Life and death form a part of the transformation processes, which constitute the Taoist world. Death, as much as life, belongs to the realm of "naturalness," that which is "so of itself".
Tao means literally possessing spiritual essences in one's body. So long as they remain in the body, death simply cannot happen which repositions the commentary from cosmology and religion to focus on Taoist practical philosophy.
In what sense can "naturalness" be said to complement "long life" Two separate claims need to be distinguished here. On the one hand, if the concept of naturalness is taken seriously, any attempt to prolong life by artificial means is doomed to failure and must be rejected. On the other hand, if careful steps are not taken to preserve life, the natural flow of things is also interrupted. The natural life span of an individual, given the cosmological underpinning of the commentary, is evidently determined by one's energy endowment. Individual differences notwithstanding, human beings have been given a proper "mandate" to prosper and live long while the energy could be in any form.
There are, however, obstacles, which may jeopardize one's natural longevity. If the body is destroyed, the "five spirits" disperse; if the body is harmed, the spirits hasten their departure. ...Show more