Google+

Taoism: An Introduction to Taoism

Leave a comment

World Major Religious Belief Systems

An Introduction to Taoism

Dr. Meredith Sprunger

Taoism

Taoism: The Religion of the Divine Way

The religions of China are rooted in ancient religious concepts. The Chinese people recognized many gods and spirits. The good spirits were known as Shen and the evil spirits were called Kwei. The common people performed sacrifices and rituals. They believed the universe was composed of the negative force of nature, Yin, and the positive force of nature, Yang. Filial piety and ancestor worship were practiced. They predicted the future by divination through the methodology of I Ching. Following the eleventh century the Chou rulers for political reasons promoted a belief in Shang Ti, the one supreme God who controlled the destiny of men and rulers.

The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother’s womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. It is said that he was the keeper of the royal archives but tired of the artificial court life and retired. Lao-tzu traveled west into the mountains and sought to leave the country at the Hankao Pass. The guard at the gate recognized the wise old man and refused to allow him to leave until he had committed to writing the sum of his wisdom. He retired for three days and returned with a slim manuscript entitled Tao Te Ching (The Way and Its Power). After leaving he was never seen again.

Except for the Analects of Confucius, the Tao Te Chin is the most influential book in Chinese literature. It has been the object of at least a thousand commentaries and has been translated into English more than forty times. The book was probably developed over the centuries and evolved into its present form around the fourth century B. C.

The chief religious teaching of the Tao Te Ching is concerning one eternal Supreme Being: “Original, primeval, the Ultimate… sustaining source of all things … an All-Father … Makes its knower fearless, invulnerable, immortal.” The ethical ideal of the Tao Te Ching is to recompense injury with kindness and achieve a quiet, restful, humble simplicity in living. The teachings of early Taoism center around the following themes:

1. The basic unity behind the universe is a mysterious and undefinable force called the Tao. Tao produces all things and all things go back to their common origin and blend into one. Absolute truth and absolute good are unknowable.

2. Life is the greatest of all possessions. The chief aim of human existence is to attain fullness of life by attunement with the Tao. When man seeks his own plan rather than the eternal plan of the great Tao, he precipates ills, suffering, and evil.

3. Live in primitive simplicity. Leave all things take their natural course. Education, wealth, power, and family ties are worthless impediments to living. The sage can know the whole world without going out of his door. The further one travels, the less one knows. The Tao is characterized by its quietude of power, its production without possession, action without self-assertion, development without domination. “Aim at extreme disinterestedness and maintain the utmost possible calm … There is no guilt greater than to sanction ambition … Only quiet non-striving is successful.” Kindness, sincerity, and humility should be cultivated.

4. Pomp and glory are to be despised. The tree which stands higher than its neighbors is the first to be felled by the woodsman. The weak and humble overcome the strong and proud. The highest goodness is like water, it seeks the lower levels; therefore it is near to Tao. The least government is the best government. Weapons are instruments of ill omen; he who has Tao will have nothing to do with them.

This early Taoism was more a philosophy than a religion. it was concerned about the quality of life and had little interest in the heavens, gods, rituals, or life after death. During the fourth and third centuries B.C., in addition to Taoism, three major schools of thought struggled for dominance in China.- The Confucians believed in an idealized feudal system characterized by social propriety. The Legalists were tough-minded realists who believed human nature is wicked and lazy and must be ruled with a strong hand. The Mohists taught the values of the traditional religions, especially that men should love one another. They were pacifists who recognized the necessity of self defense.

Later Taosim became a religion of the masses and deteriorated into polytheism, demonology, witchcraft, magic, and occultism. It borrowed from Mahayana Buddhism and its teaching of an afterlife with heavens, hells, and judgment and developed a monasticism after the Buddhist pattern. The upper classes and intellectuals of twentieth century China continued reading the classics of philosophical Taoism but regarded the religion as only fit for the ignorant masses. The current Chinese government look upon it, and all forms of religion, as superstition.

