What is Taoism?

Essay by loopvinnyHigh School, 10th grade March 2002

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The Tao has reality and evidence, but no action and no form. It may be transmitted but cannot be received. It may be attained but cannot be seen. It exits by and through itself. It existed before Heaven and earth, and indeed for all eternity. The following was what Taoism is to Hua-Ching Ni, a Taoist. Taoism is also pronounced Dow-ism. Taoism is China's oldest native religion. Among many Chinese schools of "thought" it is second to that of Confucianism. Tao or Dao means "way". In order to obtain it, one must "do nothing". Nothing strained, artificial, or unnatural. Taoism strives for harmony between individuals. It incorporates universal energy. A popular symbol of this energy is the Yin-Yang. It is an ancient Taoist model of this natural energy.

The history of Taoism is unique. Taoism became popular like a "cult" as some describe. Everlasting life was sought through magic and a variety of elixirs.

They tried to prolong life by experimenting with alchemy during the 3rd and 6th centuries. Xuan wu Da Di is one of the oldest Taoist Deities. I is told that he was born in the proto-historical Yellow Empire Period. He was very powerful and stated he would kill evil spirits that roamed the world. He refused Kingship and received teachings from a Taoist immortal. After this, it is said he moved to Tai He Mountain to practice his newly learned Taoism. When he achieved his immorality, he received command of the Northern Heavens from the "Jade Emperor". During the 14 century when Yuon Dynasty was in control, Xuan Wu was the most important Deity in Northern China. Xuan Wu helped Zhu Li, the newly emperor on several occasions. In his repayment Zhen Wu Temples were built for Taoist worship. One temple constructed is known as the...