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Daoism - Essay Example

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The world has numerous religions, based on various beliefs from different traditional settings across the globe. However, not all religious beliefs qualify to be termed as religions. As a result, a religion must have some aspects in order to have recognition globally as world a religion…
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This may be because, since all other religious beliefs are exotic, Taoism is the only religion that the China inhabitants believe to be indigenous. Therefore, this document critically analyzes Daoism, its theoretical, practical, and social approach one of the world religions. Daoism (also called Taoism) is a religious belief whose origin comes from the Chinese traditions. Joachim Wach explained that there are three ways in which a belief qualifies to be named a religion (Kirkland 165). A religion must have its theoretical aspect. This means that it ought to have various verbal beliefs, to which the followers strongly adhere. Daoism accentuates veneration of the ancestral spirits and immortality of some beings in their religion. Taoism believes on the freedom of humanity from conformist limitations. Moreover, Taoism obtains its teaching from Lao-tze, an ancient philosopher who the followers deem to have established the first Taoism temple. However, the Taoism followers commonly consider the history about Lao-tze as legendary; and they still keep up with his teachings from the earlier writings. Scholars believe Taoism to be mythological. In this sense, some critics claim their belief about immortality to be mythical. In addition, it highlights the story of a certain prince, who practiced Taoism in a deserted mountain until he became a supernatural and consequently an immortal being (Kirkland 166). The Taoists believe that a certain man, believed to be the true man, will come to the world in the end, and end chaos, bringing peace to the world. Additionally, the Taoists believe that Tao (the way) is the main guiding rule of their values and mannerisms (Ede 21). Moreover, Taoists believe in a hierarchy of gods and eternals. There is also the practical aspect of Daoism. Taoist believers practice various rituals. Taoists believe in achieving immortality through practicing the Tao values, both within and outside the bodily being. The Taos internal practices entail physical Tao exercises, which include breathing, intense meditation, and refinement of the inner elixir. Besides, the central objective of these activities is to improve oneself, spiritually and bodily. Tao also teaches external practices that involve being responsible in exemplary actions such as helping one another. Tao believers must strive to achieve these values by earnestly practicing both the internal and external activities, since they believe that the reward is to acquire the immortal nature. Additionally, the Tao followers practice martial arts, most commonly known as Kung fu (Ede 22). Besides, the Tao followers also have their own scriptures that they read and follow. This manuscript comes in diverse components. They refer these components as the Canon or the Daozang. They are arranged in the order of age, the earliest being the Tang Dynasty. The succeeding ones include versions compiled during the dynasties of Song, Jin, Yuan, and Ming. There are two distinct Tao sects. The two sects are the Zhengyi and the Quanzhen, with the Zhengyi being the most popular within the Chinese communities. However, these sects are similar in their fundamental Tao beliefs. They only have slight disparities in their norms and regulations. The Quanzhens are stricter in their regulations as opposed to their Zhengyi counterparts, since they practice a strict vegetarian diet and are celibate, spending their entire lives in the ... Read More
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