Taoism which is often referred to as Daoism is a tradition found among the Chinese people. Its premise revolves around urging individuals to live together in harmony together with Tao, which is path or way. The word Tao is also used among different other philosophies apart from Taoism. The usage of the word denotes a particular thing as the force or source behind every existence. Currently, Taoism is among the five religions under existence in China.
WHAT IS TAOISM
The precepts or principles according to Taoism can be defined clearly when individuals are mediating with their thoughts (Bai 725). During this period their subconscious mind is usually under regulation outside the mental emotions. All the notions of Taoism emerged from the provisions of the school of Yin Yan. This is where the Tao Te Ching was kept and used by different scholars of the time. The Tao Te Ching is a voluminous book which has all the teachings that were earlier presented by Laozi. The book was incorporated together with the words of Zhuangzi, and later compiled together to produce the Taoism tradition.
The dynamics of Taoism often vary from one school to another, but all emphasize on action and non action. Individuals following after the tenets of Taoism are supposed to be those who have humility, compassion and moderation in all their activities. Taoism has a great influence in all the people from China, as they profess to follow their cultures fully. Their leaders on the other hand have strong base on the precepts of Taoism and usually make it one with all their practices and customs. Along the line Buddhism, folk religion, Chinese astrology and martial arts have been incorporated within the tenets of Taoism. Societies in Asia have also embraced Taoism and are currently incorporating it to their culture (Littlejohn 390).
Taoism’s literature grew rapidly and was made in a canon shape called the Daozang. The literature is often published in the emperor’s palace and kept for purposes of making considerations and judgments to various issues that affect the people. In many occasions the Taoism has been nominated as a religion in the state, but after the 17th century it was moved outside any considerations.
People from China and few other Asian nations currently employ the use of Taoism while engaging in their different activities. They use them to make judgments and it is also seen as a unifying factor between families from the region. Currently countries like Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and other parts of South Asia use Taoism in their daily activities. Philosophers from China and other places use Taoism from the concept that its early forms can only be used after understanding the experiences of Tao. This is the greatest experience of all those people who make use of the practice.
HISTORY OF TAOISM
Taoism stretches around the history of the Chinese. It came across during the prehistoric China, and has over the past exerted a heavy change in the Chinese culture. The evolution of Taoism came as a result of the times that were changing due to the new doctrines that were being refined by the Chinese people. The ruling class however has decreased their level of acceptance of the principles of Taoism and is currently having mixed cultures. Currently, Taoism is emerging slowly and it seems that majority of the people including the ruling class will incorporate it in their cultures (DeBernardi 1010).
Taoism was introduced by Laozi, is often referred to as the original mentor of Taoism. His existence is however not documented but all his works are dated 3rd to 4th BC. The emergence of Taoism brought about different methods of achieving ecstasy, exorcism and various processes of achieving immortality (Conroy 178).
Most of the known element of Taoism can also be found from historical folk religions in the region of china. Such religions were later disbanded and changed to a Taoist tradition where members became sincere followers of the precepts found in the Taoism tradition. Most of the practices of Taoism came from other states which were in connection to the Shamanism, who originated from Southern region of China. It also emerged from the fangshi who were the old activists of such a religion in China. It is vital to note that Laozi was also among the activists who were fighting to have the region spread through the land of China within a short period.
Later years saw different Taoists complaining that their culture was not meant to have magic and divination, a culture that was to ensure unity and unison among the people. Most of the people were seen as outcasts when they denied the use of Taoism and later abandoned to operate on their own. Such individuals felt as if they were cursed, a feeling that made them disappear from the community and settle in regions that were not strict about the religion. The use of Taoism in China and other parts of China brought about change in the way people lived and worshiped in their religious festivals.
Most people who are English speakers have a debate on which word to use while refereeing to the ancient Chinese culture. While most of the people make use of Taoism others readily accept Daoism, even though the older Romanized word was Tao which meant path or way. This has not changed the way the believers interpret their tradition as they always adhere to all the laid down rules and regulation set down by the Tao.
Bai, Xuezhu, and William Roberts. “Taoism and its model of traits of successful leaders.” Journal of Management Development 2011: 724-739. Print.
Conroy, Kieran. “Taoism: God as Nature Sees God.” Journal of Religion and Health 2007: 177-178. Print.
DeBernardi, Jean. “Taoism and Local Religion in Modern China.” The Journal of Asian Studies; Ann Arbor 2005 1009-1010.
Littlejohn, Ronnie. “Taoism: The Enduring Tradition (review).” Philosophy East and West 2007: 389-392. Print.