Is Taoism a Religion or a Philosophy?

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I think it's a religion in disguise as a philosophy! Here's a blog post I recently did on the subject explaining it further... Basically "Tao" = God and "Te" = Holy Spirit. Read on and you'll see what I'm getting at...


“A way that can be walked is not the Way
A name that can be named is not the Name
Tao is both Named and Nameless
As Nameless, it is the origin of all things
As Named, it is the mother of all things”

To understand the Tao Te Ching, it is important to first understand the title. Ching basically means “book.” So it is the Book of Tao and Te.

Now, Tao and Te are a bit more difficult to describe, as the very nature of “Tao” is to be beyond description or mental understanding. Tao is often translated as “the way” as it is here in this verse. The first line actually reads “The Tao that is the Tao is not the Eternal/True Tao” (Tao ku Tao fei chang Tao in Chinese). That is to say the Tao that you are thinking of, is not what Tao is really like. That is because the real existing Tao, is something far beyond our mortal brain’s comprehension or imagination. I will talk about “Te” and how they relate to God and the Holy Spirit at the end.
The next line goes on the say that when you name something, it does not sum up what the thing is in actually (represented by the capital “N” in the last Name). So the first words of the Tao Te Ching serve to tell us that THE CONCEPTION YOU HAVE IN YOUR MIND do not represent TRUE reality.
Tao is BEYOND DUALITY, as it can be both named and nameless.
Nameless“, is nothingness, from which we understand that reality sprung (from the singularity – basically nothing – before the big bang). It is the “origin of all things.” … True enough.
As “Named“, once it has existence, it is the “mother” of all things. A similar role (in that they are both CREATING) but the word “mother’ implies a more physical and less spiritual origin. I think this is to say that Tao is the creator of both the spiritual and physical realms.
Now, if Tao sounds a lot like God to you, well… me too. In the Quran (the holy book of Islam) it says that God sent a messenger to every peoples. It is likely that Lao Tzu, the author of the Tao Te Ching, might have been one of those messengers, in my mind.
Now to talk about “Te” which is the EXPRESSION of Tao. Tao cannot be conceptualized or divided. A PART of Tao is not the TRUE Tao. So, when Tao interacts with things, this expression is called Te. I think what Lao Tzu was talking about, in Biblical/Quranic terms is the Holy Spirit. Is not the Holy Spirit the expression of God’s will on Earth?
So the “Tao Te Ching” translates (one way) to “The Book of Tao and its Expression,” or “The Book of God and the Holy Spirit” if you prefer :) (Which I do!)
We’ll find that the Tao Te Ching does not always express Tao in ways that correlate directly with the Biblical conception of God. But I think it’s important to remember that God (the TRUE God in reality, not our ideas and conceptions about Him) is far beyond our mortal mind’s ability to conceive of. And, as God cannot be divided, if you don’t understand God in His ENTIRETY, then you don’t really understand God at all.
Frustrating isn’t it! Ah, but it makes things interesting and reminds us to stay humble.
May the Force (God?!) be with you. Hmmm?
 

DavidMcCann

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Eva Wong (practitioner of the Complete Reality School of Daoism) wrote
Ceremony is an important part of Taoist practice. Ceremonies are performed to honor the deities and renew the bond between humanity and the sacred powers.
That sounds like a religion to me. The philosopher Robin Collingwood wrote
There are no religions without a god or gods: what have passed by that name have either been philosophies, or religions whose gods have escaped the eye of the observer, or a kind of mechanical contrivance put on the market by a deluded or fraudulent inventor.
Choose your own examples!
 

RJM

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Taoism is a religion

Confucianism is a philosphy
Can you please explain Taoism in greater detail? I am very interested to know more about it.
 

gYx2k

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Can you please explain Taoism in greater detail? I am very interested to know more about it.

