Taoism is an ancient tradition of philosophy and religious belief that is deeply rooted in Chinese customs and worldview, originated in China 2000 years ago.
It is a religion of unity and opposites; Yin and Yang. The principle of Yin Yang sees the world as filled with complementary forces action and non-action, light and dark, hot and cold, and so on
Origin of Taoism
Taoism is the first religion originated from China.
Taoism has no founder and no founding date. It grew out of various religious and philosophical traditions in ancient China, including shamanism and nature religion.
Early religious Taoism was rooted in the ideas of the Taoist thinkers, to which were added local religious rituals and beliefs, both to provide examples of Taoist philosophy, and integrate Taoism into the existing world views of all levels of the Chinese people.
Taoism was first recognised as a religious system during the 4th and 3rd centuries BCE. The publication of the Tao Te Ching and other works provided a focus for Taoist thinking.
Taoism = Philosophy + Local beliefs (Culture)
Philosophy of Tao
The Tao is the ultimate creative principle of the universe. All things are unified and connected in the Tao.
It is also regarded as the way of nature.
The way of nature includes: Wu Wei living by or going along with the true nature of the world - or at least without obstructing the Tao - letting things take their natural course Wu Ji lives of balance and harmony, this doesn't stop a person living a proactive life but their activities should fit into the natural pattern of the universe,
Things related to Tao
Feng Shui Jin Dan Ba Gua Fortune telling Tai Chi
achieving harmony or union with nature selfdevelopme nt TAO being 'virtuous' the pursuit of spiritual immortality
Taoism's rich palette of liturgy and ritual makes the Tao more real to human beings and provides a way in which humanity can align itself more closely to the Tao to produce better lives for all.
Some followers believe that the ways of Tao can lead them to immortality and eternity. Their main objective is to gain immortality so that they can achieve eternity, like goddesses.
What do Taoists do?
Honor Heavens and Gods Worship and respect their ancestors Practice monastery Refining of inner self Practice Taoist rituals Save people Benefit others
In practice Taoism recommends the same sorts of moral behaviour to its followers as other religions. It disapproves of killing, stealing, lying and promiscuity, and promotes altruistic, helpful and kindly behaviour.
Cultivate the Tao within oneself; and one's virtue will be perfected. Cultivate it within the household, and one's virtue will be abundant. Cultivate it within the neighbourhood, and one's virtue will be enduring. Cultivate it within the nation, and one's virtue will be overflowing. Cultivate it within the entire world, and one's virtue will be universal. Tao Te Ching 54 **Philosophically, the virtues of Tao can benefit the universe.
Taoists practice good virtues so that They can become immortal and godly They can avoid punishments from gods of hell **These two conventional objectives have made Taoism highly popular in traditional societies
The Concept of Hell
Ancient Taoism had no concept of Hell, as Morality was seen to be a man-made distinction and there was no concept of an immaterial soul. In its home country China, where Taoism adopted tenets of other religions, popular belief endows Taoist Hell with many deities and spirits who punish sin in a variety of horrible ways. This is also considered Karma for Taoism. Incorporating ideas from Taoism and Buddhism as well as traditional Chinese folk religion, Diyu is a kind of purgatory place which serves not only to punish but also to renew spirits ready for their next incarnation.
Taoism sees hell as a kind of boot-camp where most people would go through in the almost eternal cycle of birth, life, death and reincarnation. The good guys would pass through the 10 courts of hell and its 18 levels with little or no suffering while the evildoers would get their due, such as being burned by fire, boiled in hot water, tongues cut, etc images of these processes are duly represented in the many paintings hung in the shrine of hell. In addition, the God of Hell, in Taoism, is not evil Satan, but a mere administrator who have to perform the task of reforming the evildoers.
What happens when Taoists sin? Have a peek at Chinas Taoist Temple- Cheng Huang Miao
The Tao Culture
Taoism is considered as animism. Lets wiki animism: Animism encompasses the beliefs that there is no separation between the spiritual and physical (or material) world, and souls or spirits exist, not only in humans, but also animals, plants, rocks, geographic features such as mountains or rivers, or other entities of the natural environment, including thunder, wind, and shadows. Animism may further attribute souls to abstract concepts such as words, true names, or metaphors in mythology.
The Gods of Tao
Taoism includes many deities, that are worshipped in Taoist temples, they are part of the universe and depend, like everything, on the Tao.
The Three Purities
Jade Emperor Yu Huang Da Di
The Eight Immortals
Goddess of the Gates Men shen
Goddess of Justice Guan Di
The Three Star-gods of Happiness, Rank and Affluence, and Longevity
Taoism's Nine Cardinal Principles
Taoism is comprised of several texts, including the Tao Te Ching, Chuang Tzu, the Book of Lieh-Tzu, the Canon of Reason and Virtue and additional Taoist texts. The most central and well known book of Taoism is the Tao Te Ching.
9 Principles: 1. The Goal is Contentment 2. Oneness A Holistic View 3. Manifestations of the Tao 4. Nature is Unkind 5. Society versus the Individual 6. Humanity and Justice are Artificial Values 7. Non-interference 8. Camouflage 9. Desires and Limitations
1. The Goal is Contentment Lao Tzu defined contentment as the only measure by which we should gauge personal success and how to use it as a filter through which society's values should be passed. By adhering to this strict test, dysfunctional impulses, like fame and fortune, can be warded off. Finally, the religious aspects of Taoism teach us that a content physical existence will best prepare the soul for that time when the body is cast off. Whether physical, mental, or metaphysical, contentment is the ultimate goal.
2. Oneness A Holistic View Taoism is a philosophical and religious system built on a holistic view of reality. It unifies all existence with principles that cut across both the seen and unseen dimensions. Its famous yin/yang symbol represents universal oneness with black and white colors rotating in a circle. This iconic image represents the duality of all phenomena whether summer and winter, male and female, or life and