An Overview Of Taoism Religion And Its Role In Chinese Culture

Taoism is one of the five major religions in China. Taoism is also not pronounced with a “T” but like Daoism because of the Chinese pronunciation. Taoism teaches that bad deeds will result in sickness, bad luck, and illness. It is fairly diverse because it is based on various traditions and East Asian cultures. Taoism is also fairly keen on being compassionate and is mentioned many times in the reading. Taoism's main goal was to regain harmony in societies. Taoism is still a very important part and structure in China and is also practiced in large modern cities such as Hong Kong or Taiwan.

Taoism is a religion that is very big on culture and tradition. Taoism has made a big influence and impact on Chinese culture over the course of centuries. One example of this is through their holidays which have become very popular all over the world especially in China. One example of this is The Lantern Festival. The Lantern Festival happens every year on February 26th thousands of paper lanterns also called lampion are released into the sky in hopes of a bright future as well as wealth and happiness. Another popular holiday that was influenced by Taoism is the Chinese New Year. The Chinese New Year takes place every year on the 15th day of the lunar month (a month measured between successive new moons) which is simply to celebrate the beginning of a New Year which is usually spent with family, friends, eating special meals, and fireworks. Another popular thing that originated from Taoism was Chinese medicine and acupuncture. It was founded by a 12th-century monk; Chang San Feng. Acupuncture is still very popular and is the practice of inserting thin needles into the skin in the right places to hit certain nerves to relax the body. This shows that Taoism and its culture has made a huge impact on China and the rest of the world.

Amongst many other things, ethics are very important in any religion, especially Taoism. The key ethics of Taoism are harmony, balance, selflessness, humility, simplicity, and detachment. Overall the ethics of Taoism point more towards being, not doing, living life and not thinking too much about anything. All of these ethics also are very calm and none of them point towards violence and the quite opposite with them trying to help us become as calm and peaceful as possible. These ethics are all linked together in one way or another. For example, detachment and simplicity are telling us to look more at what is right in front of you and not the big picture. Another example is harmony and balance, that without balance, harmony will not happen because if something is imbalanced then one person will have more leaving the other person unhappy at what they got. The ethics of Taoism are very important and all linked with each other.

Taoism is a religion that believes in simplicity and being in harmony with nature. To symbolize this there are four main principles to Taoism. The first is “Follow the Earth” which means to not overthink things and to just go with what you think is right and everything will be okay. The second main principle of Taoism is Harmony with Nature, which is also one of the main points and the main focus of Taoism. It also almost directly ties into the previous point “Follow the Earth” with the meaning being to not disturb anything you shouldn’t and to just let everything and everybody be. The third principle of Taoism is “Too much success”. This quote can have many meanings one being that with too much success comes nothing good. It also ties in with the second principle by breaking the rule of just letting things be since success is a direct action that needs to be thought out. The fourth and final principle of Taoism is “Affluence in biodiversity”. Taoism has a unique sense of value in that it judges affluence by the number of different species. If all things in the universe grow well, then a society is a community of affluence.

Besides, all of the main points went over there is still the history of Taoism that is being to be discussed. Taoism is a Chinese philosophy attributed to Lao Tzu around 500 BC which contributed to the folk religion of the people that lived in the more rural areas of China. Taoism is considered a philosophy and a religion since it is a way of 7 and teaches us how to live and since they have beliefs and practices. The beginning of Taoism started in China around 500 BC by a man named Lao Tzu, a curator at the Royal Library in the state of Chu. As Lao Tzu was leaving China through the western pass, the gatekeeper Yin Hsi stopped him because he recognized him as a philosopher. Yin Hsi asked Lao to write a book for him before he left forever and he agreed. Lao sat down beside the gatekeeper on a rock and wrote the book Tao-Te-Ching (The Book of the Way) and after he finished he gave the book to Yin Hsi and walked through the gates to vanish and never return. The story does not continue after this but what we could’ve assumed happened was that Yin Hsi copied and distributed this book.

Compassion has a huge role in any and every religion no matter how small. In Taoism, it also plays a big role. The meaning of 'compassion' has two important elements: the first is the willingness to notice and to feel the needs, the distress or the suffering experienced by those around us; and the second is some genuine response to alleviate that suffering. The main point of Taoism is to be in harmony with nature and everything living and dead. Without compassion in Taoism, a lot of things wouldn’t happen. For example, Taoism needs compassion to fulfill the goal of being in harmony with the rest of the world you need to be compassionate enough to understand what others need to keep harmony. Another example is that when lacking compassion the whole point of Taoism is ruined since you can not help other people which leaves some people struggling while others just live on without help. Overall compassion is very important and without it, Taoism would just be a bunch of people who just walk by others without doing any good at all.

Taoism is very complex and historically rich and it has a lot of good holidays and traditions that are still passed on to this day. The first thing is the first four principles of Taoism are very important to the Taoists and without it, nothing good would happen. The next thing is the main rules and ethics are very important to not only Taoists but many other people who have heard these rules. The third important thing is many traditions and holidays are passed on. Overall these things about Taoism make it what it is and what the people believe.  

16 August 2021
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