Martin X. Moleski, SJ
March 6, 2013
Essay #1 –RST 101 D
Taoism’s Simplicity Makes it one of the
Most Understandable Religions
The way the world normally sees Taoism is in an aura of calmness, a certain go with the flow attitude emanates from many followers of this ancient religion, and as such many other religions can take a clue from its simplicity. Taoism wishes to be one with nature and its human followers want to balance life’s experiences, and as such it emphasizes a simple life. Lao Tzu, the founder of Taoism, would see other religions as overly complex, especially Hinduism with its worship of an unlimited quantity of Gods and Goddesses and social hierarchy. Buddhism is more like Taoism, as both religions emphasize a more casual attitude towards expectations of its followers. In Buddhism there is a request that one must not try to have too much in life, but not too little either, but with the many different sects and different rules, it would seem complex also as its followers try to live the life of its founder. With respect to Confucianism, the Tao sees it as too standardized, a far step away from Taoism’s go with the flow attitude as it calls for many standards that its people should follow, as the religions focuses on respect and dignity. Taoism is a much simpler religion than all of these, as it just requires one that will follow a just, even path.
Taoist beliefs are centered on its book, the Tao Te Ching. It is made up of eighty-one poems that were written by Lao Tzu regarding how one will follow the way, or Tao. Tao itself means way or path, Te means power, Ching means book, and with these words Tao Te Ching translates as way power book. This book’s poems define how a Taoist should live and act, but never really mentions a God, except for poem four, where it says, “It (Tao) is hidden but always present. I don’t know who gave birth to it. It is older than God” (Tao, 4). Even though it says...
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