Index to the Full Series

I. Hinduism: The Religion of Divine Immanence and an Hereditary Graded Social Structure
II. Jainism: The Religion of Asceticism
III. Buddhism: The Religion of Peaceful, Ethical Self-culture
IV. Sikhism: The Religion of Syncretism
V. Taoism: The Religion of the Divine Way
VI. Confucianism: The Religion of Social Propriety
VII. Shinto: The Religion of Nature Worship, Emperor Worship and Purity
VIII. Zoroastrianism: The Religion of the Free Will Choice Between Good and Evil
IX. Judaism: The Religion of Ethical Monotheism
X. Christianity: The Religion of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man Mediated by Jesus Christ
XI. Islam: The Religion of Submission to God

If these topics are of interest to you, you may be
very interested in The Urantia Book.
What is The Urantia Book?

 

Next:  VI. Confucianism: The Religion of Social Propriety

 

The Urantia Book

Master Directory

Home

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Welcome!

To the largest online repository and library of original spiritual based audio articles and poetry in existence; the legacy of poet, author and musician Tim R. Walls.
Feel free to explore
archives, as well as everything visible on the main page. In addition to audio poetry you will find original articles, original music and original videos by the author.
To Leave a Comment, just click on the Article's Title or on the Leave a Comment link at the bottom of the article on the Front Main Page. This will take you to the actual link page. Scroll to the bottom of the article. There you find the comment box.

Hours Available for Contact

1-208-629-8181
I am away, daily, from: 1 pm - 3 pm (MST - Mountain Standard Time)
Dinner: M-Th 6 pm (closed for evening) Fri-Sat-Sun: 1 pm to 5 pm (closed for evening)
* If you cannot reach me, directly, please leave a message. I will return your call.

How to Contact Me




All of my contact information is contained right in this QR Code. I welcome contact with you. And I know that, out of contact, we both will become the better for it, through the thought-values and God-conscious understanding we may mutually share.

Click to View Full Size

From the Daily Renewing Mind of a Mortal Son of God

Free Information which May Save Your Life or the Life of a Loved One!

Fight Disease with Food 1a

You may continue making poor choices in the food you consume...or learn to make better choices... The difference is a life of disease or thriving vibrancy at the cellular level, resulting in good health, increased energy throughout your life, and a disease-free lifestyle. Read on...

My Original Music

Top Rated Articles & Poetry You Don’t Want to Miss

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,288 other followers

Categories

Where Does the Paradise Father Dwell?

The Central and Divine Universe

Paradise has no location in time and space.

Tim Walls, EzineArticles Basic Author
 
I earned the "Basic Plus Author" badge on @EzineArticles.
Check out my profile to see what else I've done!
Tim Walls @ EzineArticles.com
Abrupt Earth Changes

Sacha Dobler - The Renewal of Earth - Astronomy - Geology

Piece of Mindful

“It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.” (Mark Twain, attributed)

The Revelations of Dr Richard Day

Information he gave us in 1969 has come true - and so it will in the future to come

Living Truths

Message of Jesus

Jesus and Aliens

Devotion to Christ in a Post-Disclosure World

Akilluminati

The Truth Behind Corruption, Cover Ups, Conspiracy, Hidden History, UFOs and Mysteries:

Maine Republic Email Alert

"...That I should bear witness to the truth." - John 18:37 // David E. Robinson, Publisher

The Way of Truth

What is the True Gospel Message?

johncoyote

Poetry, story and real life.

thepoetryoftimothyraywalls.wordpress.com/

The Original Poetry of Timothy Ray Walls

Free The Spiritual Captives

“Go into all the world and preach the glad tidings of the kingdom. Liberate spiritual captives, comfort the oppressed, and minister to the afflicted. Freely you have received, freely give.”

BEYOND THE DREAM

Self Realisation | Personal Development | Happiness | Wellbeing

We Occupy Earth

The World Wide Truth Revolution is NOW..Learn the TRUTH to Join

TRUTHER.ORG ☮

'PEACE BY REVELATION' EST. 2007

ELLIS NELSON BOOKS

young adult, middle grade, children's books

fauxcroft

living life in conscious reality

The Fusion Papers

The Path to Thought Adjuster Fusion

Sickness Free for Life

Spiritual Health--Unification--Unity of Body, Mind and Spirit

%d bloggers like this: