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History of Taoism? – Will choose best answer in 4 hours!?

How did it develop over the years?

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  1. Tao (pronounced “Dow”) can be roughly translated into English as path, or the way. It is basically indefinable. It has to be experienced. It “refers to a power which envelops, surrounds and flows through all things, living and non-living. The Tao regulates natural processes and nourishes balance in the Universe. It embodies the harmony of opposites (i.e. there would be no love without hate, no light without dark, no male without female.)”
    The founder of Taoism is believed by many religious historians to be Lao-Tse (604-531 BCE), whose life overlapped that of Confucius (551-479 BCE). (Alternative spellings: Lao Tze, Lao Tsu, Lao Tzu, Laozi, Laotze, etc.). However other historians suggest that he is a synthesis of a number of historical figures. Others suggest that he was a mythical figure. Still others suggest that he lived in the 4th century BCE.
    He was searching for a way that would avoid the constant feudal warfare and other conflicts that disrupted society during his lifetime. The result was his book: Tao-te-Ching (a.k.a. Daodejing). Others believe that he is a mythical character.
    Taoism started as a combination of psychology and philosophy but evolved into a religious faith in 440 CE when it was adopted as a state religion. At that time Lao-Tse became popularly venerated as a deity. Taoism, along with Buddhism and Confucianism, became one of the three great religions of China. With the end of the Ch’ing Dynasty in 1911, state support for Taoism ended. Much of the Taoist heritage was destroyed during the next period of warlordism. After the Communist victory in 1949, religious freedom was severely restricted. “The new government put monks to manual labor, confiscated temples, and plundered treasures. Several million monks were reduced to fewer than 50,000” by 1960. 3 During the cultural revolution in China from 1966 to 1976, much of the remaining Taoist heritage was destroyed. Some religious tolerance has been restored under Deng Xiao-ping from 1982 to the present time.
    Taoism currently has about 20 million followers, and is primarily centered in Taiwan. About 30,000 Taoists live in North America; 1,720 in Canada (1991 census). Taoism has had a significant impact on North American culture in areas of “acupuncture, herbalism, holistic medicine, meditation and martial arts…”

  2. Taoism (also spelled Daoism) is a religion whose adherents are mostly found in Far Eastern countries such as China, Malaysia, Korea, Japan, Vietnam and Singapore where their temples are found. Current estimates are that several hundred million people practice some form of Taoism, with some 20 to 30 million on the Chinese mainland. This is quite remarkable since mainland China is a communist nation and forbids many forms of religion. Taoism’s origins can be traced back to the 3rd or 4th century B.C. Like many religions, Taoists have their own set of scriptures, the main one simply referred to as the “Tao.” Other texts are included and the full spectrum of Taoist canon is known as the Daozang. The word “Tao” comes from the character in the Chinese alphabet of the same name. The word means “way” or “path.”
    Taoism has never been a unified religion and some scholars place it in three categories–philosophical, religionist and Chinese folk religion. Because of this it is difficult to pinpoint exactly what Taoists believe. Roughly stated, Tao deals with the flow of the universe, or the force behind natural order that keeps all things balanced and in order. It is considered to be a source of existence and “non-existence.” Some Eastern religions refer to this as the “yin and yang” of the universe which can also express itself as the equal forces of “good” and “evil.”
    Most adherents of Taoism believe anything from polytheism (belief in many gods) to ancestor worship. Taoists tend to worship mostly on holidays in their calendar when food is set out as a sacrifice to the gods or the spirits of departed ancestors. Other forms of sacrifice include burning paper money so it will rematerialize in the spirit world for a departed ancestor to use. A number of martial arts disciplines such as T’ai Chi Ch’uan and Bagua Zang have their roots in Taoism. Few people in the Western world practice Taoism, and it would appear some have confused Tao with the word Zen, as evidenced from the books The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra or The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff.
    Although the word Tao means “way,” it is not the true Way. There are many religions which claim they are one of the ways to get to God. But Jesus Christ said that He is the only way to God (John 14:6). Because Taoism denies this, it fails in that it does nothing to deal with the sin nature of mankind. Everyone who has ever been born (except Jesus) came into the world with a sin nature inherited from Adam in the Garden of Eden and it is that sin that separates us from God. A holy and righteous God cannot accept anything sinful in His sight. But in His mercy, He sent His Son Jesus (who was God in the flesh) into this world to die on the cross and exchange His righteousness for our sin (2 Corinthians 5:21). It is only by accepting this atoning death and believing in Christ that we can escape the judgment of God and receive eternal life (Ephesians 2:8-9). Christ, not Tao, is the way to eternal life.

  3. the final development come with the birth of the last tao master born in india
    to review his work go to osho .com Taoism

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