What is Tao ?
“How do I know the way of all things at the Beginning ? By what is within me.”
🧐 Do you want to visit the real you ? Do you want to know the place where your soul belong or if you want to know about nature and it's wonders ?
Tao is sheer way for it.
The word Tao means the “way” or entire beliefs. Tao is structure of the Universe character, of which human intuition should discern for realizing.
Chinese character for Tao
The name Tao has been taken from the religious tradition and philosophical tradition. Both of them site to word Taoism which is an English word (also called Daoism).
Tao is believed to be the reason behind the order of the things and Universe. Taoism contributed a lot to the folks living in rural areas of China and thus has been declared as the official religion there 🇨🇳.
It emphasizes on going with the flow by keeping the factor of cosmic force in mind. Cosmic force in their beliefs is known as the force that binds or releases the things to keep them in order.
It’s well said that “Taoism has no rules. It’s a suggestion for perceiving life in its wholeness without unnecessary categorization, yet enjoying the beauty of categorization.”
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1) Philosophy of Taoism
Taoism philosophy has commenced in Ancient China a long ago but can also be seen in around the world in small portion. Tao Te Ching composed a central book of Taoism a way back, that elucinates how Tao affects the life.
The central focus point of the Taoism philosophy is tranquillity and holistic such as living in order with nature 🍃.
Taoists (or Daoist) normally see the Tao in every action and non-action. Te is an alive interpretation of Tao which is described by concept of “inner power”. However, Wu-wei is non-alive expression referring to “action through non action”.
From the starting stages of Taoism, there have been school of Taoist philosophy where the conventional philosophy of Taoism and Buddhism are interacted for getting their extracts.
Taoist philosophy circulates around the single word “Tao” which is an view point on the nature of universe.
It is all about the unity that the Universe holds and a mean for the humans to accompany that path rather than altering it. For that purpose a person needs to understand the very beginning of the universe according to ancient Chinese sage Lao Tzu 🙏.
Taoist philosophers believe that all the things happening are interdependent and interlinked.
They also notice whatever happens is effortless and occurs without intent. This belief is known as expert of “doing by not doing” which also lies at The core of proceeding of Taoism.
Verse 29 of the Tao Te Ching says,
Do you think you can take
over the universe
and improve it ?
I do not believe it can be done.
The universe is sacred.
You cannot improve it.
If you try to change it,
you will ruin it.
If you try to hold it,
you will lose it.
2) Principles of Taoism
Taoism is based on various principles that explains the theme of it. Some of them are as follow:
- Tao is the Abstruse Origin and Primary Energy of the Universe ⚡.
- It is believed that universe exists naturally it is neither designed nor created but even after that tao is the primary energy which develops itself to bring forth all the manifestations of the universe.
a. Tao is utter
Tao is the basic energy source for all where they are aware of it or not. It is being followed either consciously or unconsciously. By the violation of the Tao we will decimate our own life as the existence without Tao is not possible.
Our Inner motive is to make our spirit clear. It is well said that:
“To return to the root is to find peace. / To find peace is to fulfill one’s destiny.”
— Tao Te Ching.
We are the one who can refine our desires and maintain our self as high level being. Religious emotionalism should be fended off as it hampers our union with the Tao.
b. Conservation of energy for our life
This principle states that in Taoism we avoid wasting out energy in negative aspects like altercation without need, restless nonsense, prying in affairs of others etc. by doing that we can preserve our spirit and energy for doing positive 👍.
c. Facing the truth of life gallantly and heroically
According to Tao, a simple life is important for the spiritual completion and non-contention is the highest discipline. It is not an escape from the reality of life; we should rather face the hardships with the courage and bravery.
d. Virtue and simplicity should be focus of our life
Leading a Taoist life is to have a fair mind and very middling desires. Making things complicated and having more desires about living takes person far from Tao.
e. Don’t practice frugality and recklessness
Richness, nobility and beauty of life should be enjoyed along with the practice of the principles of right purpose because;
“He who is contented is rich.”
Good life can only be led by disciples who live simple and righteous lives.
f. Lifting simple Life to the Divine Realm by pureness of heart, veracity and good acts.
“Manifest plainness, embrace simplicity, reduce selfishness, have few desires.”
