This was based on the revelations to Chang Tao-Ling CE and offered a way of salvation through repentance, healing and spells. The Chang family lineage did much to make Taoism an organised religion. In CE official imperial sacrifices were offered for the first time to Lao Tzu. The second major religious movement during this period was the organisation which welled up from the lowest levels of Chinese society known as Great Peace or Tai Ping Tao.
The philosophical dimension of Taoism further developed the mysticism of the philosophical thought from the Tao Te Ching and Chuang-tzu during this period. This period witnessed both the mutual influences between Taoist philosophy and Taoist religion and the independent development of these two forms of Taoism which is shown in the Neo-Taoism and the spread of religious Taoism.
Both dimensions existed independently but, at the same time, greatly influenced each other. Also during this period Feng-Shui or geomancy developed as a ritual expression of Yin-Yang and the five Elements concepts which became a very important part of Taoist religious practices.
New ways were determined of interpreting the I Ching, which created a link with Confucianism, and new interpretations arose of Wu-Wei non-activity. During this period Taoism developed the conception of an afterlife and the organisation of monastic lifestyle. Ling Pao Ching Numinous Treasure in CE began with revelations of texts and developed rites of cosmic renewal, and ritual methods of controlling spirits.
This sect also influenced the Heavenly Master schools and later sects. Shang-Ching High Purity was based on the visions received by Yang Hsi whose teachings sought to control spirits through meditation rather than rituals. Tao claimed that he had received Taoist secrets in visions from the early Taoist practitioners themselves. During this period Northern China was under the control of the Tartars and the Chinese government fled south. The Heavenly Master of the North was brought into contact with the old traditions and practices of southern China.
This led to the formation of two separate schools of the Heavenly Master tradition which, after the re-unification of China, were re-united. Northern Heavenly Master The first reform of the Heavenly Master tradition was initiated in the north by Kou Chien-Chih 3 73 CE who sought to bring Taoist ecclesiastical and monastic life up to the levels maintained by Buddhism and to make Taoism acceptable to the higher classes of Chinese Society.
The movement stressed moral conduct and opposed uprisings and esoteric sexual rites. Southern Heavenly Master Lu Hsiu-Ching CE helped develop the institutional character of Taoism by combining the ceremonies of the Chinese court with practices of both the earlier Heavenly Master sect and those of the southern Taoist tradition.
Taoist monasticism was in some part modelled on the Buddhist monastic practices of this period, but the influence should be acknowledged of the hermit philosophers of the early-Warring States period. During the T'ang period there was also doctrinal and liturgical synthesis between Taoism and Buddhism and Confucianism.
In the Sung dynasty CE many other new Taoist sects appeared. Among the most important of these were Ta'i-l Supreme Unity , based on magical techniques to fight disease, and ethical rules of conduct; Chen-Ta Tao Perfect and Great Way , known for its teachings on ethics and practical morality; and Chuan-Chen Complete Perfection which became of the most influential progressions of Taoism emphasising meditation, simplifying rituals and encouraging non-reliance on scriptures.
This Taoist school advocated asceticism and rejection of magical routines, but at the same time continued and adopted some of the practices of the Shag-Ching and Mao Shan tradition. Cheng-I Orthodox Unity was the second major current of this time, a direct successor of the Heavenly Master sect, which also interpreted the theories and practices of the Mao Shan and Ling Pao sects, as all three emphasised the value of charms, spells and rituals.
Cheng-I or Heavenly Master and Chuan-Chen became the major Taoist traditions after the end of the thirteenth century, However, Taoist religious impetus was already waning and the main trends of Taoist philosophical thought were being absorbed into "Neo-Confucianism", whilst the greater part of religious Taoism was absorbed into popular religion. At the top levels of philosophical and religious thought in China these two traditions continued to have influence on the highest Confucian and philosophical thought, and at the common level on the religious faith and practice of popular custom.
There are National Taoist Associations both in mainland China and Taiwan, although-h it is not possible to estimate the number of followers of Taoism. This is probably the reason why the Chinese as a people are very communal. If people adopted this notion, then a lot of useless conflicts between people would be done away with. This is because according to these philosophies, left to his means, the individual would not only hold himself back but also fragment the society.
When individuals come together, the society is made stronger because people do only that which is advantageous to society. If therefore people adopted this principle as taught in both Confucianism and Taoism, the world would be a peaceful place to live in and our political leaders would work for the electorate instead of protecting themselves and the haves.
Another way in which the combination of the two philosophies can help make a well rounded person is that they both advocate for virtues that would make an individual better. While Confucianism emphasizes on humaneness, Righteousness, Knowledge, Etiquette and Integrity, Taoism centers on nature and how it can bring harmony to the human being and society.
