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Taoism question, can someone answer it please?

Hello, well I once heard someone say that religious Taoism is a contradiction to the traditional original form of Taoism….Can anyone explain to me why it would be a contradiction? Oh and is the I ching also a contradiction according to the traditional Taoists? Thank you =]


  1. Lao Tse who wrote about Taoism in the Tao Te Ching said not to have all kinds of statues, rituals.
    He introduced a philosophical way of living. I guess he is trying to say that the best way to live is ‘no way’ . Kind of showing human’s brain’s have limited ability to identify the best way but nevertheless, we can try. And then he goes on to show some of the properties, such as , be kind, be good, don’t be selfish, try your best e.g.
    Of course some people turn it into a religion and do the regular rituals etc etc.

  2. A contradiction? No, I can’t explain that. Taoism is about contrast, about how you can’t have dark without light, one thing without its complimentary opposite. Not contradiction. That’s a dualistic term IMHO. And I don’t see Taoism as dualistic.
    There are many different forms of Taoism, from those heavy in ritual, deities and strict rules about how, where and when to have sex, to those that are just a way of seeing the world with a flavour of spirituality. And everything in between.
    Perhaps your someone is thinking of the contrast between ‘philosophical’ Taoism (which is pretty much what I follow) and ‘religious’ Taoism, as practised in the East?
    The former is a way (or Way) of living life simply; in harmony with the world around us and true to ourselves. You just follow the Tao. That’s it! The latter is much more organized; with a priesthood, temples and rituals. For me, I follow nobody but myself, the Earth is my temple and appreciating the simple joys of life is my only practice.
    If that helps at all? .

  3. Taoism was never meant to be a religion. Some people have the errant tendency to treat It as such. The I Ching was never meant to be considered a Taoist text. It was somewhat a mystic text of mathematical fortune telling. The Tao Te Ching by Lao-Tzu is the original Taoist text. Also the Hua Hu Ching is a Taoist text that very definitely sates that Tao is not to be made into a religion or science to be understood. Taoist text can be found on Sacredtext.com and is well worth the read.

  4. 35 years as a Teacher of Taoism. To answer your question: Yes, Taoism is not a “Religion.” A religion involves one or more Deities. Taoism does not contain a “Supernatural Being(s)” of any kind. Taoism is much closer to a Science/Philosophy and considers the belief in a “Supernatural Being” as a delusion of the mind. The I Ching is a form of reading spontaneous patterns in random events. Recognizing patterns in our environment is a natural function of the brain. People who are experienced in the synchronicity of events and forms are people that will align their insights with wisdom and the flow of natural events as they unfold. Taoist are acutely interested in self-awareness and their symbiosis with the Field of the Universe(Nature).

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