Taoism Beliefs

by Jeff Rasmussen, PhD*

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Taoism is a
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 Taoism.

Belief in Ultimate Reality

The supreme being
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.

Would you
like to learn more? I highly
recommend Allan Watts' book

What is Tao?
click to buy at Amazon.com

continue to page 2

*for a similar
write up and to see if
you are a Taoist, visit SelectSmart.