What is Taoism (Daoism)?

Discussion in 'Tao' started by sunwukong, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. sunwukong

    sunwukong New Member

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    Taoism is a religion developed in China, but its ideas are applicable to the whole world. Now including China, the world is in the study of Taoism, but there are some questions to which many people do not give the correct answers. For example, what is the core of Taoist beliefs, and what's the use of Taoism?

    Wikipedia says that “Taoist propriety and ethics emphasize the Three Jewels of the Tao: compassion, moderation, and humility, while Taoist thought generally focuses on nature, the relationship between humanity and the cosmos; health and longevity; and wu wei (action through inaction). Harmony with the Universe, or the source thereof (Tao), is the intended result of many Taoist rules and practices.”

    I think that Wikipedia's description on the Dao, should represent the mainstream for understanding of the Daoism in the Western world. I cannot say that the mainstream is wrong, but I would like to point out that, in terms of truly getting into the Dao, it is not enough to only stay at this level. In the description on Wikipedia, human and natural are still two separate concepts, and it emphasizes a harmony between human and nature. In fact, the essence of the Dao is that human and nature has always been one thing; people just a manifestation of nature, a part of nature. On the other hand, one should find one’s “True Self”. The True Self is beyond the human body, and spiritual. Human body is just a dwelling place for the spirit. Finding the True Self is the primary way which can lead one to the world of Dao. People, who live in the Dao, will stay away from suffering, and enjoy happiness.
     
  2. DrumR

    DrumR New Member

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    Greetings sunwukong

    I would agree that the "objective" Western separation of humans and nature is much the greater part of the problem for Westerners to their understanding of the Way. Secondly, I would postulate that the concept of using intermediaries, common to the Western religions, is also an impediment to the potential realization of many concepts of the Way. The combination of the two may prove to be quite daunting to many who may be initially
    attracted to the philosophical concepts and would know more concerning the Way.

    Yet the religious aspects of Taoism is not all that familiar to these discussion groups whose main impetus is based upon the philosophical branch.

    I would welcome any insight you might provide concerning Taoism the religion.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011
  3. sunwukong

    sunwukong New Member

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    Thanks, I am a Chinese, so my English is not so good. But I will try my best to address what I know about the Way.

    I would like to say that in my opinion, understanding the philosophical branch of Taoism is enough. Many other branches can be ignored.
     
  4. gYx2k

    gYx2k New Member

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    IMHO, Taoism just a more primitive version of Judaism/Christianity

    Tao (道) literally translate to "the way"

    the "trinity" (三清)worshiped by Taoism is 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
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
  5. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Muddy water, when still, gradually becomes clear. Be still. Let your mud settle and your mind clear. Wait quietly until the right action comes naturally.
    (Tao te Ching 41)
     
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  6. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Like the quote above I always saw the dao as taking reality in nature and turning it into an allegory for the human condition...

    I need help with this thou
     
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  7. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Hey Wil, do you want to learn Taoism?
     
  8. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Define learn...
     
  9. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    太难了!!
     
  10. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Sounds like a challenge.
     
  11. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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  12. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    It has been said.
     
  13. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    [​IMG]
     
  14. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    RJ I agree completely!
     
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  15. Nasruddin

    Nasruddin Active Member

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    Contemplating the way is one thing. Seeing it all around, you become aware of the intrinsic nature of things and their non thingness. The eternal duality, the myriad forms. There is a deep peace in seeing how things arise have their time and then return to nowhere and nothing. The study of Taoism is very interesting, but I began to notice that in Taoism, like with most human constructs and models, we begin to discuss and argue the constructs and models and forget to pay attention to the actual thing we are talking about. I think the first lines of the Tao Te Ching mention this.
     
  16. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    And the other thing?
     
  17. Nasruddin

    Nasruddin Active Member

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    Is everything I wrote after that :)
    You see, most of the time when people begin a discussion here at IO, I've noticed quite a bit of deconstruction of the form, and little attention to the substance.
    Taoism, Buddhism, Advaita Vedanta, all of these are the ideas we overlay onto reality. What I propose is more attention to what is than what we think about what is. I know this sounds absurdly obvious, but it's been my experience that many people tend to ignore the obvious and the vast worlds that lie within it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2020
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  18. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Here is Laozi’s (LaoTzu’s) first line in the Tao Te Ching (道德经)

    道可道, 非常道。 (Dào kě dào, fēi cháng dào, )

    I have my interpretation of this line. I am curious what your interpretation is. Also, this is only the first line, so you may be referring to the first three or five lines or so.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2020
  19. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    I am one of the many people then. Good to know I am not alone!

    And here I was, wondering whether you were really saying that there is just one thing...

    "Let us dream of evanescence, and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things".
     
  20. Nasruddin

    Nasruddin Active Member

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    I think we understand each other. That is essentially what I want to get across, there really is only one thing. It's just that when people begin to discuss systems of philosophical thought it is easy to get lost and forget that everything that is or was or will be is now. Getting lost in the illusion of things is wonderful good fun, but coming back to the awareness of no thing brings me peace. I think maybe it's because that in that moment I don't have to be a me or have a story or anything.
     

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