Premium Essay


In: Religion Topics

Submitted By Lyndabee
Words 1106
Pages 5

"Be still like a mountain and flow like a great river." Lao Tse

"Different Chinese philosophers, writing probably in 5-4 centuries B.C., presented some major ideas and a way of life that are nowadays known under the name of Taoism, the way of correspondence between man and the tendency or the course of natural world." Alan Watts, from his book: "Tao: The Watercourse Way."

"We believe in the formless and eternal Tao, and we recognize all personified deities as being mere human constructs. We reject hatred, intolerance, and unnecessary violence, and embrace harmony, love and learning, as we are taught by Nature. We place our trust and our lives in the Tao, that we may live in peace and balance with the Universe, both in this mortal life and beyond." Creed of the Western Reform Taoist Congregation 1

History of Taoism:

Tao (pronounced "Dow") can be roughly translated into English as path, or the way. It is basically indefinable. It has to be experienced. It "refers to a power which envelops, surrounds and flows through all things, living and non-living. The Tao regulates natural processes and nourishes balance in the Universe. It embodies the harmony of opposites (i.e. there would be no love without hate, no light without dark, no male without female.)" 2

The founder of Taoism is believed by many to be Lao-Tse (604-531 BCE), a contemporary of Confucius. (Alternate spellings: Lao Tze, Lao Tsu, Lao Tzu, Laozi, Laotze, etc.). He was searching for a way that would avoid the constant feudal warfare and other conflicts that disrupted society during his lifetime. The result was his book: Tao-te-Ching (a.k.a. Daodejing). Others believe that he is a mythical character.

Taoism started as a combination of psychology and philosophy but evolved into a religious faith in 440 CE when it was adopted as a state religion. At that time Lao-Tse…...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay


...Taoism Tao Eternal Paradise Master Manifestations Darkness When I first read the Tao Te Ching, my first thought was that Taoism doesn’t follow the “supernatural” or any supreme God or being. Taoism is not only a religion deriving from China, but also, a philosophy. Everything is based on coming back to the center and “balancing your life to live in perfect harmony.” The Tao will always remain in a state of equilibrium and could never falter. People can get confused with Taoism, referring to the Tao as a person. The Tao is portrayed as “the way” or “the path.” Opposites such as dark and light, love and hate, male and female, and the famous Yin and Yang embody the whole of Taoism. One cannot coincide without the other. If not for the nature of the Tao, then people would not remain balanced in the universe and become troubled. To become one with the Tao, a person must leave all aggression and anger behind and live life passively, allowing everything to happen accordingly. You have to remain at peace with oneself. There is always a correct way to do everything. Another way to become united with the Tao is to practice the “wu-wei” or the “doing without doing.” Everything will fall into place and come out right, according to Taoism, if everyone does nothing. Let nature take its course. When reading the Tao, certain passages stuck out to me. I tried to interpret them into what I thought the message was. Chapter 55 talks about extending life, even superficial......

Words: 551 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay


...“Breathe in slowly, exhale calmly, clear your mind, and free your thoughts.” These are some of the things that may come to mind when one thinks about Yoga and Meditation and all that their practices entail. However, there is much more to Yoga and Meditation than calm breathing, squishy mats, soothing music and downward dog. “Yoga is a combination of both physical and spiritual exercises, entails mastery over the body, mind and emotional self, and transcendence of desire (” Yoga, when combined with certain religious practices, like Hinduism and Taoism, takes a person places where they are able to see beyond their problems and fills themselves with inner peace and tranquility. The Yoga’s of Hinduism and Taoism play a very important role in their respective religions and how they help the individual transform spiritually, mentally and physically, as well as, achieve their ultimate goals. The Yoga’s seen in Hinduism involves the typical exercise yoga, Raja yoga, one sees at gyms and fitness centers. Raja yoga involves “bodily postures and controlled breathing techniques combined with mantras and meditation (Notes).” There are three other types of yoga and meditation forms that are not as well-known as the Raja yoga. They are, Jnana yoga, “the way of wisdom (Notes).” This form of yoga uses rationality to overcome ignorance and to understand by studying and discussing texts (Notes). Many people in the world could benefit from implementing this form of yoga in their......