If one combined the two, he would in essence be a person who does good, follows societal norms and also conserves the environment. This in essence would be a law abiding citizen who respects the role of nature in the world.
The environment and nature which we salvage any how would be safe and global warming and the extinction of some species of animals would not be there. Crime would be a thing of the past. The society would be full of well rounded people. Both philosophies encourage people to live well conducted lives, to fulfill all their obligations and duties and balance their lives.
This means that people should respect their different roles in social relationships as mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, siblings, friends, relatives, ruler, subject etc. The two religions encourage that one should be able to balance all his roles and perform them to the fullest.
This balance is also encouraged in other issues in life as such as there should be a balance between cowardice and courage. Striking a balance between things and observing moderation is makes a well conducted life which is encouraged in both religions.
If people adopted the principles of Confucianism and Taoism, issues like violence, negligence, divorce, adultery, deceit would be unheard of as everyone would know their place and execute their roles efficiently. If people adopted Confucian and Taoist principles, we would believe in the inherent potential in human beings to be changed and transformed to be good people.
If one went wrong for example, they would really believe they could change and therefore they would work towards becoming better people because they truly believe in transformation. People would be aware of their inner self and cultivate it for the betterment of humanity. Our Judicial and justice systems would also be tailored with this notion in mind, with their primary role being to fully rehabilitate people.
If a person combined both Confucian and Taoist principles in their lives, they would learn to appreciate the little things that we take for granted like the sun, the rain, the air and even art among other. Such a person would appreciate uncontaminated beauty and thus give way for art to develop.
Such people would use art to unify society. This is the reason why the Chinese appreciate art so much. The Great Way is very smooth, but the people love the by-paths. The wearing of gay embroidered robes, the carrying of sharp swords, fastidiousness in food and drink, superabundance of property and wealth: He who acts in accordance with Tao, becomes one with Tao. Being akin to Heaven, he possesses Tao.
Possessed of Tao, he endures forever. Being great Tao passes on; passing on, it becomes remote; having become remote, it returns Head3 The eternal hope for all followers of Buddha is that through reincarnation one comes back into successively better lives — until one achieves the goal of being free from pain and suffering and not having to come back again.
This wheel of rebirth, known as samsara, goes on forever or until one achieves Nirvana. Birth is not the beginning and death is not the end. This cycle of life has no beginning and can go on forever without an end. The ultimate goal for every Buddhist, Nirvana, represents total enlightenment and liberation.
Only through achieving this goal is one liberated from the never ending round of birth, death, and rebirth Head3 Transmigration, the Buddhist cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, involves not the reincarnation of a spirit but the rebirth of a consciousness containing the seeds of good and evil deeds.
The first stage in concerned with desire, which goes against the teachings of Buddha, is the lowest form and involves a rebirth into any number of hells. The second stage is one in which animals dominate. But after many reincarnations in this stage the spirit becomes more and more human, until one attains a deep spiritual understanding. At this point in the second stage the Buddhist gradually begins to 4 abandon materialism and seek a contemplative life. The Buddhist in the third stage is ultimately able to put his ego to the side and become pure spirit, having no perception of the material world.
This stage requires one to move from perception to non-perception. And so, through many stages of spiritual evolution and numerous reincarnations, the Buddhist reaches the state of Nirvana Leek The transition from one stage to another, or the progression within a stage is based on the actions of the Buddhist.
All actions are simply the display of thought, the will of man. This will is caused by character, and character is manufactured from karma. Karma means action or doing. Any kind of intentional action whether mental, verbal or physical is regarded as karma.
All good and bad actions constitute karma. As is the karma, so is the will of the man. Buddha developed a doctrine known as the Four Noble Truths based on his experience and inspiration about the nature of life. These truths are the basis for all schools of Buddhism. The fourth truth describes the way to overcome personal desire through the Eightfold Path. Buddha called his path the Middle Way, because it lies between a life of luxury and a life of poverty. Not everyone can reach the goal of Nirvana, but every Buddhist is at least on the path toward enlightenment.
To achieve Nirvana the Buddhist must follow the steps of the Eightfold Path. Right Knowledge is knowledge of what life is all about; knowledge of the Four Noble Truths is basic to any further growth as a Buddhist. Right Aspiration means a clear devotion to being on the Path toward Enlightenment. Right Speech involves both clarity of what is said and speaking kindly and without malice. It also involves five basic laws of behavior for Buddhists: Right Livelihood involves choosing an occupation that keeps an individual on the Path; that is, a path that promotes life and well-being, rather than the accumulation of a lot of money.
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