Taoism tell us not to lose our self-running behind opportunities a lot because simple life is mystical in itself. Saving the assimilation of spirit is very important.
g. Masters of Taoism are our Spiritual Pioneers
Ancient masters of Taoism are considered the guiders to get guidance for practicing Taoism now days.
Union with Tao can be attained by balance, purity and clarity of your own energy the hindrance of one’s spiritual growth is heavy emotional force or heavy energy.
Sons and daughters of Tao should have assimilation of their wholeness of being with the integrity of universe.
h. Rationality is the important to learn Tao
Without a peaceful soul and sound mind it is not possible to attain Tao 🙅♂️.
Temporal madness is discouraged for Taoist cultivation. Criminal, ghost or religious stories are not so good for the health of mind. Adoption of Hua-Ching Ni’s works as advanced explanation of timeworn Taoism.
If we will adopt Masters Ni’s works as modern elucidation of ancient Taoism we can get more in our life that will be close to our peace of mind and soul.
i. Is Tao God ?
Tao isn’t the God although it is chanted.They are strips of Universe and bank on Tao like every other thing do.
The sole colloquy Tao has different concepts like dawn of creation, the end, the atrocious, unnameable, the Universe and the idea of creation all together.
3) The Book of the Tao Te Ching
The book was written by Chinese philosopher Lao tzu (also rendered as Laozi) and it is the most famous book of Taoism ☯.
The topics which are the center of attention in this book are action, nature’s duality, knowledge and morality whereas the main focus is on “Tao” translated as the “Way”.
It indicates the order and involvement of the Universe. The objective of this book is to reconcile and coordinate ourselves with nature and ultimately with the whole cosmos 🌌.
The Tao Te Ching is a Chinese text written in the 6th century BC. It is the text for both traditional as well as religious Taoism.
It has a strong influence on Buddhism, Confucianism, legalism, and religions. The influence of this book spreads quickly around the Asia and it is one of the most translated text in the world.
4) Taoism and Society
In consonance with Taoism, a great mind always encumber with the intellectual system for the society.
Greatness of the mind enlightenment is the stage on which the comprehensive foundations ruling the nature can be seen reflecting any kind of intention.
Taoism’s idea entails that there lies a world behind this world, inner reality is in the competition with its own sentiment.
If we will be able to become close to Taoism, our focal world will be redeemed and absolved with the time from autocracy of consciousness and nonsense of emotions.
The mission of Taoist philosophy is turning humans to the Instinctive idea of living free as a bird by social and highbrow ideas.
By doing that according to Taoism, we can return to us and our natural dexterity.
5) Symbols in Taoism
Yin Yang Symbol
“Yin Yang” is the representative for Taoism. Balance is the theme of Yin Yang.
The symbol consist of two halves shaped like tear drop the color of one is white and other is black and the smaller circle with opposite color is embedded in each.
Both the sides complement one another and there is link between both of them. Increase attributes of one symbol is the reason for the decrease in other therefore the balance is very important ⚖.
Read more on the Yin Yang symbol and its meaning:
Ba gua is also called Pa Kua which are eight number of symbols.
These symbols are utilized in cosmology of Taoism in order to show the basic principles of reality. These symbols are all interrelated to each other.
Due to the reason that they have tripartite structure, in English, they are called eight trig-rams which are closely associated to Taiji philosophy.
Taijitu is sectarian and philosophical symbol of Taoism that shows its rituals.
The literal meaning of the term is “Diagram of the supreme ultimate” which refers to one out of well known notion of Chinese philosophy called Yin and Yang where opposites survives in a perfect harmony.
Five elements chart for Taoism
Growth and improvement
Midnight, dawn, east, windy weather
Passion, development and spreading in all directions
Morning, south, hot days
Nourishment and balance
Mid humid day, late summer
Order, regulation and achievement of tasks
Afternoon, autumn, west
Conservation and inner peace
Evening, , north, winter night
These five elements not just restrain each other but they also provide nourishment to each other by preventing dominance of single attribute.
It is true that nature always wears the color of spirit and one can experience that only when he will walk in the nature.
☯ Taoism is the best way to come close to nature and yourself. Its not just the way of having balance in life in fact it also has a lot of power boosters to offer your soul.
The Yuen Yuen Taoist Temple of Guangdong
As said by Lao,
“Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are, when you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”