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Transcript of Taoism Presentation
After the communist takeover China in 1949, Taoism was banned. But after the end of the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese government allow Taoism to be revived. Belief: The most important thing about the Tao (the Way) is how it works in the world, and how human beings relate to it. All things are unified and connected in the Tao.
The Tao does NOT a god, but include many deities. Important Concepts:
- the source of creation
- the ultimate
- the inexpressible and indefinable
- the unnameable
- the natural universe as a whole
- the way of nature as a whole -The One is the essence of Tao, the essential energy of life, the possession of which enables things and beings to be truly themselves and in accord with the Tao.
-Wu and Yu are non-being and being, or not-having and having.
-Te is an awareness of the Tao together with the capabilities that enable a person to follow the Tao.
-Wu Wei, the method to follow the Tao. It means 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. Life of balance and harmony.
-Yin Yang is the principle of natural and complementary forces, patterns and things that depend on one another and do not make sense on their own. They are in harmony with each other. Ch'i or qi is the cosmic vital energy that enables beings to survive and links them to the universe as a whole. -Immortality is that as the Taoist draws closer and closer to nature throughout their life, death is just the final step in achieving complete unity with the universe.
-Many view points, no true knowledge/truth. Different cultures of Taoism:
-Taoism is often taught in the West as an atheist or agnostic philosophy, but in China and Taiwan particularly, Taoism still functions like any conventional religion, and not like an abstract philosophy of life.
-Most Taoist temple practices are designed to regulate the relationship between humanity and the world of gods and spirits, and to organize that relationship, and the relationships in the spirit world, in harmony with the Tao.
-The celestial masters (Tianshi or Zhengyi) - Temple Daoism are centered in Taiwan. The monastic branch of the Complete Perfection School (Quanzhen) has its headquarters in Beijing.
Taoism was adopted by the Hippy movement of the 1960s as teaching an alternative way of life that promoted the freedom and autonomy of the individual over the constraints of society and government. However, Taoism does NOT teach this. Taoist priests must study music, liturgy and ritual, as well as meditation and other physical practices; and they must learn Taoist theology and the spiritual hierarchy of the Taoist deities. They were robes as for their clothing. Practices:
-It disapproves of killing, stealing, lying and promiscuity, and promotes altruistic, helpful and kindly behavior.
-Taoists believe such good behavior is an essential part not only of self-improvement but of improving the world as a whole.
-They tend not to initiate action - but wait for events to make action necessary - and avoid letting their own desires and compulsions push them into doing things.
-Taoist alchemy is concerned with transforming human beings so as to give them longer life and bring them closer to the Tao. Physical practices.
Keep the body pure for the spiritual body to be pure too. Meditation create mental stillness and enhance mindfulness. Wu dang martial art.
Classical Taoist teaching recommends abstaining from alcohol, meat, beans and grains. Personal and community ethics: Changing oneself in that way will make the world a better place, because as a person behaves well towards other people and the world, the community will respond by becoming better itself. Yin Yang which teaches that masculine and feminine are complementary, inseparable and equal. Politics: The good leader achieves this by living virtuously in private, and living publicly so as to influence his people for the good. Important Figures:
-Lao Tzu (Laozi) is traditionally described as the founder of Taoism, but modern writers think he is a legendary figure, and that the book attributed to him - the Tao Te Ching - is actually a collection of writings by many different wise people.
-Chuang Tzu has a book attributed to him, called the Chuang-Tzu after the practice of referring to Chinese texts by the names of their authors. Prayer: Reciting passages from the Tao Te Ching has been a spiritual practice for over 2000 years. Talismans are objects thought to have the power to bring good luck. They can also be used to remove or keep away evil spirits. Taoist rituals involve purification, meditation and offerings to deities. One major Taoist ritual is the chiao (jiao), a rite of cosmic renewal, which is itself made up of several rituals. It also are used to regulate ch'i and balance the flow of yin and yang both for individuals and the wider community. Southern Taoism is an offshoot of Cheng-i Taoism, the only liturgical tradition surviving today. Believed to harmonize the local community with the cosmos. They also perform healing rituals and exorcisms in public. Popular in Taiwan and South China. Northern Taoism grew out of the Ch'üan-chen tradition. It emphasizes moral and spiritual discipline and also continues self-preservation practices that date back to the classical Nei-yeh. Beijing. Taoism is not a centrally organized and structured religion, but consists of many schools or sects that follow a common theme. They are Literati Daoists, Communal Daoists, and Yangsheng. Tao Te Ching found in the 3rd century BCE of around 5,000 Chinese characters is divided into 81 brief chapters filled with short, enigmatic paragraphs of advice on life, and poetic descriptions of the nature of the universe. Taoists regard the Tao Te Ching as the essential guide to living a full spiritual and ethical life. Lao Tzu (Laozi) is sometime credited for it, but the book is probably a collection of the proverbs and sayings of many anonymous people over a long period of time. Chuang Tzu (Zhuangzi), it is a collection of the wisdom of many different people. Work Cited:
- "Taoism".Religions.BBC,2012.Web.6 Nov 2012
- Google Images