Taoism is a religion that is all about finding “Tao” or “The Way.” The most important book to Taoism is the “Tao Te Ching” which has teachings that are attributed to Lao Tzu. Taoism is full of philosophical ideas, and teachings to teach one that life on earth is not just full of suffering and bitterness. The most important theme to finding this happiness in the universe is by using Wu-Wei.
Wu-Wei is one of the most important concepts in Taoism. Wei refers to any intentional or reflected action, and Wu has the meaning "lacking, or without". Thus if you put these two together you get the translation “Without/lacking action.” Most people translate it to be “Action without intent,” or “effortless action.” Also they have the saying Wei-Wu-Wei, a paradox meaning action without action. Wu Wei is an important concept in Taoism because Taoist are so in sync with nature. Taoist philosophy says that the universe works harmoniously in its own way, and when man puts his mark on the world, he disrupts that natural harmony. Thus man must place his drive within the natural harmony of the earth as to not disrupt it. By working with the natural harmony of the universe, goals can be achieved effortlessly, allowing for Wu-Wei, and ultimately leading to finding Tao
A famous anecdote used to explain the difference between the ways a Taoist views life compared to people of other religions is the Vinegar tasters. This scroll represents china’s three main religions; Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. Three men are standing around a bowl full of vinegar. Each man has tasted the vinegar and has a different expression on his face. The Buddhist has a bitter expression on his face, representing that life is bitter and full of pain and suffering. A life for a Buddhist is full of attachments that lead to desires, and desires lead to suffering. The world was viewed as a setter of traps, thus a Buddhist goal was to leave this world and reach Nirvana. The Chinese Buddhist looked at the path...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document