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Transcript of Taoism
The sacred books of Taoism are the Tao Te Ching –
The Book of the Way – which is the central text, along with the Chuang Tzu, which is named after its author.
Wu wei means ‘actionless action. It is considered the highest virtue in Taoism. Wu wei can be described by letting nature take it’s course, allow all to be what it was created to be and what it naturally will be.
Lao Tze is the founder of Taoism in China around 550 BCE.
The Three Jewels of Taoism are:
The term Tao finds its etymology in Chinese meaning ‘way, path, right way (of life), reason’.
A Taoist is one who follows the Tao.
Taoists believe when one dies they become one with the Tao.
Gods are not personalized in Religious Taoism. There is no God that can solve any of life’s problems.
Taoists seek solutions through personal meditation and observation.
Everything in nature has aspects of yin and yang.
When yin and yang are equally present everything is calm.
This is the basis for the great emphasis on balance
Yin is the female aspect of everything in nature – the negative, female, dark aspect.
Yang is the male aspect of everything in nature – the positive, male, light, good aspect.
Ch’i (Qi) is a fundamental concept in Taoism.
Ch’i is a part of everything that exists, seen as the life force or spiritual energy.
Less than 1% of the world’s population is Taoist.
Today Taoism is practiced by about five million people in:
The holy city is
It is not uncommon for Taoism to be combined with Confucianism and Buddhism.
They believe compassion leads to courage, moderation leads to generosity and humility leads to leadership.
All are necessary
to return to the Tao.
The Four Principles of Taoism are:
Principle of harmonious action,
Principle of oneness,
Principle of cyclical growth, and
Principle of dynamic balance.
In Taoism, Te is similar to destiny,
Taoists believe that all is in the process of coming into being, maturing and then decaying and returning to the Tao.
In Religious Taoism, Taoists believe that at death, humans revert back to state of non-being. Death is the return from life back into the original unity of the Tao.
In Religious Taoism each of the deities is believed to be a manifestation of some aspect of the Tao.
Religious Taoism is a pantheistic religion.
The Tao is the universal life force or the underlying nature of all things that exist in the world. Often translated into English as The Way.
The Taijitu is the term for the yin yang symbol and other symbols referring to these principles of balance.
Religious Taoism involves various traditional religious beliefs and is mostly centered in China.
The Taoist term for their house of worship is a temple.
There is no set day of the week for worship.
Shamans are religious persons who perform a number of different services in Taoism.
The definition of a sage is a perfectly balanced individual.
At the heart of Taoist ritual is the concept of bringing order and harmony to many layers of the cosmos.
One major Taoist ritual is the chiao (jiao),
a rite of cosmic renewal – reminder of continuing renewal of life,
which is itself made up of several rituals.
Temple rituals can be used to regulate ch’i and balance the flow of yin and yang both for individuals and the wider community.
The Eight Immortals are names given to some Taoist deities.
The Jade Emperor is High God of Taoists and rules other Gods.
Its core represents creation of the universe,
its eight figures the law of change.
Red crowned cranes
In Japan, they are the symbol of long life, peace, happiness and fidelity.
Wu-wei is the primary virtue of Taoism –
non-action leads to action, let nature take its course, let things be what they were created to be.
and the language of origin is Chinese.
Remember: pantheism stresses the immanent nature of God - God is always ising - God is all and in all.
Philosophical Taoism concentrates on the Tao Te Ching rather than any religious elements.
Philosophical and Religious Taoism are two sects in Taoism.
In Chinese the two groups would be called
and Tao Jia
Summary of Taoist Beliefs
as well as virtue.
It is the smallest of the 9 world religions we are studying.