Information for my community that explains and promotes Taoism
Taoism, also referred to as Daoism, is an ancient tradition of religious belief and philosophy that is rooted in the Chinese worldview and customs. Taoism means the way and it is a creative principle of the world where things are connected and unified. It was one of the most famous religions practiced in china (Smith, 1998). It was believed to have originated in china 2000 years ago. Taoism has many deities in the universe and they are worshipped in temples known as Taoists. It promotes spiritual immortality, righteousness, self development and achievement of harmony with nature. Its practices include meditation, fortune telling, chanting and reading of scriptures and Feng Shui. It is currently difficult to assess the population of people practicing Taoism in the universe after the communist revolution destroyed the non-Communist religion. After the destruction of the religion fifty years ago the numbers have reduced significantly. According to the 2001 census, Wales and England recorded 3500 Taoists.
Taoism provides ethical guidelines for acceptable behavior of both officials and individuals. This system originated in China during the Golden Age era of Chinese thought. It sought to promote peace and harmony of the society with their surroundings. It denotes that for everything that happens there has to be a driving force for it to exist. The literature of Taoism the Tao Te Ching contains teachings that are attributed to Lao Tzu. These writings have been used to build the philosophical Taoism. Institutionalized forms have evolved over time and shaped different schools of thought through the integration of practices and beliefs. These schools include school of naturalists, the five elements and concepts of Yang and Yin. These schools feature ancestors or Laozi immortals with various forms of exorcism rituals, divination, immortality and longevity. Taoist ethics vary depending on the type of school and emphasize on the simplicity of the three treasures which are moderation, humility, and compassion.
Taoism has influenced the Chinese culture for many centuries. The traditions practiced in the Chinese folk religion are not clear in the many styles such as feng shui, Chinese astrology, Chinese traditional medicine and various martial arts. This religion has a major influence on the surrounding continents such as Asia. Taoism grew gradually after the literature of Zhuangzi and Laozi. It was published by the emperor through the Chinese history. It took several years to be nominated as a state religion (Smith, 1998). Some fundamentals of Taoism have been drawn from the pre-historic religions which later emerged as the Taoist traditions. Individuals have used magic medicine to live longer and for exorcism purposes. Between the years 397 and 402, scriptures that were compiled have a great influence on the song dynasty. Aspects of Taoism have been synthesized consciously in the school of Neo-Confucian which later became an Imperial orthodoxy for bureaucratic purposes.
Confucian classics have been favored over the Taoist religion in the 20th century. The government has taken part in regulating its activities through an organization called Chinese Taoist Association. According to the Taoist religion, human beings are referred to as microcosm. For a person to understand how the universe operates, they have to understand themselves deeply. The ancient Taoist is associated with the universe and anything that is potentially harmful or likely to affect the world should be avoided (Smith, 1998). This can be achieved effortlessly if the doctrines of Taoism are followed to the latter. An important and recurrent element of the Taoist religion is exercises and rituals that align themselves spiritually through spiritual journeys which improve health and extend an individual’s life. This Taoism spirituality is known as alchemy and can be found in the early scriptures. Taoist principles have been considered as martial arts which have been a way of life for the Chinese community and the neighboring continent Asia.
Smith, H. (1998). The world's religions: our great wisdom traditions. New York: HarperOne.