Exploring The Religion Of Taoism Essay

1130 words - 5 pages

Though no one is completely certain, The Urantia Book Fellowship(Sprunger) many scholars believe Taoism’s foundation goes back to 604 BC, by Lao Tzu. Taoism is one of the more influential religious practices of the Eastern culture and many view it as a way of life rather than a religion. It emphasizes various themes centered on naturalness, vitality, peace, non-interference/non-resistance, refinement, detachment, flexibility, receptiveness, spontaneity, and the ways of life, speaking, and guiding behavior. Taoism represents the road, path followed in life, the flow of the universe, or the force behind the natural order of life that keeps the universe balanced and ordered. There are several variations of Taoism practiced around the world.
Its founder, Lao Tzu, was an archivist to the library of the Emperor and though he never taught, many respected him for his vast knowledge of life and the world. When he left his position as imperial archivist, he moved to the Chinese province of Chou. During this journey, stopped at the province border by imperial guards, he wrote down his teachings. These writings, the major scripture of Taoism, became the Tao Te Ching. It was after Tzu’s death, a man named Yang Chu, a naturalist and philosopher, took up these teachings, and became the first influential teacher of the Tao Te Ching.
Chu found his personal beliefs of altruism and survival, what he viewed as the core to human nature, well presented in Tzu’s writings. He further found the ideas of personal integrity and a preservation instinct found in the Tao Te Ching to be powerful statements of honor.
The next major influence on the Taoist belief was Chang Tzu. To him, Tzu’s writings defined the truth of life. He went on to write fifty-two books as a response to the thirty-three books of the Tao Te Ching. He utilized both fantasy and exaggeration to illustrate the Tao Te Ching’s interaction with nature, life, and cosmic unity without force. Out of this work came the representation of two forces in nature, the Yin and Yang symbol of balance.

According to information gathered from the online source, Taoism or the Tao Religion (Our Ultimate Reality), the Yin and Yang represents two breaths or the chi life force. This Yin life force is the feminine principle of darkness, coolness, and dampness, while the white, the Yang, is the masculine principle of brightness, warmth, and dryness. They are not opposites, not all good, or bad, but both needed to maintain universe stability. Defined through opposition, Taoists believe in the virtues of balance and understanding.
Adopted to become the official religion of China between 100 and 200 AD, Taoism and a competition between Buddhism, gave way to incorporating many Buddhist beliefs. These adaptations included replacing the search for self-knowledge and wisdom with that of searching for solutions to sorrow and physical limitations. This transition created several problems for the Taoists trying...

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