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The following passages are quoted from the book,"Mankind's Search For God," published by the Watchtower Society. Information about obtaining a copy of the book can be found at "'LET a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools contend.' That saying, made famous by Mao Tse-tung of the People's Republic of China in a speech in 1956, was actually a paraphrase of the expression that Chinese scholars have used to describe the era in China from the fifth to the third centuries B.C.E., called the Warring States period. By this time the mighty Chou dynasty (c. 1122-256 B.C.E.) had deteriorated into a system of loosely bound feudal states that were engaged in continuous warfare, much to the distress of the common people. "The turmoil and suffering brought about by the wars seriously weakened the authority of the traditional ruling class. The common people were no longer content with submitting themselves to the whims and wiles of the aristocracy and silently suffering the consequences. As a result, long-suppressed ideas and aspirations burst forth like 'a hundred flowers.' Different schools of thought advanced their ideas on government, law, social order, conduct, and ethics, as well as on subjects such as agriculture, music, and literature, as the means for restoring some normalcy to life. They came to be known as the 'hundred schools.' Most of them did not produce a lasting effect. Two schools, however, gained such prominence that they have influenced life in China for over 2,000 years. They were what eventually came to be known as Taoism and Confucianism. "In its early stages, Taoism was more a philosophy than a religion. Its founder, Lao-tzu, was dissatisfied with the chaos and turmoil of the times and sought relief by shunning society and returning to nature. Not a great deal is known about the man, who is said to have lived in the sixth century B.C.E., although even that is uncertain. He was commonly called Lao-tzu, which means 'Old Master' or 'Old One,' because, as legend has it, his pregnant mother carried him for so long that when he was born, his hair had already turned white. "The only official record about Lao-tzu is in Shih Chi (Historical Records), by Ssu-ma Ch'ien, a respected court historian of the second and first centuries B.C.E. According to this source, Lao-tzu's real name was Li Erh. He served as a clerk in the imperial archives at Loyang, central China. But more significantly, it gives this account about Lao-tzu: "Lao Tzu resided in Chou most of his life. When he foresaw the decay of Chou, he departed and came to the frontier. The custom-house officer Yin Hsi said: 'Sir, since it pleases you to retire, I request you for my sake to write a book.' Thereupon Lao Tzu wrote a book of two parts consisting of five thousand and odd words, in which he discussed the concepts of the Way [Tao] and the Power [Te]. Then he departed. No one knows where he died. "Many scholars doubt the authenticity of this account. In any case, the book that was produced is known as Tao Te Ching (generally translated 'The Classic of the Way and the Power') and is considered the principal text of Taoism. It is written in terse, cryptic verses, some of which are only three or four words long. Because of this and because the meaning of some characters has changed considerably since the time of Lao-tzu, the book is subject to many different interpretations. "Taoism was basically a school of philosophy. Reacting to the injustices, suffering, devastation, and futility that resulted from the harsh rule of the feudal system of the time, Taoists believed that the way to find peace and harmony was to go back to the tradition of the ancients before there were kings and ministers who dominated the common people. Their ideal was to live the tranquil, rural life, in union with nature."

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โˆ™ 2009-07-31 23:46:59
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Q: What is the history of the religion Taoism?
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Related questions

How did Confucius turn taoism into a religion?

You have it wrong sorry...Confucius had nothing to do with creating Taoism and sadly it (Taoism) is not a religion either

Is taoism autonomous?

Yes, taoism is a non-hierarchrical religion.

Is taoism a universalizing religion?

no its an ethnic religion

What are the people of Taoism religion called?

Taoism is more of a philosophy than a religion. Its people are called Taoists.

Is taoism monothestic?

Taoism is NOT a religion,It's a way of life.The "tao" is everything.

Founder of the religion Taoism?

the founder of Taoism is Lao Tzu, a chinese philosopher.

Compare and contrast Confucianism with Taoism religion?

Confucianism is for Chinese and Taoism is for Japanese

Who are the leaders of the religion taoism?

i don't know because i need the answer or definition of taoism

Is taoism a religion or philosophy?

a philosophy

What was the religion in the Qin dynasty?

It was taoism.

Is Taoism a religion or is it a philosophy?


What religion started in China?


Which civilization founded Taoism?

The religion of Taoism derives from the philosophy of Taoism which was founded by Lao-tzu. The practice of Taoism began during the Shang dynasty in China.

Did Taoism affect Asia?

Yes, Taoism was at one time the dominant religion in China.

What are the difference between Catholic and taoism?

Taoism is a natural philosophy, Catholicism is a revealed religion.

What are the major beliefs of the Taoism religion?

One major belief in the taoism religion is to lead a simple and selfless life and to always be kind to others.

What major world religion exerted a powerful influnced on Chinese culture?

Confucianism and Taoism. These are two of the most prevalent in Chinese history.

What is the founder of religion taoism?

Lao-tzu is the founder of the Taoist religion

What is a religion that mixes of Buddhism Confucianism and Taoism?

Chinese folk religion.

What is the indigenous religion of china?

Taoism Buddhism

Is Taoism a ethnic religion?

try to find out

Which religion had the least emphasis on the afterlife?


Taoism was considered to be?

A way of thinking and a religion

What kind of religion is taoic?

Probably Taoism

What is a religion that begins with the letter T?