Discusses These Principles Of Natural Order As First Established In Ancient Chinese Philosophy, And How The Style Of Poetry Conforms To The Basic Ideals Of The Daoists.

1142 words - 5 pages

DaoismThe first question at hand is to understand what Daoism "is". We can first approach this by looking at the meaning of the word "Dao". "Dao" is an easy word to translate from Chinese, but very complex to define. The English word most closely translated from the Chinese word "Dao" is "The Way". When we use the term "The Way" it means a path from one point to another, a road or pathway to an outcome. This gives us a practical definition and provides us with a means to understand the bases for Daoism. So if we think of Daoism as the "Way", it leads me to ask, "The Way of What?". Fortunately the traditional Chinese teaching of Daoism focuses on the wonder, balance and flow of nature.The supreme idea of Daoism is that nature has an awesome richness and complexity of processes that seem to guide everything to a wonderful balance. Daoism is not really a religion, but more of a philosophy in religion. God would not be referred to a creator, but more as the meaning or purpose in nature. Human beings, a Daoist would hold, are an integral part of nature. Daoism does not believe humans had domain over nature; rather it is human's responsibility to live in harmonious balance with nature.Daoist believed that nature should be the guiding model for human behavior. From nature we should find way to interact with each other."Be still like a mountain and flow like a great river." Laozi (Toropov 31)If one is connected to nature it would provide a kind of spontaneous and intuitive standard to interact with events and situations. Daoism provide humans with a foundation to effectively interact in society. This would require man not to go against nature. Daoism teaches that to do so can have devastating effects. As an example of this it the parable of the Praying Mantis that Zhuangzi taught. The Mantis stood boldly in the path of an oncoming chariot, waving it arms. The Mantis believed that his efforts would cause the huge cart to stop. The Mantis did not understand that this task was not in the realm of his capacity. Needless to say the result of the cart hitting the mantis was not pretty and could have been avoided. This is of great value, because it teaches us to develop and maintain harmonious social relationships. It also points out that we should not overestimate our own capacities and that we need to have a greater understanding of our abilities are. Perhaps the lesson is to practice intelligent restraint when dealing with the world at large.One of the fundamental keys of Daoism is to 'Live Simply'. Trying to gain social prestige, possession of material goods, fixation on control and rank are profound distractions from the basic state of nature. It is evident that humans hunger for wealth, power and possessions is not in keeping with the standards of nature, according to daoist teachings, and this drive for the material is dangerous to the very balance of things in nature. Humans should instead strive to use balance, simplicity and self-sufficiency of the...

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