Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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Taoism has been thought by western culture to be just another complex eastern religion, but in fact Taoism can be easily understood with an open mind and interest. Taoism has a history rooted in China and Lao Tzu, beliefs that are based on the writings of Lao Tzu as well as other authors, and simple practices based around nature.

Taoism has a history rooted in China where it began by Lao Tzu and fell, but Tao still has a major role there and throughout the world. The path or the way, as Tao can be roughly described as in English is not easily described, but must be experienced (Robinson 4). The classical Taoist description is the development of ancient traditions of worshipping nature (Berling 6). Lao Tzu and the writings following the establishment of Taoism were the foundation for the entire religion in the beginning. Taoism is not only a philosophy and a religion, but also the basis for traditional Chinese medicine.

The religion is a representation of an accumulation of knowledge of over 5,000 years of Chinese history (Chinese Philosophies and Religions 1). Taoism started to develop around the second century AD; it developed from Taoist philosophy with ideas and practices from other religions, such as Buddhism (Taoism 35). Lao Tzu developed his philosophy, which lead to Taoism after his travels. ?After Lao Tzu retired from the position of royal archivist, he traveled through the mountain passes in the west. During this time, he wrote 5,000 words for the benefit of posterity. ?They set forth the Tao, the Way, which existed before the heavens and the earth?? (Great Religions of the World 127). ?Taoism started as a combination of psychology and philosophy, but evolved into a religious faith in 440 AD, when it was adopted as a state...