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Taoism Essay

948 words - 4 pages

Being a Chinese, I am surprised to see that Taoism is defined as a kind of religions and introduced in this humanities class that is comparing different world religions. Though I know that I do not learn about Taoism very well, I always thought I am correct that Taoism is a philosophy, rather than a religion, as far as I am a Chinese where the Taoism is found. To me, the Gods and Goddesses, like Emperor Jade, in religious Taoism are merely characters in fairy tales. I have never thought that these characters in myths would mean God of certain religion. And hence, I always thought Taoism is not a religion at all, but a philosophy that about life style. However, I was wrong. Taoism is in fact ...view middle of the document...

Tao De Jing teaches people how to live a daily life that is satisfying and bring happiness. It is not a book of regularities and disciplines that people have to follow and hence being able to be welcome to the heaven after death, or people will be sent to the hell if they do not follow the practices. It doesn't even require us to read the Tao De Jing every day to be a Taoist.Taoism is never a religion; it is no more than a philosophy that describes the path (i.e. Tao in Chinese) taken by all universe events. Tao is characterized by spontaneous creativity and by regular alternations of phenomena that proceed without effort, such as the facts that day is following night, spring after winter and summer after spring. Effortless action may be illustrated by the conduct of water, which unresistingly accepts the lowest level and wears away the hardest substance. Human beings, following the Tao, must abjure all striving. The idea is that we should go with the 'flow of water' around you and not struggle against the tide. When someone advances, yield. Be pliant and patient, and wait until you are in a strong position before advancing. This concept is also well known as "wu-wei"' or "not doing."Wu-wei is often the most confusing concept and most difficult to grasp its meaning in Taoism. However, it is a key principle in realizing our oneness with the Tao. The translation of wu-wei as 'not doing' often sounds like as if Taoists suggest laziness and Taoism is a passive philosophy. But wu-wei means...

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