Taoism, also known as Daoism, is an indigenous Chinese religion often associated with the Daode Jing (Tao Te Ching), a philosophical and political text purportedly written by Laozi (Lao Tzu) sometime in the 3rd or 4th centuries B.C.E. Taoist ideas have become popular throughout the world through Tai Chi Chuan, Qigong, and various martial arts. Taoism is an ancient tradition of philosophy and religious belief that is deeply rooted in Chinese customs and worldview. Here are the main 10 beliefs of Taoism Religion.
The primary focus of Taoism is based on the man’s spiritual existence where his humanity is believed to be like a bamboo stick as it is straight and simple by design but has a vacant center that yearns to be filled, yet it is flexible enough to overcome resistance and to resist the blows of nature.
2. Yin Yang
A basic belief of Taoist teachings uses the universal energy of chi, the life-giving force drawn from the dynamic interchange of polar forces yin and yang. The flow if chi as considered as an essential element of life’s flow or continuity, it is believed to support and give prosperity, good fortune, and health, whilst it simultaneously blocks sickness, conflicts, and difficulties. Most of the Taoists believe that it is the constant flow of chi that guarantees the welfare of individuals and the world around them by using the combination of Taoist doctrine with an active expression of Chinese spirituality. The effects of Tao (the way) creates the origin by generating duality that is yin and yang, light and shadow, as every action creates a counter-action by itself, it is natural and unavoidable movement.
3. Man’s Will
The man’s will is not considered as the root problem in Taoism. Rather, it is believed that the man must place his will in the harmony with the natural universe. Taoist philosophy believes that the Universe already works in harmony in its own ways but if a person exerts his will against the world then he would disrupt the harmony that already exists so he should go with the flow of life.
4. Three Jewels of Tao
(i) Compassion, kindness, and love
(ii) Moderation, simplicity and frugality
(iii) Humility and modesty
5. Five basic movements
In classic Taoism matter and energy are considered to be governed by five basic movements. The strength and influence of these movements wax and wane over the course of a year with wood peaking during the spring, fire during the summer, metal in the autumn and water in the winter and finally the earth asserts its presence most powerfully during the periods of the start of each season.
6. Belief in Deity
Taoists believe that the supreme being (ultimate truth) is beyond words or any conceptual understanding but they name it’s as the Tao or the Way. The power of this way is referred as the Te. These Tao and Te are the central concepts of Taoism. Tao is described as the divine way of the universe. Te is the power of Tao and it is the power to bring Tao into realization. It includes the belief that human interference can be damaging.
7. Incarnation and Death
Taoists do not believe that the God resembled a human and neither do they have any particular meaning for death. Taoism teaches that humans should accept life and death as complementary and important aspects of the Tao or the Way. Death should not be feared but it should also not be desired. Life and Death in Taoism are like yin and yang that is from being to non-being.
8. Good and Evil
Good and evil do not have any particular position in the eyes of Taoism rather Taoists see the interdependence of all the dualities. To understand the notion of good and evil like Taoists does, one need to be able to differentiate between the “concept” of evil and the “reality” of evil. Taoists believe that when someone labels something as being good then they automatically create an evil. Any action as expected to have some negativities (yin) and some positivity (yang).
Taoists do not believe in salvation and they do not have any salvific practice. They believe that there is nothing that one should be saved from and the belief in salvation means that one believes in damnation in the same manner as the belief in good results in the belief in the evil. They believe that not excessively pursuing material wealth or prestige will lead one to a joyful life.
The primary importance of all the spiritual beings is given to the Immortals or Xian as known in Chinese. In the Chuang-Tzu, these perfect beings are known to dwell far away in an untroubled place, where they experience an effortless existence. They are believed to be ageless and are believed to eat nothing but air, drink nothing but dew, and enjoy the power of flight. These powerful beings are believed to be revered in the group of Eight Immortals, who are said to have been born in the Tang Dynasty.