Taoism : The Philosophy Of Taoism

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The yin-yang is a popular symbol known even in the western world. Countless items are plastered with the flowing circle of black and white, from jewelry and clothes, to furniture and home décor. Although it is seen everywhere, very few understand the long history contained within the two spiraling hemispheres. Monochrome, yet it represents the colorful and ambiguous philosophy of Taoism. The ideology of Taoism, much like the yin-yang, is very simple although very profound and intricate. The three most distinctive elements which define the worldview of Taoism are the Tao, the nature of mankind, and the Wu Wei. The Tao or “the Way” originated in China around 500-600 B.C. during the Warring States period. As the fires of war spread and…show more content…
Though they bear different names, they serve the same mystical cause” (Lao Tzu 8). Lao Tzu conveys ideas in this style throughout the text and lays the groundwork for which the worldview of Taoism will be constructed upon. Another main work, the Chuang Tzu, expands upon the Dao de Jing by putting Lao Tzu’s principals into action using simple examples and stories. The Chuang Tzu shares the same name as its author meaning “Master Chuang.” The stories inside attempt to explain the ideas in Lao Tzu’s original work by applying them to everyday life and using patterns in nature to illustrate how the Tao functions. Chuang Tzu’s text is much less ambiguous than that of Lao Tzu but is still very open ended. Rather than simply suggesting ideas using poetry, Chuang Tzu directly states principles, although those principles may not have a definite answer. He writes, “The Great Tâo does not admit of being praised. The Great Argument does not require words.” (Legge 8). These declared statements give more definition to the illusive mystery of the Tao and lead to further development to Taoism as a religion. Through this work, the worldview of Taoism begins to become more tangible as the Tao is presented in a more perceivable way. Along with the numerous key works of Taoism, there are a wide variety of influences that have been incorporated into Taoism over its long history. The indigenous folklore of China became intertwined with Taoism as

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