Two Great Religions — страница 2

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alchemy, breath control and hygiene (internal alchemy). It supported a pantheon of deities, including Lao Tzu as one of the three ‘Supreme Ones’. The Taoist liturgy and theology was much influenced by Buddhism. Its scriptures, the Tao-tsang, consist of over 1,400 separate works totaling more than 5,000 chapters. There is considerable evidence that this religious Taoism came to take on many ‘Tantric’ elements, in which the worship of yin-yang takes on a distinctly sexual and erotic form. The interplay of yin and yang elements is represented, and celebrated, as a sexual union. There are some scholars who, in fact, believe that the Tantric schools, which later were absorbed into Buddhism, evolved first as Taoist ones. Particularly important to the development of Taoism in

China was the rein of the Emperor Li Lung-chi (a.k.a. Hsuan Tsung) who ruled for 44 years and was a fervent adherent of Taoism. Deeply absorbed in its study he tried to create a Taoist state in which capital punishment would be abolished and animals would be treated humanely. He established hospitals for the sick and poor and was an accomplished musician, equestrian, calligrapher and astronomer. A true mystic Li Lung-chi once had a vision of Lao Tsu who told him where to find a true likeness of him. The image was, in fact, discovered and replicas of it were made and installed in temples across the realm. He also told his ministers that once while burning incense in a shrine he had been wafted up to Heaven. Taoism currently has about 20 million followers, and is primarily centered

in Taiwan. About 30,000 Taoists live in North America, 1,720 in Canada (1991 census). Taoism has had a significant impact on North American culture in areas of “acupuncture, herbalism, holistic medicine, meditation and martial arts…” Two wonderful and intriguing religions, fascinating and interesting all at the same time. Two ways of life. Buddhism, a big ancient religion that has influenced almost every other existing one. Taoism on the other hand has less followers but is equally important. Involving with the relationship between itself and physics and natural phenomena. Both of them are another way of thinking, understanding, and judging the importance of the soul and mind. Bibliography Capra, Fritjof (1986) Tao and Physics (To Tao kai h Fysiki) 2nd ed. Athena Orora

Publications. 332