Visualising the Historical Development and Belief System of Taoism
Keywords:Taoism, Daoism, The way, Chinese religion, Tao and Te
This paper visualises the historical development and belief system of Taoism. Taoism is an ancient Chinese philosophy and religion that instructs believers on living in harmony with the universe. Taoism has been connected to the philosopher Lao Tzu, who, around 500 B.C.E. wrote the main book of Taoism, the Tao Te Ching. Taoism holds that humans and animals should live in balance with the Tao, or the universe. Taoists believe in spiritual immortality, where the body's spirit joins the universe after death. The Tao Te Ching, or “The Way and Its Power,” is a collection of poetry and sayings from around the third and fourth centuries B.C.E. guides Taoist thought and actions. The Tao (or Dao) is hard to define but is sometimes understood as the universe's way. Taoism teaches that all living creatures ought to live in a state of harmony with the universe, and the energy found in it. Ch’i, or qi, is the energy present in and guiding everything in the universe. Taoism became well-known in the eighth century C.E. as the religion of the Tang dynasty. It existed alongside Buddhism and Confucianism (another philosophical religion). However, during the Communist takeover in 1959, Taoism, Confucianism, and other religions were banned. This caused a decline in the practice of Taoism in China. Many modern Taoists live in Taiwan, although recent reforms in China have increased the number of Chinese Taoists. This paper gives a very concise and instrumental perspective about the historical inception, development, decline and recent happenings in Taoist communities across the globe. Follow through to learn more about Taoism and how they have shifted the timeline of history with their sentimental beliefs and practices.
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