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  • Taoism (Daoism) originated in China
  • Approximately 30 million people consider themselves Taoists
  • Taoism incorporates traditional Chinese religion as well as a philosophy
Pivotal Values

The basic teachings of philosophic Taoism can be found in the Tao Te Ching, “The Classic of the Way and the Power. " This work dates to 4th Century BCE or earlier ” and is usually attributed to Lao-tzu although this is highly doubtful. It consists of  81  very brief “chapters.”

  • Belief in the Tao or “way."  The Tao is a single, universal principle/force that gives rise to and governs all things and all change.
  • The Tao is essentially the interplay between yin and yang. Yin is the dark, receptive, female aspect Yang is the bright, assertive, male aspect
  • All contradictions are resolved in the Tao: Nothing is totally yin or yang
  • The basic teaching of philosophic Taoism is that the purpose of human life is to live life according to the Tao.
  •  Wu-wei: “do nothing.” Do nothing contrary to the Tao.
    The supreme good is like water, which nourishes all things without trying to. It is content to take the low places that people disdain. Thus it is like the Tao