To the best of my knowledge, Taoism just a more primitive version of Judaism/Christianity

Tao (道) literally translate to "the way"

Taoism believe there're 9 sphere of heaven which is similar to Abrahamic religions (Christianity and Judaism)

the "trinity" (三清)worshiped in Taoism also somewhat similar to the "trinity" from Christian and Hinduism beliefs

Taoism Trinity

太清太上老君
玉清元始天尊
上清灵宝天尊
 

gYx2k

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I think it's a religion in disguise as a philosophy! Here's a blog post I recently did on the subject explaining it further... Basically "Tao" = God and "Te" = Holy Spirit. Read on and you'll see what I'm getting at...


“A way that can be walked is not the Way
A name that can be named is not the Name
Tao is both Named and Nameless
As Nameless, it is the origin of all things
As Named, it is the mother of all things”


To understand the Tao Te Ching, it is important to first understand the title. Ching basically means “book.” So it is the Book of Tao and Te.

Now, Tao and Te are a bit more difficult to describe, as the very nature of “Tao” is to be beyond description or mental understanding. Tao is often translated as “the way” as it is here in this verse. The first line actually reads “The Tao that is the Tao is not the Eternal/True Tao” (Tao ku Tao fei chang Tao in Chinese). That is to say the Tao that you are thinking of, is not what Tao is really like. That is because the real existing Tao, is something far beyond our mortal brain’s comprehension or imagination. I will talk about “Te” and how they relate to God and the Holy Spirit at the end.
The next line goes on the say that when you name something, it does not sum up what the thing is in actually (represented by the capital “N” in the last Name). So the first words of the Tao Te Ching serve to tell us that THE CONCEPTION YOU HAVE IN YOUR MIND do not represent TRUE reality.
Tao is BEYOND DUALITY, as it can be both named and nameless.
Nameless“, is nothingness, from which we understand that reality sprung (from the singularity – basically nothing – before the big bang). It is the “origin of all things.” … True enough.
As “Named“, once it has existence, it is the “mother” of all things. A similar role (in that they are both CREATING) but the word “mother’ implies a more physical and less spiritual origin. I think this is to say that Tao is the creator of both the spiritual and physical realms.
Now, if Tao sounds a lot like God to you, well… me too. In the Quran (the holy book of Islam) it says that God sent a messenger to every peoples. It is likely that Lao Tzu, the author of the Tao Te Ching, might have been one of those messengers, in my mind.
Now to talk about “Te” which is the EXPRESSION of Tao. Tao cannot be conceptualized or divided. A PART of Tao is not the TRUE Tao. So, when Tao interacts with things, this expression is called Te. I think what Lao Tzu was talking about, in Biblical/Quranic terms is the Holy Spirit. Is not the Holy Spirit the expression of God’s will on Earth?
So the “Tao Te Ching” translates (one way) to “The Book of Tao and its Expression,” or “The Book of God and the Holy Spirit” if you prefer :) (Which I do!)
We’ll find that the Tao Te Ching does not always express Tao in ways that correlate directly with the Biblical conception of God. But I think it’s important to remember that God (the TRUE God in reality, not our ideas and conceptions about Him) is far beyond our mortal mind’s ability to conceive of. And, as God cannot be divided, if you don’t understand God in His ENTIRETY, then you don’t really understand God at all.
Frustrating isn’t it! Ah, but it makes things interesting and reminds us to stay humble.
May the Force (God?!) be with you. Hmmm?


Tao 道 is passive and Karmic power = Law of Universe

Te 德 is active or assertive power = God
 
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RJM

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To the best of my knowledge, Taoism just a more primitive version of Judaism/Christianity

Tao (道) literally translate to "the way"

Taoism believe there're 9 sphere of heaven which is similar to Abrahamic religions (Christianity and Judaism)

the "trinity" (三清)worshiped in Taoism also somewhat similar to the "trinity" from Christian and Hinduism beliefs

Taoism Trinity

太清太上老君
玉清元始天尊
上清灵宝天尊
Possible to translate those symbols into English, please, lol?

Have you read this:
https://terebess.hu/zen/mesterek/Taoist-Yoga-Alchemy-and-Immortality.pdf

Also the I Ching. Do you know anything about the I Ching?
 

Cino

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I consult the I Ching occasionally. Collected myself a set of yarrow stalks, usually read the Wilhelm translation.

I also like to compare with Nigel Richmond's unique way of understanding the lines.

