Religion / Taoism


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Autor:  anton  18 October 2010
Tags:  Taoism
Words: 844   |   Pages: 4
Views: 318


All throughout history, a great influence over the world has been religion. This religion is not common to most of the world, but is known by most in china. Taoism is a relatively old religion, It became a faith in 440 CE, when it was adopted as a state religion. Taoists history, beliefs, and religious effects, are the main topics that are going to be discussed throughout this paper. Taoism is translated into English simply as the way or path (“History of Taoism”). Every Taoist believes the goal in life is to become one with the Tao (“Taoist Beliefs”). Religious Taoism began while a movement of organized religious communities developed (“Religious Taoism”).

Taoism is pronounced (Dow-ism), and it means path or the way. Taoism very vague and has to be experienced, it “refers to a power which envelops, surrounds and flows through all things, living and non-living. The Tao regulates natural processes and nourishes balance in the universe. It embodies the harmony of opposites (i.e. there would be no love without hate, no light without dark, and no male without female.)” (“History of Taoism”). Taoism is known to be founded by Lao-Tsu (604-531 B.C.E.), a follower of Confucius. He was looking for a way that would keep away the constant feudal warfare and other problems that would interrupt society during his lifetime. Others believe that he is a mythical character. Taoism began as a mixture of psychology and philosophy but grew into a religious faith in 440 CE, when it was adopted as a state religion. Taoism, along with Buddhism and Confucianism, was one of the three great religions of China. With the fall of the Ching Dynasty in 1911, support for Taoism ended. Much of the heritage was destroyed during the next period of time. After the Communist victory in 1949, religious freedom was extremely restricted. The Cultural Revolution in Chine lasted from 1966 to 1976, this destroyed most of the remaining Taoist heritage. (“History of Taoism”)

Taoism is believed to be the first cause of the universe; it is the force that flows through all life. Each Taoism believer’s goal is to be one with the Tao. “The Tao surrounds everyone and therefore everyone must listen to find enlightenment. (“Taoist Beliefs”) Priesthood views the many deities of the one Dao, “which could not be represented as an image or a particular thing.” The issue of one certain god is strange to them, as is the thought of the creation of the universe; Hence, they do not pray as Christians do. In contrast with the beliefs the priesthood, most of the people have believed that “The gods in heaven acted like and were treated like the officials in the world of men; worshiping the gods was a kind of rehearsal of attitudes toward secular authorities. On the other hand, the demons and the ghosts of Hell acted like and were treated like the bullies, outlaws, and threatening strangers in the real world” (“Taoist Beliefs”) Taoists also believed the five main organs of the body represent the five parts of the sky: water, fire, wood, metal, and earth. (“Taoist Beliefs”)

Religious Taoism seizes a variety of themes and spiritual techniques associated with the common objective of immortality. There were hints in the texts of the philosophical tradition to the extension of life and the protection from harm possible for those in harmony with the Tao. The lives of such “perfected ones”, or “hsien” (immortals) as they came to be called, became the center of religious Taoism. Lao-Tsu became defined as a leader of sacred texts and a savior, and techniques of spiritual attainment. Techniques for achieving immortality included dietary regimens, breath control and meditation, sexual disciplines, alchemy, the use of magical talismans, and the search for the fabled isle of Bliss. Dietary concerns focused in necessary nourishment while abstaining from foods that benefitted the three worms in the body which caused disease, old age, and death. In meditation, the Taoist visualized the thousands of gods that inhabited the human body as they inhabited the universe. Through breath control and the movement of breath throughout the fields of the body, the individual both approached immortality in this life and achieved it finally of the body, the individual both approached immortality in this life and achieved it finally through the nourishment within a mysterious “embryonic body,” which became the immortal self after death. (“Religious Taoism”)

Reviewing, you can see that Taoism has had a great impact throughout time. This effect is shown overtime, whether it is written in history books, magazines, or textbooks. Taoism is also shown in the many beliefs that were spread, or that we still study today. Also Taoism has had a great influence on Chinese culture religiously. If It was not for Taoism there is no telling what could have happened to its followers, maybe they would just of joined a different religion, or never existed at all what do you think?

Works Cited

“History of Taoism” “Taoist Restoration Society”

April 27, 2005

“Religious Taoism” “Major Religions of the World”

April 27, 2005

“Taoist Beliefs” “Britannica encyclopedia/gthursby”

April 27, 2005

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