Ego in "The Seven Taoist Masters"

Essay by playnoiseHigh School, 11th gradeA+, August 2006

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"The Seven Taoist Masters" is a manual of Taoist training, this manual is presented in a popular novel/story telling format. In this novel it entertains and instructs making it interesting and a good start for those starting on the path of Taoism. One of the topics discussed frequently in the Seven Taoist Masters is health. There are many different things that are necessary for a Taoist to do to maintain perfect or nearly perfect health. These things are not just physical or diet, but resistance and the ridding of certain things. One of the things that is a necessity to enjoy good health is the depletion of the ego. This may seem odd, because in general, how does the ego affect your physical health? Most of those from the west and today would say that it doesn't, however ego causes things like craving and anxiety, which all eventually lead to being unhealthy, both mentally and physically.

This essay will focus on the physical results when the ego exists and does not exist.

When the ego is still prominent a person begins to crave things. Craving is bad because "If you crave, then you will be anxious to obtain what you desire. Once you have it, you will fear that it may be lost. If you do not get what you desire, you will be disappointed." (49) This cycle would make it impossible to achieve the Tao or immortality because the heart of the Tao cannot come out. This cycle is equal to the pressures of the gain and loss of society, something that you cannot be concerned with when trying to achieve the Tao. It is this pressure that does not allow a person to let go of material things. Even if this cycle does not lead directly to...