I am unfortunately very very cheesed off. I spent a good 20 minutes summarising the nature of Taoism when I get a phone call from Ivy, so instantly lock the computer, mute it, and leave for an hour. When I come back, of course my Dad is paranoid about leaving the computer on for more than 5 minutes without someone being on it, all my work was erased and I lost the website I had. Nonetheless, aside from this little rant, I will attempt to replicate everything I had typed.
Nifty little site that outlines the essence of Taoism with its four principles.Taoism seems closer to my alley than a lot of the religions I’ve heard about. It focuses chiefly on the balances of nature. I’ll give you the lowdown on the basics.
Now, the first principle of Taoism is Oneness. There is not "just us", or "just nature", but both. Every being in existence is an expression of the Tao [Mental note: research this "Tao" later. Sounds like a divine essence]. A being springs into existence, completely flawless, and completely free, and then takes on a physical form. The Tao gives birth to all living things, and that is why all of creation honours it. The love of Tao is the very nature of existence.
The second principle is the Dynamic Balance. We’re all familiar with the Yin and Yang, and what it stands for. Perfect opposites. White and black, darkness and light, life and death. All life embodies Yin and embraces Yang, and through their union we achieve harmony.
The third basic principle is Cyclic Growth. The cycles of nature that can be found in all of creation- the sun is replaced by the moon. Summer is replaced by winter. Light is replaced by dark, and then dark is replaced by light. The Tao forever moves in these endless cycles that govern all life in our universe.
The fourth principle is a little more interesting. Harmonious Action states that by having one element, either Yin or Yang, you can create the other. Purpose defeats itself. By yielding, you overcome. By fighting, you withdraw. By living, you die. This is the true essence of Taoism, how life is based on this very important principle. Picture a bamboo reed in the wind. If it is brittle and strong, it will snap, but because it yields, it overcomes. Interesting isn’t it?
Just a little insight into what I believe is a very interesting philosophy of life. I’ll look into this "Tao" as soon as I can.
EDIT: I also realised I didn’t quite stress that fourth point enough. That’s the entire nature of a Taoist. To receive everything, you must give up everything. If you want to become whole, let yourself be partial. If you want to be full, let yourself become empty. If you want to be reborn, let yourself die. "Only by living in the Tao can you truly be yourself."
Must look into this "Tao" idea. According to D, it means "way", or "path". Sounds about right, seeing as this, like many religions, claimed to be "the way" of life. Gets rather irksome when you know of a half dozen "the way"’s.