study guide Essay

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Study Guide- Taoism
2. Describe the Chinese concept of the ying and yang as a unifying explanation for the universe.
The negative force in nature
Seen as darkness, coolness, dampness
The earth, moon and shadows
Positive force in nature
Seen as lightness, brightness, warmth, dryness
The sun
Although the interpretation might be negative and positive, it is not how we actually depict these two aspects. They represent a balance and are interdependent (cannot exist without each other). These two are like a cause and effect.
3. How could the hexagrams of the I Ching (The Book of Changes) be viewed as means of divination? How could they be seen as having personality and wisdom of their own? Note the
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- Confucianism: feudal system was wanted. They seem to have believed that although the gods existed and worship and rituals were of value in bringing people together, these things were of secondary importance to an equitable social order. They strongly believed in government and that society needed an elaborate structure, reinforced by etiquette in order to be effective.
- Tao Te Ching: This book was written as a polemic against the Confucians and Legalist who wished for either an idealized form of feudalism or some strong central government. They wanted little to do with government, none if possible. The theme of the book was that all human achievements were folly, especially elaborate government. This book was written by Lao-Tzu in 6th century B.C.E because the gate keeper tried to persuade him to turn back (Hankao Pass) and not leave China. When the gate keeper failed to persuade him he asked him to at least write a book about his teachings (the book took him about 3 days and was made up of 5000 characters).
8. What political difficulties do religions face in China today? - The government only tolerates religious organizations that are willing to accept strict regulations. They have to be free of foreign influence and they must accept government censorship of religious writings and guidance in the selections of clergy, and limit religious activities and

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