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Topic: Is Taoism a religion, philosophy, or both?

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Subject: Is Taoism a religion, philosophy, or both?
Date Posted: 5/31/2008 3:22 AM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,478
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I have been wondering ever since I read an entry on the positivity blog called "4 Taoist Secrets to Doing Less and Getting More Done" 

It's not comprehensive, however, it highlights certain principles of Taoism.  It struck me these tenets could be used in any stress management course.  I guess they were way ahead of their times!

Any thoughts?

Here is the entry if anyone would like to read it: http://www.positivityblog.com/index.php/2008/05/27/the-4-taoist-secrets-to-doing-less-and-getting-more-done/

 

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 5/31/2008 4:30 AM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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My best answer would be that it's a way of being  (...or a way of life).  Theology?  Yes.  Philosophy?  Yes.  And many other things too. :)



Last Edited on: 5/31/08 4:30 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/31/2008 4:38 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2005
Posts: 5,091
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Both of course.  Anything else would be accepting dualism, and we Taoist don't believe in dualisms.  :)

Seriously, I know of Christians who have a Taoist philosophy without feeling that it compromises their Christianity in any way.  I also know secular humanists who have a Taoist philosophy.  It can be adapted to almost any religious belief.  For me, and others I know, it serves as religion, but that doesn't mean that we have it right and those who view it solely as philosophy have it wrong.

My introduction to Taoism was from someone who, as far as I know, never read the Tao to Ching, or the writing of others Taoists such as Chuang tzu - Henry David Thoreau (at least there is no proof that he did.  He talks extensively about the Bhagavad Gita and quotes Confucian texts, but never mentions Taoism.  I presume this means he never was exposed to it.  A shame, he would have loved it).  He had a very Taoist approach to life, without ever having heard of Taoism. 

Which reminds me that it's time to read Walden again.  It's been ages.

Date Posted: 6/2/2008 2:51 AM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,478
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LG & Kari, thanks for the info.  I'm often amazed at how Eastern philosophy/religion understood the workings of the mind-body connection long before we figured out stress reactions.



Last Edited on: 6/2/08 2:51 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/6/2008 12:09 PM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2008
Posts: 161
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I must jump in here and say that The Tao of Pooh explained it all for me. I knew that little bear was on to something!

Date Posted: 6/7/2008 3:18 AM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,478
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I've read the Tao of Pooh and also the Te of Piglet.   It's been awhile.  Maybe I should pick them up again.  (I like Piglet more than Pooh though, I could relate alot to Piglet's dilemmas)