Taoism 3 Essay Research Paper Taoism which

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Taoism 3 Essay, Research Paper Taoism, which is pronounced Daoism , is based on the Tao, or the Way. One of the basic observations was that the Way of nature, and nature itself is difficult to determine. Taoism can be described as a religion, but in the West it carries with it many gods, deities, morals, and faith, Taoism does not quite cut it as a religion by Western terms. It is probably best described as a philosophy of life, but even this, when defined, does not describe Taoism completely. The problem is that Taoism cannot be categorized, like the Tao itself. This religion is described in the very ancient, and very cincise socio-political treatise called the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu. For most people it can be rather confusing. To understand most of the meaning, you must be

aware of the context in which this book was written, as well as to have a basic understanding of Eastern philosophy, with its use of analogy, mythology, metaphor, and paradox. Taoism is not for everyone, but for a special kind of person, even though anyone can benefit from it. Those who are ready to question what they have been taught find the true benefit in Taoism. The more one learns of Taoism, the more they learn they must question it. It is a nature-based philosophy; it starts and ends with the observation of nature. This religion observes nature from one’s own viewpoint. It sees the observer and the observed as one entire system. This is the first principle of Taoism, Oneness. There is not just us or just nature, but both. Every being in the universe is an expression of

the Tao. It springs into existence, unconscious, perfect, free; takes on a physical body, lets circumstances complete it. That is why every being spontaneously honors the Tao. The Tao gives birth to all beings, nourishes them, cares for them, maintains them, comforts them, protects them, takes them back to itself, creating without possessing, acting without expecting, guiding without interfering. That is why love of the Tao is in the very nature of things. The second principle of Taoism is of Dynamic Balance. There are always two basic distinctions in nature, symbolized by the yin and the yang, but Taoism sees balance as the basic characteristic underlying these distinctions. The Tao is the One. From the One come the yin and yang, these two are creative energy. From this energy

comes the forms of all creation. All life embodies yin and embraces yang. When they are united, you achieve harmony. These two basic polarities not only balance each other, but also complement each other in cycles. The Yin-yang is made up of five elements. Here the elements were presented to numbers: one being water, two being fire, three as wood, four as metal, and five as earth. These were not just substances or chemical phenomena but represented instead the principle cosmic forces or influences and headings. All phenomena like the seasons, directions, flavors, foodstuffs, the body, and human activities could be classified under one of the five phases. Earth was central and neutral; the four other elements corresponded to the four directions and to the four seasons and were

further classified as either yin or yang. Spring and summer were both yang and were represented to wood and east; fire and south; fall and winter were yin and corresponded to metal and west, water and north. The five elements were also symbolized by the five fundamental colors: water is equal with black, fire with red, wood with green, metal with white, and earth with yellow. Added to this symbolism were four animals, which often appeared in representations of sacred space: the dragon to the east, the red bird to the south, the white tiger to the west, and the tortoise with a snake around it, to the north. The third principle of Taoism is Cyclical Growth. The sun is replaced by the moon then the moon is replaced by the sun. Summer is replaced by winter then winter is replaced by