You mentioned that you no longer use the I Ching, RJM but would you share your story it? I'm curious.
 

RJM

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I consult the I Ching occasionally. Collected myself a set of yarrow stalks, usually read the Wilhelm translation.

I also like to compare with Nigel Richmond's unique way of understanding the lines.

You mentioned that you no longer use the I Ching, RJM but would you share your story it? I'm curious.
I value the I Ching highly, but as a manual of divination it should be used very sparingly, if at all, because in the end if someone is using divination they will start trying to get the answer they want to get, and that opens a person up to 'delusions' -- although I do believe the I Ching is about the purest of all divination systems. It will simply close you off, it will not allow itself to become a channel for lesser astral forces in the same way that the Tarot does.

I dislike Tarot. I believe Tarot is extremely dangerous -- on the same level as ouija -- it is a quick slippery slope to mental illness caused by 'possession' with demons and astral forces, imo.

Something like that. But the truth is that now I don't have any desire to know the future. What does it matter? All the truth I need is expressed in Proverbs 3:5-7:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not upon your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.

That's everything for me. That's all. there's nothing more I need to know.

However, on an 'esoteric' level, the I Ching -- Book of Changes -- is a complete cosmology, imo. There is a lot of wisdom in the I Ching.

upload_2019-7-6_13-48-7.png


For instance, here the two different arrangements of the eight trigrams express how the Early Heaven (spirit) polarities, change to the Later Heaven (nature) pattern, where in nature fire and water replace the spirit heaven/earth yin/yang vertical polarity. You can see how the Hindu Swastika derives from this interaction between spirit and nature, which is at the core of the I Ching.

There is so much to know and learn from the I Ching. The Book of Changes. There is everything in there, imo. But I believe it's best to avoid trying to use it for 'fortune telling'.

I prefer the Richard Wilhelm version.
 
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RJM

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But if a person insists on using the I Ching for divination, I believe the best way is to refine the 'search' to only one question, the answer to which is either yes or no.

Often by then it won't be necessary to ask it?
 
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RJM

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I also like to compare with Nigel Richmond's unique way of understanding the lines.
Thanks @Cino I have downloaded the pdf. I have a couple of other I Ching pdf's on my phone, by other people, if you're interested I'll try to post links here?
 

Cino

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Thanks @Cino I have downloaded the pdf. I have a couple of other I Ching pdf's on my phone, by other people, if you're interested I'll try to post links here?
Yes, definitely! Thanks!

By the way, here's a link to where Richmond's "The I Ching Oracle" can be downloaded - not pretty to look at, as it's scanned typewritten pages, but it contains more information on his (thoroughly unorthodox) approach.

https://www.biroco.com/yijing/richmond.htm
 
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stranger

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I have used the I Ching only once, a few years ago. Not sure if I will ever need it again but it's possible. Very interesting thread/discussion. With regard to the Tao, I just can't help but love it, it just speaks to me and I find it incredibly soothing.
 
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RJM

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Yes, definitely! Thanks!

By the way, here's a link to where Richmond's "The I Ching Oracle" can be downloaded - not pretty to look at, as it's scanned typewritten pages, but it contains more information on his (thoroughly unorthodox) approach.

https://www.biroco.com/yijing/richmond.htm
Thank you.

Go to
http://www.hermetica.info/

Scroll down to and download free pdf:
Yijing Studies (Yixue 易學)
The Book of Changes: Yijing (I Ching) - Word By Word
Volumes One + Two. Now an unsecured, printable PDF. 1100 pages.

Also this stuff from there:
Yijing Hexagram Names and Core Meanings
易經卦名和中義 Yìjīng guàmíng hé zhōngyì
134 pages. (Revised 1-12)

Yixue Bibliography
An ongoing, collaborative project.
177 pages. (Rev. 8-24-18)

Especially:
Yijing Links
6 pages. (Revised 8-18)

Also look for:
The Complete I Ching
The Definitive Translation by the Taoist Master Aped Huang


Published by:
Inner Traditions Rochester, Vermont

Free pdf available by googling around a bit, lol ...
 
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