Taoism

Madison Chessare, Rachel Anderson, & Amanda Yeck

Taoism

Taoism, also known as Daoism, is an indigenous Chinese religion often associated with the Daode jing (Tao Te Ching), a philosophical and political writing that was written by Laozi (Lao Tzu) sometime in the 3rd or 4th centuries. The Daode jing focuses on dao as a "way" or "path" which is, the appropriate way to behave and to lead other

Taoism Beliefs

Sacred Narratives

There is no one sacred narrative that is more meaningful to Taoism above all the others. There are stories about the life of Laozi and of Laozi as an immortal, but these are not foundational stories in the way that the story of Jesus is to Christianity, or those of Buddha is to Buddhism. The legendary Laozi was initially a political philosopher, and only later conceived of as a Taoist immortal. Taoism takes its name from the word "Tao" ("the Way"), the ancient Chinese name for the ordering principle that makes cosmic harmony and peace possible.

Gods and Spirits

Westerners who study Taoism are sometimes surprised to discover that Taoists venerate gods, as there doesn't seem to be a place for deities in Taoist thinking.

Taoism does not have a God in the way that the Abrahamic religions do. There is no omnipotent being beyond the cosmos, who created and controls the universe. In Taoism the universe springs from the Tao, and the Tao impersonally guides things on their way.

But the Tao itself is not God, nor is it a god, nor is it worshipped by Taoists.

Incarnation and Death

Taoism does not refer to any specific incarnation of God, and death has no particular meaning to Taoists.

Good and Evil

Understanding Taoist beliefs on good and evil is understanding and distinguish the difference between the concept of evil verses the reality of evil. As a concept, Taoists do not hold the position of good against evil...They see the interdependence of all dualities and beliefs. So when one labels something as a good, one automatically creates evil. That is, all concepts necessarily are based on one aspect verses another. If a concept were to have only one aspect, it would be nonsensical.