All throughout history, a great influence over the world has been religion. This religion is not common to most of the world, but is known by most in china. Taoism is a relatively old religion, It became a faith in 440 CE, when it was adopted as a state religion. Taoists history, beliefs, and religious effects, are the main topics that are going to be discussed throughout this paper. Taoism is translated into English simply as the way or path ("History of Taoism"). Every Taoist believes the goal in life is to become one with the Tao ("Taoist Beliefs"). Religious Taoism began while a movement of organized religious communities developed ("Religious Taoism").
Taoism is pronounced (Dow-ism), and it means path or the way. Taoism very vague and has to be experienced, it "refers to a power which envelops, surrounds and flows through all things, living and non-living. The Tao regulates natural processes and nourishes balance in the universe. It embodies the harmony of opposites (i.e. there would be no love without hate, no light without dark, and no male without female.)" ("History of Taoism"). Taoism is known to be founded by Lao-Tsu (604-531 B.C.E.), a follower of Confucius. He was looking for a way that would keep away the constant feudal warfare and other problems that would interrupt society during his lifetime. Others believe that he is a mythical character. Taoism began as a mixture of psychology and philosophy but grew into a religious faith in 440 CE, when it was adopted as a state religion. Taoism, along with Buddhism and Confucianism, was one of the three great religions of China. With the fall of the Ching Dynasty in 1911, support for Taoism ended. Much of the heritage was destroyed during the next period of time. After the Communist victory in 1949, religious freedom was extremely restricted. The Cultural Revolution in Chine lasted from 1966 to 1976, this destroyed most of the remaining Taoist heritage. ("History of Taoism")
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