Laozi (Lao Tzu) – name means “old master” or “old child”; born from vaginal conception; he was born old; he took a job in Loyang for many years but soon grew tired of it and left his post, carried by an ox, traveled to the far west of China; at the border he was recognized as an esteemed scholar and was prohibited from crossing the border until he had written down his teachings; after the book was finished, he left China never to be seen again.
Tao Te Ching – a short book of about five thousand Chinese characters; the great classic book of Taoism, accepted by most Taoists as a central scripture and one of the world’s greatest books; title “the classical book about the Way and its power”; there are 81 short chapters; it is probably the work of many authors; the book is repetitive and lacks clarity; it is thought to have a political purpose or be a religious guide; its meaning depends on whose interpreting it.
Tao – we cannot really put into words exactly what the Tao is; it is nameless meaning it is not any individual thing that has a name (door, tree, bird, person, etc…); the Tao can not be named because it has no form; but it can be experienced and followed by every individual thing that has a name; the Tao Te Ching says that the Tao is the origin of everything and that all individual things are “manifestations of the Tao”; the Tau is the origin of nature, but it is not G-d because it does not have personality; it neither cares about human beings nor dislikes them, it only produces them; it can be called the rhythm of nature; to experience the Tao we must leave behind our desires for individual things, a concept that runs counter to everyday concerns (i.e. how much things cost, what time it is, etc…); the Tao is perceived by intuition; the Tao seems most active in: water, woman, child, valley, darkness.
Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu) – what we know of this man is from his writings; he enriched Taoism; the book of his writings called the Zhuangzi is composed of 7 “inner” chapters, which are thought to be about the author himself, and 26 “outer” chapters whose authorship is less certain; this book contains many whimsical stories; its themes include the need for harmony with nature, the movement of the Tao in all that happens, and the pleasure we gain from simplicity; it also goes on to talk about the underscoring of the inevitability of change and the relativity of all human judgments; it adds to Taoism and appreciation of humor; his most famous story is off the butterfly- he was dreaming of being a butterfly and when he woke up he questioned whether he was a human dreaming of being a butterfly or vice versa; the book rejects every barrier including that between the ordinary and the fantastic, between the normal and the paranormal, etc…; the book thus elaborates the potential results of being one with the Tao.
Wu Wei – the ideal of effortlessness; having commandments would go against the nature of Taoism, but Wu Wei offers recommendations about how to live- these recommendations do not come from a divine voice but from nature, the model of balance and harmony; this idea implies the avoidance of unnecessary action or action that is not spontaneous; when a storm hits, nature rebuilds what is necessary and no more; a bird builds a nest according to its needs and no more.
Yin and Yang – two complementary principles; the Chinese commonly thought that the universe expressed itself in opposite but complementary principles (light/dark, black/white, night/day, male/female, etc…); complementary but opposing forces of the universe that generate all forms of reality; the ideal is a dynamic balance between forces; the emblem of balance is the yin-yang circle; half dark- representing yin, and half light- representing yang; inside each division is a small dot of the contrasting color that represents the seed of the opposite; the dot suggest that everything contains its opposite side and will eventually become its opposite; both forces are dynamic and in perfect balance as they change; we can think of yin and yang as pulsations or waves of energy (like a heartbeat or like breathing in and out).
Yi Jing (I Ching) – The Book of Changes, an ancient book that interprets life though an analysis of hexagrams; this book helps to interpret hexagrams which aids in helping a person make decisions about the future; an ancient Confucian book of divination(a system of methods for knowing more about the future), one of the Five Classics, still in use today.
Te – virtue; denotes the unity of virtue and power, originally te probably related to the mystique of power of the ruler, to commune with ancestors and spirits; te is the power of the Tao as manifest in man, particularly the charismatic power of the ruler to transform others through the sheer force of his example.Free research paper samples and term paper examples available online are plagiarized. They cannot be used as your own paper, even a part of it. You can order a high-quality custom research paper on your topic from expert writers:
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