In this episode of Enlightenment Today, I will speak about the ultimate sage showdown between Lao-tzu and Confucius. Both sages have diametrically opposed philosophies and viewpoints on the nature of humans and the irreducible essence of the Tao. These differences are showcased in the opposing metaphors of Lao-tzu’s uncarved block and Confucius’s carving and polishing. Both metaphors try to dissect whether or not humans are naturally good or if we are naturally beasts. These differing views influence our perception of the nature of the Tao, making us believe that either the Tao is natural to the universe with no need for effort or that the Tao needs to be induced through discipline and self-cultivation. Who will win this ultimate battle for sagehood supremacy?