Taoism — страница 3

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not, nor lie; Truth is the speech of inward purity. Shun drugs and drink which work the wit abuse; Clear minds, clean bodies need no Soma Juice. Touch not thy neighbor?s wife, neither commit Sins of the flesh, unlawful and unfit.” ? (Light of Asia) Step 5: “Right Livelihood” involves choosing an occupation that keeps an individual on the Path; that is, a path that promotes life and well being, rather than the accumulation of a lot of money. It would exclude the professions of soldier, fisherman, hunter, or any profession that kills, harms or promotes the hurting of any living being. Step 6: “Right Effort” is the effort to avoid wrong conditioning factors. It means training the will and curbing selfish passions and wants. It also means placing oneself along the Path

toward Enlightenment. Step 7: “Right Mindfulness” implies continuing self-examination and awareness. “Irrigators lead the waters; Fletchers fashion the shafts; Carpenters bend the wood; The wise control themselves.” “When a wise man, established well in virtue, Develops consciousness (mindfulness) and understanding, Then?ardent and sagacious He succeeds in disentangling this tangle.” Step 8: “Right Concentration” is the final goal to be absorbed into a state of Nirvana. It is the kind of mental concentration which is presented in every wholesome state of consciousness, and hence is accompanied by at least Right Thought, Right Effort and Right Mindfulness. Compliance to the path does not guarantee reaching Nirvana, but it is the only path that leads to Nirvana.

Only by following this path, a Buddhist could have a chance to reach enlightenment, to free oneself from the continuous rounds of birth, death and rebirth, to have reached the ultimate goal — to be absorbed into a state of Nirvana. The purpose in both Taoism and Buddhism is to reach the ultimate goal, to transcend life on earth as a physical being, and to achieve harmony with nature and the universe. The ultimate goal for both religions is to achieve immortality. The Taoist called this ultimate goal Tao, while the Buddhist seeks Nirvana. The followers of both religions believe there is an existence beyond life that can be achieved following the right path or behavior. The path to Tao and Nirvana are similar, yet different. Both believe that there is an Inner Light, which guides

a person in the right direction to the ultimate goal. Personal desires must be forsaken in order for the Inner Light to guide a person to achieve eternal bliss. The teaching regarding the Inner Light is just as prominent in the Taoist schools as it is among the practices of Buddhism. The Inner Light concept is similar, but the actual path is different between Taoism and Buddhism. The path toward enlightenment for the Buddhist was defined by Buddha in his Eightfold Path. The Buddhist can only reach Nirvana by following this path. On the other hand, the path to Tao is individual, it comes from within. No one can define a path for the Taoist, it must come from the Inner Light. Tao means Way, but in the original and succeeding manuscripts no direct path is explored or expounded.

Desire, ambition, fame, and selfishness are seen as complications. That idea is consistent with Buddhist teachings; it is the personal life of each individual that gives Taoism its special form. Taoism and Buddhism perceive life, death and rebirth as a continuous cycle. This cycle has no beginning and no end. The soul is eternal, yet the soul is not the object of reincarnation. Taoist believes the soul is not reborn, it “migrates to another life.” Buddhist also believes the soul is not reborn, but instead a “consciousness containing the seeds of good and evil deeds” is the object of rebirth. One major difference between Taoism and Buddhism is the concept of karma. Karma refers to the idea that actions are the display of thought, the will of man. Karma determines the

Buddhist actions and position in life. A person’s karma limits the goals that he can achieve. Karma determines where in the cycle of birth, death and rebirth the consciousness returns. This return can be in the form of an animal or human, and the Buddhist must progress through a hierarchy to achieve Nirvana. The Taoist has no concept similar to karma, and Taoism does not mention the soul migrating to an animal form. The determining factor to one’s life is contained in the individual behavior for the Taoist. By forsaking personal desires in life, and by focusing on the self, one can live longer. Eventually, by following the Inner Light, immortality can be achieved. The similarities between Taoism and Buddhism in the belief of life after death far outweigh the differences. Both