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Taoism and the Yin Yang Philosophy - Essay Example

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Taoism Taoism serves as both a philosophy and a religion. Its roots can be traced back to ancient Shamanism. The Tao Te Ching which is the second most translated book in history codifies Taoism. Lao Tzu the sage wrote the 81 poems in 500 BC. Taoism is centered on a number of fundamental principles. Just like any other philosophical point of view, it gives a way of perceiving and comprehending reality. The word “Tao” means the way. The meaning is inclusive of both the way in which individuals view the world surrounding them and the way they interact with life. Our path of action and way of being in the world is influenced by how we view reality. The key principle of Taoism is that all manifestation and life is part of a whole which is inseparable. It is an interrelated organic unity that originates from a mysterious, deep and basically unexplainable origin that is the Tao itself. This principle comprises of everything imaginable. A number of Western translators have likened this concept to the idea of God, absolute reality or universal mind among others (Centre of Traditional Taoist Studies, 2009). Basic principles of Taoism All aspects of existence are unified by the Tao Te Ching. It brings together both the spiritual and earthly dimensions with principles that operate at the same time in metaphysical, mental and physical realms. Classical Taoist instruction therefore included philosophy, meditation, physical exercise and religious ceremonies to strengthen how core principles exceed dimensions. There are nine key Principles of Taoism that precisely explain its cornerstone religious doctrines. The first principle is that the goal is contentment. Contentment is defined as the only measure that should be used to estimate personal success. Taoism teaches that a physical existence that is content will best make the soul ready for the time when the body will be cast off (Centre of Traditional Taoist Studies, 2009). The second principle is oneness-a holistic view. Taoism as a religious and philosophical system is built on a view of reality that is holistic. It uses principles that cut across the seen as well as unseen dimensions to unify all existence. Universal oneness is represented with white and black colors that rotate in a circle using its renowned yin-yang symbol. The third principle is the manifestation of the Tao. Since reason alone cannot be trusted, Taoism avoids conceptions that cannot be tested and affirmed by practical application. This requires a Taoist to not only rely on speculation but learn by looking at concrete demonstrations of larger universal forces. The fourth principle is that nature is unkind. Seemingly, since all effort is committed towards survival, there is little compassion in the natural world. Taoists are therefore encouraged by Lao Tzu to adopt an outlook of harsh unconcern towards everyone except a few loved ones. The fifth principle is that of society versus the individual. Taoism is mainly a philosophy for the individual. It perceives society to be inclusive of confused individuals that freely resign to alluring social patterns. The Taoist therefore distinguishes effective beliefs from ineffective ones. This is by understanding the presence of useful individual beliefs and possibly useless social values (Centre of Traditional Taoist Studies, 2009). The sixth principle is th ...Show more


Title: Taoism and the Yin Yang Philosophy Name: Professor: Institution: Course: Date: Introduction The objective of this essay is to explain the Taoism and yin yang philosophy. Taoism refers to an ancient tradition of religious beliefs as well as philosophies that are deeply rooted in the Chinese customs and comprehensive view of the world…
Author : nicholaus73
Taoism and the Yin Yang Philosophy
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