Words: 810 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

The Thinking of Business Behavior with Taoism Philosophy

...The thinking of business behavior with Taoism philosophy Each one must forget what they have learned in college. But you must make sure everything you learned in your college is a part of yourself before you forget. There may have some contradictory in my idea. However, it is logical and true. If a person wants to be a master in business, the knowledge which he learned before can be strength or even weakness in his or her future development. Some concepts, principles and models in business can really help us to know business well. But these stuffs are basic level in people's growth. Meanwhile, you must take these stuffs carefully to set them as your common sense. You must put it to be part of your body. However, you cannot overly rely on it. Because the knowledge is not only achieve success but also destroy a person. Professional knowledge can easily set a pitfall and cage to limit your divergent thinking. It will teach you a traditional method to push you into there. It is going to block your abilities and imagination and emotional intelligence to deal with problem in perfectly. We should combine our professional knowledge, our thinking and sensitive insight together to achieve success in our business. In general, It is hard for most of people in the world. That is reason why there were many people who had business but only a few can run business well or even famous on it. My opinion just comes from Chinese Taoism philosophy. A good example can explain my opinion...

Words: 599 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Music in Taoism

...Taoist Music: The Great Depiction of Yin-Yang Philosophy Taoism, also known as Daoism, is an indigenous Chinese religion with its origin traced to the sage Laozi (Lao-tzu), a philosopher of ancient China believed to have lived in the sixth century B.C.E (Little 115). In Chinese, Dao means "way" or "path,” which is the appropriate way to behave and to lead others — but the Daode jing also refers to Tao as something that existed "before Heaven and Earth," a primal and chaotic matrix from which all forms emerged. The Classic of the Way and Its Power (Dao de jing or Tao-te-ching) introduces the doctrine of the Tao and serves as a guide for Taoists’ behavior and experience. The Dao de jing teaches the importance of cultivating simplicity, detachment, of virtue, and of living in harmony and balance with the natural world which implied visually in the well-known symbol Ying-Yang, also known as the Tao Chi disk (Little 116). As common in other religion, music has long played an integral part in religious practice. Taoists believe that music is a way to communicate with the spirits, to improve and deepen faith, and to achieve inner harmony and balance; therefore, the significant function of Taoist music is demonstrated of how Taoism doctrine are reflected in elements of music such as tones, instrumentation, and chants in Taoist rituals and ceremony. The main theme of Taoism is resided in the Yin and Yang symbol, also referred to as the Tai Chi disk. The yin-yang doctrine is based...

Words: 1224 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Confucianism and Taoism

...| Confucianism and Taoism | | Chinese Politics [Date] | Confucianism and Taoism are some of the major religions in China. They have greatly influenced the culture of the Chinese people as well as their world view. The connection between the two religions has influenced many people over time. It can also be said that when the principles of both philosophies are put together, the outcome is a well-rounded person. The following is a discussion of the principles and philosophies behind these two religions as well as how the two religions interact and connect to influence an individual. Confucianism is a religion that bases its philosophy and principles on the teachings of Confucius, a Chinese philosopher who lived between 551 and 478 BC. The Philosophy behind Confucianism is humanism. Confucian devotees have a positive view of human beings and human nature. The world in the Confucian religion is seen through the ideal of humanism. This means that devotees of Confucianism hold it true that human beings are improvable, teachable and perfectible. Human beings can become perfect through individual and shared effort for example self-creation and cultivation. The general philosophy of Confucianism emphasizes individual and governmental morality, rightness of social relationships, sincerity and justice of the whole community.All devotees of Confucianism should practice ethics that are exemplified by the propagation of virtues or principles. There are many virtues that......

