Daoism [ 1 ] stands alongside Confucianism as one of the two great religious/philosophical systems of China. Traditionally traced to the mythical Laozi “Old Philosopher,” Philosophical Daoism owes more to “philosopher Zhuang” (Zhuangzi) (4 th Century BCE). Daoism is an umbrella that covers a range of similarly motivated doctrines. The term “Daoism” is also associated with assorted naturalistic or mystical religions. Sometimes the term “Lao-Zhuang Philosophy” is used to distinguish the philosophical from the more religious “Huang-Lao” (Yellow Emperor-Laozi) strain of Daoist thought.

The meta-ethical reflections were by turns skeptical then relativist, here naturalist and there mystical. Daoism per se has no “constant dao .” However, it does have a common spirit. Dao-centered philosophical reflection engendered a distinctive ambivalence in advocacy—manifested in their indirect, non-argumentative style, their use of poetry and parable. In ancient China, the political implication of this Dao-ism was mainly an opposition to authority, government, coercion, and even to normal socialization in values. Daoist “spontaneity” was contrasted with subtle or overt indoctrination in any specific or social dao .

Given the shared ru-mo Confucian-Mohist assumption that normative authority for their competing first-order dao s comes from some form of endorsement by tian nature:sky . Daoists aver that nature does not authorize or endorse any particular social dao . This claim has two versions: pluralist and primitivist. Denying that it endorses a particular one is compatible with its allowing either many or none . The nihilistic answer might take the form of an assertion that reality is an amorphous chaos and all dao s impose an illusory or unreal social structure on Chaos. This version, however, has no obvious normative implications.

Daoism [ 1 ] stands alongside Confucianism as one of the two great religious/philosophical systems of China. Traditionally traced to the mythical Laozi “Old Philosopher,” Philosophical Daoism owes more to “philosopher Zhuang” (Zhuangzi) (4 th Century BCE). Daoism is an umbrella that covers a range of similarly motivated doctrines. The term “Daoism” is also associated with assorted naturalistic or mystical religions. Sometimes the term “Lao-Zhuang Philosophy” is used to distinguish the philosophical from the more religious “Huang-Lao” (Yellow Emperor-Laozi) strain of Daoist thought.

The meta-ethical reflections were by turns skeptical then relativist, here naturalist and there mystical. Daoism per se has no “constant dao .” However, it does have a common spirit. Dao-centered philosophical reflection engendered a distinctive ambivalence in advocacy—manifested in their indirect, non-argumentative style, their use of poetry and parable. In ancient China, the political implication of this Dao-ism was mainly an opposition to authority, government, coercion, and even to normal socialization in values. Daoist “spontaneity” was contrasted with subtle or overt indoctrination in any specific or social dao .

Given the shared ru-mo Confucian-Mohist assumption that normative authority for their competing first-order dao s comes from some form of endorsement by tian nature:sky . Daoists aver that nature does not authorize or endorse any particular social dao . This claim has two versions: pluralist and primitivist. Denying that it endorses a particular one is compatible with its allowing either many or none . The nihilistic answer might take the form of an assertion that reality is an amorphous chaos and all dao s impose an illusory or unreal social structure on Chaos. This version, however, has no obvious normative implications.

The following material is based upon interpretations of Thomas Cleary’s translation of Liu I Ming’s Commentaries on the text “Inner Teachings” by Chang Po-Tang, as illuminated by personal practice.

The highest levels of internal Taoist Alchemy are accomplished by the cultivation of ‘The Three Jewels’, aggregation of the ‘Four Primordial forms’, development of the ‘Golden Elixir’, and the ‘Spiritual Opening’, with further stages of development in the spiritual realms.

Taoism - Wikipedia


The Taoist Classics - Shambhala Publications

Posted by 2018 article

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