|Introduction to Taoism|
| When we mention the word
"taoism", actually we are talking about three different but
closely related aspects. They are:|
Taoism as a philosophy of life;
2) Taoism as
Chinese alchemy; and
3) Taoism as
a traditional religion of China.
As a philosophy of
life, Taoism is known to the West as a principal Chinese philosophy
based on the teachings of Lao-tzu (6th century - 4th
century B.C.) and Chuang-tzu (370-300 B.C.). But actually,
the concept of Tao can be
traced back to Huangdi , the Yellow Emperor (2697? - 2599? B.C.) and the earliest
writings of ancient China. It is a way of living life in harmony
with Nature which is actually man's innate nature, and is also
closely related to the concept of "Heaven-Man-Union" .
Confucius said, "Tao is not far from man" , and also in "I-Ching", "The
common people use it daily without knowing" . Tao is built-in newborn
babies (but most people lost it when their egos become fully
developed) [NB. See "Tao Teh Ching" ch.
and is also the source of creativity for those talented.
The "Tao Teh Ching"
as written by Lao-tzu is the first and the most
authoritative Chinese text that systematically presents the concept
of Tao and its gaining (Teh). Thus it becomes the
principal text of Taoism.
Besides being a philosophy of life,
Tao has found its application in Chinese alchemy - the goal
of which is to achieve longevity, immortality and finally ascension
(to become celestial
immortals) through the cultivation of the elixir. While still honouring
Lao-tzu and the "Tao Teh Ching" as their patriarch
and principal text, the knack of this has been passed on mainly by
word of mouth through lineages of Taoist masters or by writings and
poems in secret jargons. Here is my introduction to
Chinese Alchemy and a list of known Chinese Alchemy
to most Chinese, Taoism is an indigenous polytheistic religion,
in which Lao-tzu is worshipped as the "Supreme Old Master"
- one of the three principal deities of Taoism. Also,
many historical ascended immortals are worshipped as gods in
the religion of Taoism.|
the religion of Taoism is a series of beliefs, religious activities,
rituals, theurgies, etc. which have already become part of the
traditional Chinese culture. [See Taoist Culture and
Information Centre webpage for more
expertise in Taoism is mainly in the knowledge of Tao,
"Heaven-Man-Union" and Chinese alchemy. And in Chinese
alchemy, I am only familiar with the cultivation of the golden
elixir. Although I do have experience and success in
cultivating the inner
elixir some years ago while practising
Qigong, I do not claim to be an expert in this
field. As for the religion of Taoism, my knowledge is
only up to what I have come to know being brought up in a
traditional Chinese society.|
started the translation of the "Tao Teh Ching" in Jan
2000, I have been working on the translation of a few Taoist
classics which I consider as orthodox pre-heavenly Taoist approach.
And with this web page, I hope to share this profound knowledge of
Tao with people all over the world.