Words: 892 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Philosophy Socrates vs. Taoism

...Throughout history western and eastern philosophies have developed a vast segregation from one another. The geographical and cultural distance between eastern and western civilization determined massive differences between the two. On the other hand, the works of ancient Greek philosophers like Socrates, and some eastern philosophies like Taoism have many of the same or common ideas and concepts. Both eastern and western philosophies regardless of having similarities have distinctive differences when examining the view of the conception of the good. In this rgard, each philosophy is noticed to have beliefs that strive for followers to improve their lives and to be on a path of self-purification. This essay will primarily focus on understanding the basics of the conception of good in Taoist philosophy as well as the basic conception of good according to Socrates. While analyzing we will also determine if the Taoist conception of good is more reasonable than that of Socrates. In Taoism, the Tao is worshiped as the first-cause of the universe and is a developed philosophy, which promotes self-purification of an individual to meet Taoist ideals. Taoists believe that nature and the earth is constantly in flux. Simply, the only constant in the world is change. An essential element of the Tao is a term P’u or the un-carved block. P'u is translated to the words "uncarved wood" or "uncarved block." This is a metaphor that implies that each living being is given our personality at......

Words: 2561 - Pages: 11

Premium Essay

Buddhism Versus Taoism

...Buddhism Versus Taoism The Asian schools of thought, Buddhism and Taoism are very similar philosophies, but differ in their thoughts of how to live their life. These two philosophies differ in how they believe to live their lives, and in their goals on what to achieve. I found these two schools of thoughts interesting because of how similar they are except for subtle differences. Taoism is a philosophy that is confusing to read about its not a philosophy with teachings like Buddhism. Taoism is about falling in line with the natural order and keeping the cycle balanced. Buddhism is about learning the dharma's or teachings, and reaching enlightenment to break the spiral and stop suffering. These philosophies over time became religions, and later in China they eventually get brought together as one religion. Buddhism believed in nirvana reaching enlightenment which meant to relieve oneself from being reborn. Buddhist believed life was suffering so they kept themselves unattached to earthly things including family. Buddhism is living in the present and centered around practice, and the four noble truths. In The Buddha and his Teachings: the four noble truths are: " life is suffering, origin, assertion, way to lead assertion." (Bercholz and Kohn 3-222)They learn from a teacher. The teachings are called dharma's. This philosophy is individualized of letting go of earthly possessions. In The Buddha and his Teachings, "it took the Bodhisattva sixteen years to learn the......

Words: 1472 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Rel 101

...Ashley Colvin Confucianism and Daoism (Taoism) REL 212: World Religion Instructor: Professor Joel Goldstein Daoism is one of China’s major religions indigenous to the country. The primary belief is in learning and practicing “The Way” (Dao) which is the ultimate truth to the universe. Confucianism and Taoism are both ancient Chinese styles of living. Confucianism believes in setting good examples for others to follow primarily in 5 key relationships: ruler & subject, wife & husband, older & younger sibling, friend & friend, father & son. While Daoism (Or Taoism) was a way of living in which there were not many rules and believes in the dialectical philosophy of inaction. Through nature and harmony you can be happy. This is where yin and yang come from. Daoism is also known as Taoism, Daoism traces its beginnings to Sixth Century BC when Chinese philosopher Laozi wrote the iconic book Dao De Jing on the tenets of the Dao. Laozi’s successor, Zhuangzi, further developed Daoist principles. Daoism is an organized religious tradition that has been continuously developing through China, Korea and Japan for a little over two thousand years. Daoism has now spread around the globe from Sydney to Toronto and includes among its followers people from a whole range of ethnicities and cultural backgrounds. Day by day, Daoism is truly becoming a...

Words: 1189 - Pages: 5

Free Essay


...Part I Israe’sl axial age was drawing to a close for many reasons in the 5th century. One reason was Jerusalem had become a small an undistinguished city in the corner of the Persian Empire. An axial age commonly occurs in a region that is usually a leader in change and growth. (296.) Second Israel and Judah had suffered greatly from tyranny of the Imperial powers. These powers brought along with them a hint of broader horizons and a bigger and more powerful world. (291.) In addition the exiled survivors were returning and were no longer in the vanguard of current endeavors. They lived discreetly and their struggle for survival had become more important than the vision for new religious beliefs. The belief that Yahweh would return to open the gates for all outsiders and foreigners to offer sacrifices to him was no longer. (292.) Ezra was excluding his own people by telling them they could not associate with the am ha-aretz and take foreign wives. They were the foreigners who settled in Cannan after the Babylonian war, and also the Israelites and Judahites who had not been deported to Babylon. (293.) Ezra held a meeting with all the members of the Golah and told them anybody who refused to attend would be cast out of the community and their property would be confiscated. Ezra did this because he wanted the Torah to be known as the law of the land. Part II In Athens during the 5th century people were becoming uncertain of their future especially...

