Toaism Essay Research Paper ToaismLao Tzu a — страница 2

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and the earth are constantly in flux. Simply, the only constant in the world is change. When individuals learn that growth and movement are natural and necessary, they can become balanced. In addition, Confucianism was an activist philosophy. It was concerned with the arts of the government of city-states and with social morality. It was “this-worldly,” and while the activist philosophers were advocating their theories in the courts and capitals of the city-states, philosophical activities of quite a different kind were taking place in the countryside, outside of society. These were the philosophies of the Taoists. Confucianism inspired a religion of individual moral duties, community standards, and governmental responsibilities. In contrast, Taoism placed its emphasis on

individual freedom and spontaneity, laissez-faire government and social primitivism, mystical experience, and techniques of self-transformation. Confucianism and Taoism reflect something of the Chinese philosophical origins from the “classic texts.” However, Confucianism was predominantly a religion of the court and of the gentry, while Taoism never lost sight of its more popular roots in seeking access to knowledge in the trance-like state of the shaman rather than the documents of antiquity. Finally, for many centuries Taoism was an informal way of life. A way followed by peasant, farmer, gentleman, philosopher and artist. It was a way of deep reflection and learning from nature, considered the highest teacher. Followers of the Way studied the stars in the heavens and the

energy that lies deep within the earth. Taoism encourages working with natural forces, not against them. It teaches the path of wu-wei-the technique of mastering circumstances, not trying to control them. In yielding we can find strength and succor and in softness we can find a way to overcome even the worst tribulations. What is being spoken of is not a mushy, weak kind of softness, but a resilient, decisive softness-the springy softness of the bamboo which bends and springs back in contrast to the hard and stiff oak which is blown down in a hard wind. Lao Tzu describes a Taoist as the one who sees simplicity in the complicated and achieves greatness in little things. He or she is dedicated to discovering the dance of the cosmos, in the passing of each season as well as the

passing of each moment in our lives. He says: “Those who seek for and follow the Tao are strong of body, clear of mind, and sharp of sight and hearing. They do not load their mind with anxieties, and are flexible in their adjustment to external conditions.”