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Phil 300: World Religions
Taoism: Philosophy or Religion
#2) Religions in Asia have come and go with the seasons. As the new emperors come in, the old religion is goes out. Many of the religions that are in place are constantly being changed over and over. One of these religions seeing change for example would be Taoism. Taoism is unlike other religions in that it has been considered to nothing but a superstition, a mystery thought up to entertain the mind. Taoism is based on the search for a balance with nature and a harmony with the mystical Tao. Taoism has a profound affect throughout Asia, yet the its influence resides only in East Asia. The history of Taoism is rich with philosophy, mystery, and wonder. However as it has been passed down from generation to generation, clearly its message has underwent many transformations. That is why I feel that Taoism is more of a philosophy than a religion. With its vague concepts, disorganization, and strong philosophical teachings, Taoism falls out of the religious classification.
The basis of Taoism begins at its foundation, which is Tao. In Taoism, Tao has many meanings and interpretations. For example, Tao is thought to be the source of all reality and all life cycles. Yet one clear point is that Tao isn't God or a super natural being of any sort. Tao is the non-being from which all beings come from. Tao operates in a cyclical pattern. Life begins at birth, matures, dies and decays, and then returns back to Tao. Considering that everything nature is a part of this cyclical process, Taoist believe that other concepts like harmony and balance are key in their pursuit of a peaceful life.
In the second century A.D. it came to believe that harmony with Tao could lead to immortality, and as a result Taoists are on a constant quest for harmony with nature. Also on this quest many of the principles of Taoism come into play. The most important principal I feel would be...