Friday, January 22, 2016

What is Taoism?

I was watching a program on China on the TV yesterday evening, which was very interesting. However the presented did say something that I took exception to, he referred to Taoism as a religion. Now to me Taoism (the Way as defined by Lao Tsu) is a philosophy not a religion, although some people may have tried to turn it into a religion after Lao Tsu's time.

Wikipedia defines Taoism as a philosophical, ethical or religious tradition of Chinese origin that emphasises living in harmony with the Tao. The term Tao means "way", "path", or "principle", and can also be found in other Chinese philosophies and religions. 

In Taoism, Tao denotes something that is both the source of, and the force behind, everything that exists. Taoism is practiced as a religion in various Asian communities. Its theology is not theist (even though some communities do worship Lao Tzu as the attributed founder of the 'religious' doctrine), and has more affinities with pantheistic traditions given its philosophical emphasis on the formlessness of the Tao.

So as I said earlier, to me Taoism is a philosophy. It is the way that I try to run my life. As I don't believe in religion I suppose that makes me an atheist Taoist. I'm happy with that, as it's as good as any other label.

Next week back to the project!


Dave Gordon said...

Taoism can only be understood in the context of Chinese culture. The best metaphor for this understanding is the traditional "Three Vinegar Tasters" motif.

P M Blogger said...

I don't usually allow advertising posts Dave, but in thus case I'll make an exception, who can not like a quotation from the Tao of Poo!

Bhuboy Villanueva said...

Yes , many time I encounter the word Tao, and they define it as "the way", like the Tao of dating. I believe it means a or the way of doing something, like how you use it there in your website