Taoism was founded by Lao Tzu who developed the concept of Tao, the path, in that everything revolves around this way. There are three ways to understand Tao; Tao is the same in everything, ultimate reality, it cannot be exhausted, and is the way of life. In Taoism, the ability to move the power of the Tao is called Te, and can be translated into three different meanings. Philosophical Taoism is the first one, it is reflective and is the attitude towards life; the second is vitalizing, because it is active and engages in ch’i or energy. The last meaning is religious Taoism, this involves meditation on a nothingness and uses soothsayers or faith healers to understand problems and answers; the three branches may circulate within each other to maximize te. Taoism has fundamental aspects dealing with nature, the flow of energy, and effectiveness called wu wei; humans need to work with nature, not against it. Taoist believe nature has a superior place over humans, because the Taoist of Transcendent, energy that runs through all things, is constant; people are a part of nature, whereas nature is part of the ultimate. When man goes along with the flow of wu wei he will find total happiness and avoid an unharmonious environment. Hence the whole purpose of Tao is to listen and reflect on the self to better understand, while also bringing peace and balance to a person’s life. The yin/yang symbol is a perfect example of two complete opposites that complement each other, thus giving life balance and harmony. However, Confucianism was founded by Confucius, who was fixated on how people can become more human. He based all of his theories on the Chou Dynasty, making tradition an important aspect of his philosophy. Basically, Confucius thought t...
Confucianism and Taoism are religious belief systems which have co-existed in China for well over two centuries. Confucianism deals with social matters and status, while Taoism concerns itself with the search for meaning and being one with nature. I agree with the statement that Chinese philosophies and religious practices are concerned with the creation of harmony as this will be proven in this essay as the similarities and differences between Confucianism and Taoism with regards to their strategies for the creation of harmony will be analysed. Furthermore, the maintenance and restoration of harmony within the individual will be analysed in accordance with the Chinese philosophy of Yin and Yang and Qi through acupuncture. Social and cosmic harmony will also be discussed with regards to Confucianism and Taoism respectively. The conclusion will be based on beliefs of Confucianism and Taoism alike.
During the Warring States period China was going through chaos. The teachings of Confucianism and Daoism were welcomed by society to bring order, stability and liberate people from the misery and oppression. The rulers were greedy and desirous of political power and their own agendas; however they were looking for a new way to unite their people. It is often said that Confucianism and Daoism are the yang and yin, respectively, of Chinese religion. That is, they are not rivals so much as complementary traditions, working together to produce an overall balance in the lives of the Chinese. This is not true because the two religious philosophies were different from one another. Confucius believed that the traditions and virtues that were studied and taught in the old days by the Ancients was the best way to organize society (trickle-down approach). Also followers of Confucius believed in education, a moral force and human goodness to advance and progress within society. Daoism on the other hand relies on human nature and a balance of good and evil (Yin-Yang) to bring about social order. It neglects education, virtue and cultural norms because it is said that people are born faultless.
The concept of Confucianism has contributed immensely in the forming of Chinese character, behaviour and the way to live, with its main purpose being to achieve harmony which is considered the greatest social value. Confucianism firmly highlights the impression of mercy, social order and fulfilment of responsibilities. The effects of Confucianism had impacted both China and Japan to the extent that the changes are still noticeable to this day.
Confucianism and Its Implications in Modern China
Confucianism is a time enduring philosophy that has stood up to invading clans, war, resentment, enforcement and infringement of new philosophies, and eventually, revival. For almost 80 years, up until the late 1970’s, Confucianism and its ideas and values have been all but wiped away from China. Though effort was made to remove Confucianism for good from China by the Communist leader Mao Zedong in 1949, the ideas and values were so deeply embedded into peoples mind and the culture that even suppression could not keep it out of the culture and practices.
In Taoism, all living beings are viewed as equal, which opposes the hierarchical views and the five essential relationships that a Confucian must follow. One philosophy places strong importance on nature, and the other places it on culture. Confucianism revolved around a culture which was built by a society that valued human life in a particular order, and more so than all other living creatures. Taoism viewed nature as an escape from the tempestuous reality created by humans. Lao Tzu describes “the myriad creatures all rise together and I watch their return. The teaming creatures all return to their separate roots. Returning to one’s roots is known as stillness. This is what is meant by returning to one’s destiny” (XVI). Nature has an essence of tranquility and stillness that Lao Tzu writes about often. In Taoism, all animals, including humans, are equal in nature and returning to nature is a human’s way to reconnect with simplicity and live through the volatile
Confucianism is the major system of thought in China. It was developed from the teachings of Confucius and his disciples, and concerned with the principles of good conduct, practical wisdom, and proper social relationships. Confucianism has influenced the Chinese attitude toward life, set the patterns of living and standards of social value, and provided the background for Chinese political theories and institutions. It has spread from China to Korea, Japan, and Vietnam and has aroused interest among Western scholars.
Confucianism is basically about relations and being a good person. One of the tenants of Confucianism is following of the family model of society. That meant that the father was the head of the family and controlled the family unit. Symbolically this meant that the King was the father of the country. The point of Confucianism is that it teaches social responsibility through filial piety. It is this idea of total obedience to the patriarch, the king, that seems to set Confucianism apart from the others. But it also brings it closer to Dharma. As in the early dharma, based society of India there is a strict social order based upon the self to maintain this order. By maintaining order in society you preserve peace, if you follow your prescribed path in life as dictated by dharma, then you maintain peace and order as well. This strictness of society is what maintains control over the populace. The difference between the two is that while one will provide you a reward in the afterlife as per some god, the other is
Confucianism and Daoism: Conflicting Paths to a Common Goal
While possessing similar goals, Confucianism and Daoism texts have conflicting information on how to achieve these goals. Confucianism and Daoism have some similarities such as the belief that “human fulfillment lay in harmonizing our thinking and behavior with the Way (dao)” and a refinement of the self to gain an objective (Adler, Chinese Religious Traditions, 15). Both traditions recognize that we can do better as humans. While there are similarities between these religious traditions, their written teachings have very different instruction on how to achieve the Dao. Confucianism encourages the notion of ru, which is “evoking a commitment to learning, refinement, cultural accomplishments, and the practice of rites and
Taoism is a philosophy that is based in nature and the energies that keep everything in order. To understand the Taoism principles requires a deep connection with the earth and all of its elements and creatures. This can only be accomplished by learning to observe nature and begin to feel the rhythm of all life on this planet and how it is all inter-connected as a balanced whole. The dynamic balance in life is two opposites completing each other in the effort to form one. This is clearly demonstrated in the yin and yang energies. These two energies are opposites, but when joined together form a complete energy which is the governing energy of all life and the perfectly balanced form of energy. The goal of the second principle is to actualize