A Brief Overview
When first deciding to write my term paper on Taoism I thought it would be just another religion. In my research I found so many different translations that my head started spinning. There are really no known facts about the founder of Taoism, Lao Tsu, except that he was possibly a contemporary of Confucius. He was searching for a way that would avoid the constant feudal warfare and other conflicts that disrupted society during his lifetime. (Religious Tolerance, 2007) Since there are many aspects to Taoism in this paper I will do my best to explain what Taoism is and also explain some of its main concepts.
Taoism is described as a Chinese religious and philosophical system aimed at assisting its followers to achieve harmony within themselves and with the energy of the universe. (Von Dehsen, 1999, p. 113) As I have found in all my research Tao, translated to English, means “the way.” Individuals that follow Taoism don’t concern themselves with society and with how much wealth or power they posses. They value their own life above everything else. Taoist become one with nature and the universe. As I understand it, they live their life not concerned with what others think of them, they do not want praise for good deeds they may have done. When an individual is able to accomplish this mind set they are said to have reached Tao.
Reaching the Tao and becoming one with nature requires the individual to clear their mind of all the things they have been taught. This takes a deep commitment and is very hard to do. Taoist believe in keeping their bodies healthy in order to stay in balance with the Tai Chi. Chi is a physical exercise that focuses the mind while conditioning the body. The chi isn’t the only way Taoist keep their bodies healthy, they also meditate and rely on herbal remedies. Taoist have spent thousands of years studying and experimenting with herbs and they have developed hundreds of...