Words: 864 - Pages: 4

Free Essay


...Think about his meaning and how it might be similar or different than key ideas of seeking the highest good in both Confucianism and Christianity. What is the relationship of right being to right doing in each of these three religions (Taoism, Confucianism, and Christianity)? Lao-Tsu (570-490 B.C.) wrote the following on the highest good in his Tao Te Ching: The highest good is like water. Water gives life to the ten thousand things and does not strive. It flows in places men reject and so is like the Tao. In dwelling, be close to the land. In meditation, go deep in the heart. In dealing with others, be gentle and kind. In speech, be true. In ruling, be just. In business, be competent. In action, watch the timing. No fight; no blame." Write an essay of 750-1,000 words discussing this idea. 1. Think about his meaning and how it might be similar or different than key ideas in seeking the highest good in both Confucianism and Christianity. The philosopher, Lao-Tzu, wrote about the highest good in his Tao Te Ching. Lao-Tzu was known as the father of Taoism; a philosophical and religious tradition that origins from China by Lao-tzu and Chuang-tzu that emphasizes to live with the Tao in harmony (Taoism, n.d.). Taoism is known to go hand-in-hand with Confucianism which is a mainly characterized as Chinese philosophical and ethical system rather than a religion that was based on the teaching of the Chinese Philosopher known as Confucius (Berling, 1996). This is due......

Words: 436 - Pages: 2

Free Essay


...The religion of Taoism has no actual founder or founding date. Rather Taoism is a compilation of various religions and traditions in ancient China around 2000 years ago. Taoism was greatly influenced by Buddhism and the religion in the Shang Dynasty. The first Celestial master and founder of the first Taoist school of thought was Zhang Daoling. This tradition still continues, with the present Celestial Master living in Taiwan. Taoism became a semi-official religion during the Tang dynasty and continued throughout the Song dynasty. As another religion became popular, Taoism gradually fell and changed from a religion to a religious tradition. Taoism began to spread in Taiwan and later revive itself it China. Now Taoist temples and people who practice Taoism can be seen throughout the country. Taoism is an ancient tradition of philosophy and religious belief that is deeply placed in Chinese customs. Taoism is about the Tao also known as The Way. The Tao is the ultimate creative principle of the universe and according to the Tao; all things are unified and connected. Taoism originated in China about 2000 years ago. It is a religion centered on unity and opposites. For example, the yin yang is major symbol in Taoism. It represents the unity between two things that are completely opposite. The Tao is not god and it is not worshiped in Taoism. But they do have many other gods that they do worship in temples. Many Taoist ideas come from the school of thought that was founded by......

Words: 912 - Pages: 4

Free Essay


...Taoism Taoism (or Daoism) refers to a variety of related philosophical and religious traditions that have influenced Eastern Asia for more than two millennia, and have had a notable influence on the western world particularly since the 19th century.The word 道, Tao (or Dao, depending on the romanization scheme), roughly translates as, "path" or "way" (of life), although in Chinese folk religion and philosophy it carries more abstract meanings. Taoist propriety and ethics emphasize the Three Jewels of the Tao: compassion, moderation, and humility, while Taoist thought generally focuses on nature, the relationship between humanity and the cosmos (天人相应), health and longevity, and wu wei (action through inaction), which is thought to produce harmony with the Universe. Reverence for ancestor spirits and immortals is also common in popular Taoism. Organized Taoism distinguishes its ritual activity from that of the folk religion, which some professional Taoists (Daoshi) view as debased. Chinese alchemy (including Neidan), astrology, cuisine, Zen Buddhism,several Chinese martial arts, Chinese traditional medicine, feng shui, immortality, and many styles of qigong breath training disciplines have been intertwined with Taoism throughout history. Spelling and pronunciation In English, the words Daoism and Taoism are the subject of an ongoing controversy over the preferred romanization. The root Chinese word 道 "way, path" is romanized tao in the older Wade–Giles system and dào in the......

