Taoism - Religion or Philosophy?


Tao
"The Tao is considered the primordial creative force of life which flows through nature, giving rise to the opposing forces of Yin (passive) and Yang (active). Quietly observing nature and its patterns and performing inner meditations can bring one closer to unity with the Tao, helping one to achieve longevity, wisdom, and ultimately, physical and spiritual immortality. It is at once a thing and"no-thing", a nameless force at work throughout the universe."

"Taoism, along with Confucianism, is one of the two main philosophies native to China. The principles of Taoism were first articulated in the Tao Te Ching, a collection of writings attributed to Lao Tzu, an accountant in the Chinese royal court, who is said to have written down his final thoughts as he prepared to leave society and embark on a life of meditation. His series of epigrams counseling simplicity, wisdom, and the importance of following"The Way"or The Tao was initially designed as a guide for the emperors and court nobles he had left behind.

The Tao is considered the primordial creative force of life which flows through nature, giving rise to the opposing forces of Yin (passive) and Yang (active). Quietly observing nature and its patterns and performing inner meditations can bring one closer to unity with the Tao, helping one to achieve longevity, wisdom, and ultimately, physical and spiritual immortality. It is at once a thing and"no-thing", a nameless force at work throughout the universe.

In Taoist philosophy, doing is less important than"non-doing", Desire for success, power and monetary gain run contrary to the wisdom of The Tao, which holds that everything in life changes and one should learn to flow and adapt with these changes. Powerful rulers should therefore be humble, the rich should comprehend poverty, and what appears to be bad luck may be good luck in disguise (and vice-versa).

To achieve immortality, one must nurture the"Three Treasures": one's vitality or original essence (jing), physical energy and strength (qi) and spirit or shen, through meditation, mental discipline, exercise, and proper lifestyle habits like proper diet and sleep. Depleting any or all of these essences can lead to disease and eventually death, according to Taoist wisdom. A key to meditation is the concept of wu wei, emptying the mind of all thought to let The Tao enter

Searching for The Secret of Life

With the support and encouragement of their emperors, the early Taoist sages engaged in the arts of alchemy in order to find an"elixir of life"Which would grant immortality. Along the way they discovered thousands of natural plants and compounds that now form the basis of Traditional Chinese herbal medicine.

Besides the Tao Te Ching, other seminal texts comprising the Five Classics of Taoist philosophy include The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine, or Huang Ti Nei Jing; the Chuang Tzu, an eponymous collection of stories illustrating the principles of the Tao Te Ching in a way that common folk could understand; and the I Ching, a book of prophesy. These books led to the widespread acceptance of Taoism throughout China and led to the development of a formal religion."

Taoism - Religion or Philosophy?

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