Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Religion: Taoism

The Tao Te Ching was a book written by philosopher Lao Tzu about 500 BCE (about 800 years older than the Christian Bible). It's an eye opening holy book that reveals a lot about the nature of the universe. I'll be using this blog to post excerpts from it and post my thoughts along with it.

I may create another blog with a compilation of my Taoist postings, but as of now I don't really see the need.

The translation that I'm using is by Ursula K. Le Guin. Her translation attempts to keep the spirit of what's said while preserving the artistic value of the writings. This is the copy I carry around with me and the copy that I use to understand Philosophical Taoism.

It's important to realize that Philosophical Taoism is different from Religious Taoism. Religious Taoism brings in the idea of physical immortality, potions to help you attain physical immortality, and multiple gods interlocked in a huge drama. This is not what I follow because it has the same problems as all other religions like it.

Philosophical Taoism helps the follower understand The Tao or 'The Way'. The Tao could also be a singular God or simply the energy of the universe. There are many Taoism references in Star Wars when talking about The Force. Several things brought up by Yoda are lifted directly from the Tao Te Ching.

Now, Yoda's cool and all, but the things brought up by Yoda were not the important parts in my opinion. There are several things in the Tao Te Ching that talk about contentment and letting go of material things. The main thing that the Tao Te Ching does is bring peace to the reader.

Sometimes that's all we need.

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