Taoism : A Major Influence On China And Its Culture

1975 WordsMay 17, 20168 Pages
For over 2000 years Taoism has been a major influence on China and its culture, but what exactly is Taoism? Taoism is a philosophical religion that has a complex origin and a unique way of perceiving the meaning of life, and to understand this distinct religion it is important for an individual to know of its history, sacred sites, teachings and beliefs, practices, holidays, and presence in the modern world. To start, the origin of Taoism, as with many ancient religions, is very difficult to pinpoint exactly, since Taoist ideas and early writings greatly precede any organizational structure. However, despite that, 550 B.C.E is commonly identified as the time period in which a variety of spiritual thinkers, located in what is now China, began to put their ideas into writing, thus setting the foundation of Taoism. Then, in the fourth or third century B.C.E, these writings were collected as a composite teaching of Taoism. The collection of these writings is known as the Tao Te Ching, meaning “The Way and its Power,” and it is the sacred text of Taoism. Furthermore, the Tao Te Ching is believed to have been created by Laozi, an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer, who is believed to be the founder of Taoism. The legend regarding the creation of the Tao Te Ching states that Laozi had worked in the court of the Chou dynasty for majority of his life, however he eventually grew tired of people in the court failing to notice his ideas. Therefore, after witnessing

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