Words: 4425 - Pages: 18

Premium Essay


... Taoism: Origins, History and Beliefs Joseph R Batson Regis University Taoism is one of the “Three Doctrines”, along with Buddhism and Confucianism that has helped to shape Chinese culture and history (Molloy, 2013.) Taoism is based on the earliest beliefs of the Chinese people, and includes several elements of the ancient indigenous religion. These include a belief in spirits, both good and bad; the concept of T’ien, translated as Heaven, and described as an impersonal divine force and a cosmic moral principle; the discernment of patterns in nature, some easy to see like the progression of seasons, others not so much like the ripple of waves; and Yin and Yang, two opposing yet complimentary principles such as light and dark or hot and cold (Molloy, 2013.) The actual origins of Taoism are shrouded in mystery. The founder was Lao Tzu, meaning “old sage” (, 2014) a legendary figure who may or may not have existed, and possible may be the blending of several historical figures (Molloy, 2013.) Lao Tzu, according to traditional stories, was born in the early sixth century BCE (circa 600 BCE) and worked as an archivist at the imperial court. Eventually Lao Tzu tired of his position and travelled to Western China, where he was stopped by a guard and asked to write his teachings down. This writing, which consisted of five thousand Chinese characters, became the Tao Te Ching (The Way and Its Power, considered to be one of the central scriptures of Taoism (Chebucto.ns...

Words: 2533 - Pages: 11

Free Essay

Compare and Contrast Daoism (Taoism), Legalism, and Confucianism.

...Compare and contrast Daoism (Taoism), Legalism, and Confucianism. Daoism, Legalism, and Confucianism share similarities as they worked together to form schools of thought that worked to exercised a deep influence in Chinese political and cultural traditions. They also worked to bring political and social stability to China during the years of the Zhou dynasty and the period of the warring states (Bently, Ziegler & Streets, p.100). The differences among the three is Confucian’s involved themselves in society by holding government positions and made concrete efforts to solve political and social problems while promoting harmony in public life. The Daoism’s believed that it would be pointless to focus on social activism. Instead they focused their time trying to understand the principles of living in harmony as they believed that someday there would be harmony to society as a whole (Bently et. al. p.103). The Legalists were unlike the other two. They did not concern themselves with ethics, morality or property nor did they care about the place of human beings in nature, instead, they placed their focus to the state, which they sought to strengthen and expand at all costs (Bently et. al. p.104). What did each system stress as most important? Daoists thought that they should withdraw from the world of politics and administration so that humans could not live in harmony (Bently et. al. p.103). Legalists’ sought to channel as many individuals as possible......

Words: 452 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Chinese Culture

...Domenico Sano 1997 REL2000 04/15/2012 Chinese Culture; Taoism doctrine and religion  Chinese culture involves many different religions and philosophies. A peculiarity of Chinese religions is that they are mutually exclusive and can be taken simultaneously for different functions throughout life. Each town has the religion inherited from the ancestors. This aphorism is widespread in China more than in other countries.  Scholars say that primitive religion of the Chinese, and people leaving near them, was the ancestor worship, and the force of nature, which they thought themselves endowed with spirits.  Confucianism and Taoism precisely these two primitive religions have obviously permeated both philosophical and religious systems more important in Chinese history. Taoism was created about 2500 years ago in China.  Since its inception it has two complementary aspects: one related to social life, human relations, moral values and the government, on the other hand the mystic, which aims to transcend daily life and society, to obtain a higher plane of consciousness and become a sage, a visionary who has managed to merge and understand the universe.  The sage is related in the spiritual and earthly events.  Unites both aspects: the intuitive wisdom and practical knowledge or contemplation and social life. The Chinese for its tranquility compares with the image of the wise and their movements with the King’s image. In the sixth century BC, Chinese philosophy was developed in......

Words: 1850 - Pages: 8