Word Count: 594Lao-Tse a contemporary of Confucius founded Taoism.Lae-Tse was looking for a way to avoid the constant warfare and other conflicts that disrupted life during his lifetime. As a result he wrote the book: Tao-te-Ching which contains Taos teachings.
Taoism started as a combination of psychology and philosophy and then evolved into a religion that shaped chiness life for more than 2000 years. In 440 Ce it was adopted as a state religion. During that time Lao-Tse became know as a diete. Taoism became one of the three great religions of China along with Buddhism and Confucianism. Taoism ended in 1911 at the end of the Ch’ing Dynasty. Much of the Taoist heritage was destroyed during the next period of warlorism. Religious freedom was highly restricted after the communist victory in 1949.
BELIEFS AND PRACTICES
Taoist believe that Tao is the force that flows through out all life, therefore everyones goal in life should be to become one with Tao. They seek answers to lifes problems through meditation and outer observation. The Tao surrounds everyone and therefore everyone must listen to find enlightment. Each person must nurture the Chi or life force that has been given to them. Taos believe in Yin and Yang: Yin is the breath that formed the earth and Yang is the breath that formed the heavens. They symbolized opposites, good and evil light and dark male and female. The Taoists also believe that the five main organs of the body correspond to the five parts of the sky. Water, fire, wood, metal and earth. Taoists are kind people because they believe actions are recipicated. One should plan in advance before each action. The developement of virtue is important. The 3 jewels to be sought are compassion moderation and humility. Taoists follow the art of wu wei which is to achieve action through minimal action. Taoists believe that people are companionate by nature and left to there own they will show compassion
Taoism as a philosophy
The way of the world was ordered, controlled and directed by The Way, by the Tao. The ethics of the Tao is of great nonaggression and non meddlesome action.
The god of Tao is not manlike it is the Way of Heaven and earth, not a personal creator and ruler of heaven and earth god is not something out of this world but something in it. The creative process and direction of the world.
It is the basic way of nature to move toward peace, prosperity, and fulfillment. If it were not for men and the wickedness of devils all would be well in the world as is the way of the universal nonpersonal ultimate power-Tao. Tao affirms the worlds nature coarse. Tao is the glory of this world as seen in the flight of a bird or the blooming of a flower.
Tao means to live and act in a way that there is no interference with the natural way things should go.
Tao is the power behind all spirits and souls all things and events. It gives as to how people should relate to each other. If the way is followed a good life, happiness, tranquility will come naturally. Not by Heavens rule but by natures way. Feel the wind and go with it, see the sunset and be enchanted by it. Do not try to create order but surrender to it as it moves in Yin and Yang.