Taoism Revision Essay Sample
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- Category: taoism
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Taoism Revision Essay Sample
Taoism as a religion embarks on power which flows through all things these includes living and non living things. It regulates natural processes and nourishes balance in universe. It embodies the harmony of opposite. For example, No male without a female or no light without darkness.
Taoism is believed to have started as a combination of psychology and philosophy but became a religious faith when it was adopted as state religion. This religion begun at around 440 CE (Laozi, 2001).
Taoism initially developed in China with great support of Ch’ing dynasty that after the end of his ruling started facing great political problems which adversely pulled religion down.
Growth of Taoism was greatly contributed by its founder Lao-tse who wanted to come up with various ways that would help him to avoid a constant feudal warfare and many other conflicts that were disrupting the society during his life time. Taoism consequently became a major religion in China along with Buddhism and Confucianism.
In this religion they considered that their answers to life problems can only be solved through inner meditation and outer observation since they don’t believe in any existence of God.
Things that they considered to be sacred are: – sacred hat, sacred clothes and shoes, lumber bell. All instruments used in ceremonies were also considered to be sacred. There include: sacred drum, knife, stick and also soil.
Apart from these, some places were also considered to be sacred such as-sacred mountain in China. This mountain was considered to be sacred due to believe that such tall mountains can be separating heaven and earth (Hean, Maxwell K. 2003).
Also, legends and myths of early Taoism made this mountain to be considered sacred. Therefore, mountains were considered to be the most important of Taoism since they had sacred peaks and they were mainly used as pilgrim peak where believers went for their pilgrimage journeys.
The temples were also sacred places were the believers joined together to worship.
There are two main sacred texts of Taoists. There are: Tao-te Ching and Chuang-tzu. Tao-te Ching is both philosophical and religious it basically emphasizes on classics of the way of power. It’s a written text (Schipper, 2001).
Chuant-tzu is also a written text and it basically focuses on person of Lao-tzu
Taoism considers sexuality has a sacred ritual of union. They emphasizes on practice of sacred sex from the practical to aesthetic.
The adherent of religion believes to what is sacred. There are based on traditional believes since they prefer to use their traditional titles. They hold to what is sacred and follow it as believe since they individually arrived to them. Some of the social needs met by Taoism includes:
a) Managing resources such as riches
- b) Managing relationship
- c) Engaging the personal development
Therefore, through teachings of Taoism ability to handle these three social needs and many more are enhanced. (Sulivan, Michael, 1999).
These needs are basically met by enhancement of ceremony, customs, food or music.
There are many social institutions which gives collection of experience and support. Some of these institutions have virtues and implicit rules. Some of these virtues are symbolic of the relationship of the outside world.
Ceremonies in enhancing social needs in the society are met, emphasizes on good moral teachings which Taoist believes that it’s rewarded with good health and long life to its followers. Some of the customs that they practice to enable social needs are met are practices such as; pilgrimage journey which made these people to come together and socially their needs were met. Also during their meetings in temple they could discuss of their social needs which could be consequently being met (Barnhart 1997).
Most of the music that they played in temples were containing special message which strengthened their social needs. There music was also played in various Taoist ceremonies which were meant to achieve inner harmony.
Taoism believes in supernatural. These powers help them to grow with desire to know much about these supernatural powers and supernatural being.
This religion believes in deities which are arranged into heavenly civil service that portrays bureaucracy of imperial China. Deities worshipped at time changes according to geography or history.
Taoism acknowledged the supernatural power of saints since they had female saints which were Devine manifestation of yin (Maxweber, 1968).
Taoism believes in ghost. For example, the hungrily ghost are represented as tear drop and they have their own realm depicted on he Bharacakta. Taoist believes that the hungly ghost did not find anything to eat during their life time.
Taoism believes that spirit pervaded nature of being. They had a head of heavenly bureaucracy who governed the spirit and his duty is to oversee what the natural would is doing and administering moral justice to the natural world.
They believed by worshiping, the spirit will keep their problems away and ensure blessings are in abundance. They also believed that through spirit they will be wealthy and live long.
The greatest challenges of Taoism today are:
- Accessibility of other believers-Incase one is living in west he/she is faced with difficulties of finding other Taoists. This is because not many people in west practices this religion.
- Populace is not very demanding-Those who are raised up in Taoist families have no difficulty in this but, those who introduce themselves to religion later in life are faced with these difficulties, depending on background i.e. culture, family or country.
In challenges that face Taoism today, Technological development is one of them since the society regards to some of these changes as a social norm. For example, they believe in healing incase one is sick but not medications. social changes on other hand harbors about our own ways of seeing things and living in the world (Lao Tze, 2001).
Social constructions deny nature independent existence.
Some of environmental problems faced by Taoist in China are the three Georges dame and air pollution and also the measures that government may decide to take in order to alleviate the problem these problems greatly threatens the growth of Taoism.
Capitalism posed a number of challenges to Taoism because it proved flexible philosophy which made it to have some of its deficiencies by accepting welfare state (Livian Kohn, 2002).
Taoism today has gone down by the number of worshipers who have remained in the religion, it’s only its original philosophy survive and it has very few followers mainly in Taiwan North America and Canada. This was facilitated by decline of religious practices with advancing western influence. Its philosophical aspects have also outcaste those of other religions. The political status of the region has closer economic ties with mainland. Political leaders are doing all they can to put down Taoism as a religion.
According to the trend that the religion is currently following death of Taoism is predictable with no followers in future this is mainly contributed by political, social and cultural influences the religion has on its followers.
The futures of Taoism remain in question on mainland where it initially stated. Therefore in Taiwan and other regions with scarce number of followers is unpredictable on what course the religion will follow (Schipper 2002).
One thing that should be remembered about Taoism as a religion is that religion has proved to be an immortal which has really achieved a lot of divinity through devotion to its practices and teachings.
Taoist sages referred perhaps allegorically to immortal beings with magical power and therefore some followers interpreted these as references literally and devoted themselves to discovering drug immortality and prolonging their lives through breath control yoga like exercise and absenteeism (Miller, 2003).
Therefore Taoism as a religion has contributed a lot in China and their presence Taiwan, North America and Canada has a lot of significant impact on culture, herbalist, holistic medicine, medication and martial arts.
Iona Miller, (1983), Mythology of the Evotie and Soulful Impulses, London.
Dim Cheuk Lau, Laozi, (1963), Philosophy: Tao Te Ching, New York.
Barn Hart, (1997), Three hundred years of Chinese painting, London.
Hearn, Maxwell K., (2003), Cultivated Landscapes, New York.
Sullivan, Michael, (1999), the Art of China, Los Angeles.
Max Weber, (1968), Religion of China, New York.
Schpper, K, (2000), Taoism, Humanities, London.
James Miller, (2003), Handbook of Daoism, New York.
Livian Kohn, (2002), Daoism Indentity, London.
Lao Tze, (2001), Religion: Tao Te Ching, New York.