Taoism (also called Taoism) is a Chinese religion that developed somewhat after Confucianism about two thousand years ago. Unlike Confucianism, Taoism is primarily concerned with the spiritual elements of life, including the nature of the universe. The guiding principle of Taoism is roughly translated as „the way,” which is a harmonious natural order that arises between man and the world and that Taoists should seek. In the Taoist structure of the universe, people are destined to accept and yield to the Tao and do only natural and consistent things with the Tao. This is the concept of wu-wei, which translates to „no action” but really means walking with the true nature of the world and not fighting too much for desires. This contrasts Taoism with Confucianism in another way: it is not about humanistic morality, government, and society, which Taoists all regard as inventions of man and not necessarily part of the Tao. At the same time, Taoists were interested in longevity, both of the human body and the soul. Attaining spiritual immortality as one with nature is an important part of the Taoist religion. Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism are considered the „three pillars” of ancient Chinese society. As philosophies and religions, they influenced not only spirituality, but also government, science, art, and social structure. Although their specific beliefs and teachings were sometimes at odds with each other, there was plenty of room for overlap. Instead of one tradition taking over and ousting the others, the three philosophies have influenced society side by side, changing each other and sometimes mixing them. Understanding the unique interaction between these three traditions gives a good insight into ancient Chinese society as well as modern times.
Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism were the three major philosophies and religions of ancient China, which individually and collectively influenced ancient and modern Chinese society. Despite their differences, Taoist and Confucian ideas are not completely at odds, allowing Chinese society to absorb the concepts of the two traditions. Taoism had an influence on literature and art, but the greatest area of Taoist influence was science. The Taoists` emphasis on the natural elements and observing how the natural world works helped create Chinese medicine. Similar to the modern scientific method, Taoists observed how various drugs affected humans and animals through experiments. Their collective knowledge, gained by trying to improve human life expectancy, has made a great contribution to the health sciences. Representation of Shang Yang. Shang Yang was a legalistic reformer among the Qin.
The structure of Chinese society and its emphasis on rituals, respect and obligation for family, ancestor worship and self-discipline remain strongly influenced by Confucius and his teachings. All interactive content on this site can only be read when you visit our website. You cannot download interactive elements. Audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited under the media element, with the exception of promotional images, which usually link to another page containing the media credit. The media rights holder is the named person or group. Confucianism remained widespread in Han Dynasty China in 202 BC. AD until the end of dynastic rule in 1911. It was reformulated as Neo-Confucianism during the Tang Dynasty (618–907) and became the basis for imperial trials.
The document in which the disciples of Confucius recorded his teachings. The purpose of a Taoist in life is to seek the way. By avoiding earthly distractions, one can focus on finding the way. Laozi called for a minimum of human action, preferring to „leave things to nature.” Unlike the Confucists, who followed social rules and hierarchies to cultivate themselves, the Taoists followed simplicity, spontaneity and inaction in harmony with nature. The book that forms the basis of Taoist philosophy. Another important philosopher at that time was Lao-tzu (also called Laozi), who founded Taoism (also called Taoism) along with Confucianism. Lao Tzu is a legendary figure – it is not known if he really existed. According to legend, Lao-tzu was born an old man around 604 BC.
When he left home to live a life of solitude, the city porter asked him to write down his thoughts. He did this in a book called Tao Te Ching and was never seen again. Taoism as a religion emerged over time and involved the worship of gods and ancestors, the cultivation of „chi” energy, a system of morality, and the use of alchemy to achieve immortality. This is still in practice today. The basis of civil trials in imperial China and the Confucian canon. They consist of the Book of Odes, the Book of Documents, the Book of Changes, the Book of Rites, and the Spring and Autumn Annals. Taoism began to transform into a religion around 200 AD, with texts and rituals heavily influenced by Buddhist practices. As a religion, Taoists contributed to Chinese medicine, science (the invention of gunpowder) and martial arts (Taiji, Wudang) over the next millennia in search of eternal life. As a philosophy, many Chinese paintings reflect Taoist values through the prominent depiction of mountains, streams, and other natural elements alongside small, relatively insignificant human figures.
Legalists could be divided into three types. The first dealt with shi, or investing the position of ruler with power (not the person) and the need to obtain facts to govern well. The second dealt with laws, regulations and standards. This meant that all under the ruler were equal and that the state was governed by law, not by a ruler. The third was the concept of shu or tactics to ensure state security. Legalism generally competed with Confucianism, which advocated a just and reciprocal relationship between the state and its subjects. The superior authority of the state and the strict application of the law are two of the fundamental elements of legalism. Although the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC), which practiced legalism, was short-lived, the effects of legalism continued throughout China`s political history.
Evidence abounds: from a centralized political governmental structure to the absolute authority of the emperor; from the higher interests of the State to the subordinate rights of its individual subjects. Buddhism was founded by Gautama Buddha around the 6th or 5th century BC. Founded in India. Buddha preached that the source of all human pain and suffering is human desire. The path to nirvana, or eternal enlightenment, is through self-meditation and the Eightfold Path, which is similar to the Ten Commandments. Among the many different branches of Buddhism, Mahayana Buddhism practiced in China contains more esoteric elements such as repeated chants in prayers; belief in recarnation, heaven and hell; and the worship of several deities who respond to the calls of believers. Although closer to a philosophy than a true religion, Confucianism was a way of life for the ancient Chinese and continues to influence Chinese culture to this day. The founder of Confucianism, called Confucius, lived from 551 to 479 BC. He was a philosopher and politician who lived at a time when traditional Chinese principles were beginning to deteriorate under competing political states.