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What is Taoism,and what does it teach?

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  1. Taoism is a religion that is based on the Tao, or the laws of nature (Very loose interpretation). I would read the Tao Teh Ching, as it is a very complex religion and that is the only real way to understand it.
    Free Sample:
    “We put thirty spokes to make a wheel: But it is on the hole in the center that the use of the cart hinges. We make a vessel from a lump of clay; But it is the empty space within the vessel that makes it useful. We make doors and windows for a room; But it is the empty spaces that make the room livable. Thus, while existence has advantages, It is the emptiness that makes it useful”
    – Lao Tzu, from the Tao Teh Ching –

  2. Ask and ye shall recieve.
    Tao litterally translated is “The Way” Most eastern art and practices such as alchemy, astrology, cuisine, several martial arts, traditional medicine, fengshui, and many styles of qigong breath training disciplines have some relationship with Taoism. Some practice has melded with the other eastern religion such as Shinto, Confucianism, and Buddhism.
    Depending on how it is defined, Taoism’s origins may be traced to prehistoric Chinese religions; to the composition of the “Tao Te Ching” (3rd or 4th century BCE); or to the activity of Zhang Daoling (2nd century AD). Alternatively, one could argue that “Taoism” as a religious identity only arose later, by way of contrast with the newly-arrived religion of Buddhism, or with the fourth-century codification of the Shangching and Lingbao texts.
    Other accounts credit Laozi (reputed author of the Tao Te Ching/Dao de Jing) as the teacher of both Buddha, and Confucius. They describe early Taoism (Daoism) to ancient picture writing, mysticism, and indigenous Ancestor worship. Symbology on tortoise shells predates early Chinese calligraphy and is the basis of written Chinese from artifacts dated from prior to 1600 BCE.
    Taoism is not a belief-centered religion, and there are no known Taoist creeds. At the same time, certain characteristic beliefs or assumptions can be identified.
    Beyond the Chinese folk religion, various rituals, exercises, or substances are said to positively affect one’s physical health (even to the point of immortality); align oneself spiritually with cosmic forces; or enable ecstatic spiritual journeys. These concepts seem basic to Taoism in its elite forms.
    Traditional Chinese religion is determinedly polytheistic. Its deities are arranged into a heavenly civil service that mirrors the bureaucracy of imperial China. Deities may be promoted or demoted. Many are said to have once been virtuous humans. The particular deities worshipped vary somewhat according to geography, and much more according to historical period (though the general pattern of worship is more constant).
    There is also something of a disconnection between the set of gods which currently receive popular worship, and those which are the focus of elite Taoist texts and rituals. For example, the Jade Emperor is at the head of the popular pantheon, while the Celestial Masters’ altar recognizes the deified Laozi (Laojun, “Lord Lao”) and the Three Pure Ones in that position. Some texts explain that Laozi has sponsored the apotheosis of various other gods.
    The Daozang (道藏, Treasury of Tao) is sometimes referred to as the “Taoist canon.” It was compiled during the Jin, Tang, Song, and Ming dynasties, and includes almost 1500 texts. Following the example of the Buddhist Tripitaka, it is divided into three dong æ´ž (“caves,” often translated “grottoes”), arranged here from highest to lowest:
    (1) The Zhen (“real”) grotto. Includes the Shangching texts.
    (2) The Yuan (“primordial”) grotto. Includes the Lingbao scriptures.
    (3) The Shen (“divine”) grotto. Includes texts predating the Maoshan revelations.
    The Dao De Jing constitutes an appendix (fu) to the first grotto. Other appendices include the Taipingjing (“Scripture of Great Peace”) as well as various alchemical texts, and scriptures from the Celestial Masters tradition.
    However, Taoism is not a religion which regards the scripture as the primary source of truth. Daoshi generally do not consult published versions of the Daozang, but use texts which have been passed down from teacher to student (who are often relatives). The receipt of permission to do the ritual is considered more important than knowledge of the texts’ contents.
    The Quanzhen school does have a tradition of approaching Taoism through scriptural study, and the Yijing features more prominently than any other scripture, owing to its relevance for cosmology.
    Some Chinese movements emphasise newly-revealed scriptures. In Taiwan, one often finds Buddhist texts being chanted in Taoist temples.

  3. Taoism is a religion based mainly in Taiwan.
    It teaches the natural power balance which is inherent in everything living and non-living thing.
    The Tao is the regulator of natural processes.
    It also emphasises the essential charachteristics of opposites, you cannot have good with out evil, light without dark, cold without warmth, yin without yang.
    it was started as psychology/philosophy by Lao-Tse who wanted to embrace a thought system which avoided aggression and feudal confict.
    It became the state religion of china in 440CE.
    To find out more read his book:

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