daoism (or Taoism). The term Dao 道 appears seventy-three times in the text and has a complicated and multilayered meaning. Throughout Chinese history, Dao has been cherished by all schools of thought and has generally been taken to be the ultimate origin, source, and principle of the universe and of the myriad things. There is no existence, or literally no-thing, beyond Dao.