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Celebrating our Sources: Taoism/Daoism

Tao symbol

From the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations

The Living Tradition which we share draws from many sources:

Wisdom from the world’s religions inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life.

College professor and author, Paul Alan Laughlin describes the evolution of Taoism in this way.  Tao began as pure undifferentiated non-dual Unity (an empty circle) that emerges from Nothing (wu chi).  The first manifestation of change appeared as tai chi or yin and yang, dynamic duality.  The entities resembled two fish, ever swirling around each other.  

Each “fish” also has a small “eye” of the color of the other “fish”. There is blending.

Thus, almost nothing in the cosmos is completely yin or yang.  (Sun, Moon, Earth and Heaven are the exceptions.)  From yin and yang also came Earth, Water and Air.  (The creation story continues.) And from them came 10,000 Things/Myriad Creatures/Everyday Reality. 

Yin was seen as dark with a white “eye”– Moon, Earth, dark, moist, heavy, low, female, compliant, passive, humble.  Foods such as seafood, tofu, eggplant, and miso soup are quietly all Yin. 

Yang was seen as white  with a dark “eye”– Sun, Heaven, bright, warm, dry, light, high, nobility, aggressive, assertive, dominant, male. Foods as meat, poultry, onions are happily all  Yang. 

Both Yin and Yang are needed for life to function successfully.  A popular Chinese saying:“Things like to happen together,” emphasizes that everything is dynamically interrelated to everything else. 

Sometime in the 4th Century BCE, the legendary Lao Tzu crafted a small book of poems of a beleaguered Chinese ruler.  Thus the world learned of the Tao and its power.   

From The Dao de Ching, # 18, we read these words: 

When the great Dao is forgotten, goodness and piety appear. 

When the body’s intelligence declines, cleverness and knowledge step forth.

When there is no peace in the family, filial piety begins.

When the country falls into chaos, patriotism is born.                                                           

                                                                        By   Josephine  Leach,  May 26, 2014)

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