Taoism And Confucianism Essay

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Confucianism and Taoism are two of the most influential philosophies in Chinese culture. Upon inspecting the story of the daughter-in-law who lived in her husband’s household and through self-cultivation became filial to her admonishing mother-in-law, we see how similar the objectives of both Taoism and Confucianism are but and the difference on their perspective of the story. In analyzing the importance of harmony, filial piety, and being wu-wei in this story, this essay will argue that the two seemingly opposite philosophies of Taoism and Confucianism share common aspects of tradition than previously acknowledged. Upon analyzing the ideologies of both religions, they appear to be entirely different. However, harmony, filial piety and wu-wei remain the core beliefs of both traditions despite the way Taoists and Confucians approach them. Words such as “honest,” “free,” and “natural” will be discussed in the analysis of the different interpretation of the …show more content…
In order to achieve such harmony, Taoists use self-cultivation as a way to “free” one’s self from worldly behaviour by following the way of nature and returning to the authentic self. In chapter 3 of Zhuangzi: the principles of nurturing life, the story of Cook Ting serves as an exemplar of how nurturing and cultivating one’s self enables a Taoist to be in harmony with the Tao and lead a skilful life (Watson, 1968). In the story, the wife sincerely wanted to become a filial daughter and worked hard at cultivating-herself. However, unlike Confucianism, in a Taoist approach the wife tried to return to a mode of existence that is natural and free of the social conditioning she felt for her mother-in-law; she has stripped herself of any resentment or frustration she felt and returned to her pure-being with nature and Tao. As a consequence, her work towards self-cultivating and being one with the Tao has led to harmony in the

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