Religions - Taoism



Taoism began around 500 BC in China.


Lao-tzu whom Confucius described as a dragon riding the wind and clouds.


The Tao-te-Ching, or "Book of Reasons and Virtue," is among the shortest of all scriptures, containing only 5,000 words. Also central are the sacred writings of Chuang-tsu.


Estimated at 50 million, mostly in China and other parts of Asia.


Taoism is a potently mystical tradition, so interpretations have been diverse and its sects are many.


The Tao, or Way, has never been put down in words; rather it is left for the seeker to discover within. Lao-tzu himself wrote, 'The Tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao'. Taoism is concerned with the man's spiritual level of being, and in the Tao-te-Ching the awakened man is compared to bamboo: upright, simple and useful outside - and hollow inside. Effulgent emptiness is the spirit of Tao, but no words will capture its spontaneity, its eternal newness. Adherents of the faith are taught to see the Tao everywhere, in all beings and in all things. Taoist shrines are the homes of divine beings that guide the religion, bless and protect worshipers. A uniquely Taoist concept is wu-wei, none-action. This does not mean no action, but rather not exceeding spontaneous action that accords with needs as they naturally arise; not indulging in calculated action and not acting so as to exceed the very minimum required for effective results. If we keep still and listen to the inner promptings of the Tao, we shall act effortlessly, efficiently, hardly giving the matter a thought. We will be ourselves, as we are.

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