Bit About Taoism
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have been doing some reading on Eastern Philosophy and I find
it fascinating. Can you tell me a bit about the origins of Taoism?
John S., Halifax
a bit about Taoism.
Tsu was born in China in 601 B.C. He held a number of public offices
during his long life and was the curator of the royal library
in Loyang. As an old man he retired from government service and
traveled on buffalo-back to the region of the Gobi desert. Because
of a boundary warden's plea, the sage paused long enough to inscribe
a short record of his teachings. Leaving this, he resumed his
journey to an unknown destination and was seen no more. His small
book, the Tao Te Ching, is one of the world's great religious
classics. Within a matter of centuries, Lao Tsu was worshipped
as a god and his masterpiece was engraved on stone at the Capital
of every Chinese state.
Thousands of volumes have been written about Taoism. Lao Tsu himself
states that "The Tao that can be put into words is not the
eternal Tao." Here is a bit of a summary about this ancient
There is a perfect balance that lies within each individual, and
following this balance requires neither cunning nor striving.
A story is told of King Wen's wonderful cook who has used the
same knife to cut meat for over 20 years without every having
to sharpen his knife, because he spontaneously moved his blade
through the meat precisely and without effort or hacking. This
expression of the Tao as effortless attainment is was referred
to as wu-wei.
Wu-wei has been translated to mean noninterference, non-doing,
action without deeds, or actionless activity. The Taoists did
not mean that one should never act, but that one should be fluid
and changing so as to always adjust one's self to circumstances.
This is why it is said:
is of all things most yielding (water)
Can overwhelm that which is of all things most hard (rock).
Being substanceless it can enter even where there is no space.
That is how I know the value of action that is actionless.
But that there can be teaching without words,
Value in action that is actionless,
Few indeed can understand.
the yogis in India, the Taoists developed exercises enabling them
to gain conscious control over internal states. Disciplined breathing
constituted one basis of these exercises. Meditation was also
used in order to separate the spirit from the body and travel
independently of it as well as to maintain an eternal calm in
the midst of changing conditions.
Qi energy was said to be the product of the two great forces of
yin and yang which run through the entire universe. All phenomenal
manifestation exists as a tension between these two principles,
which operate on all levels.
left side right side
liver gall bladder
information has been drawn with permission from Jeffrey Mishlove's
book, "The Roots of Counsciousness."
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