Jeff Rasmussen, PhD*
2,500+ year old spiritual practice. The main texts of Taoism are the "Tao
Te Ching" (the Book of the Way and its Power) by Lao Tzu and "Inner Chapters"
by Chuang Tzu. Similar to Zen, Taoism is like a
"finger pointing at the moon". That is, Taoism states that words are just
a sign to point to the nonconceptual ultimate reality. It is of
value to not obsess over the conceptual pointer but to clearly see
the ultimate reality. The current write-up focuses on the so-called Philosophical-Spiritual
Taoism. There is also an indigenous variety, which has incorporated divination
and alchemy, that would differ in some respects from the Philosophical-Spiritual
in Ultimate Reality
or ultimate truth is beyond words or any conceptual understanding. When
asked to name it, it is referred to as Tao or the Way.
The Power of the Way is referred to as Te. Although Tao and Te are similar
to other practices ideas of God, Taoists seldom use those terms; as such
the Tao that defies conceptualization can be understood as similar to
the use of Yaweh as "I am what I am" in the Bible.