To be a Taoist means many things to many people. To be a practitioner of Contemporary Taoism simply means to have realised that we are all minute parts of an indescribably large Whole (the Tao), and to choose therefore to 'Flow Like Water' and live in a spontaneous, natural manner. This blog is about: Personal Growth / Spiritual Development as guided by the principles of Eastern Philosophy, particularly modern philosophical Taoism; Developing constructive habits and achieving success with minimal effort; Meditation - Taoist, Zen or otherwise. See 'What In Lao Tzu's Name is a Contemporary Taoist?'

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Main Principle of Taoism

Ancient China to Modern

"The philosophy of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu focussed entirely on this concept of the Tao, hence the name of the philosophy they founded: Taoism. For these two foundational Taoists, the Tao becomes the unitary principle and source of all there is, replacing T'ien as the source and governor of the universe. All things in the world are ultimately part of this single Tao; all contradictions and opposites are resolved in the Tao. The Tao, then, is the sum total of everything yet is still only a single thing. This, you may recognize, is similar to Parmenides' solution to the problem of the One and the Many. For the Taoists, anything viewed apart from this unitary principle, that is, anything viewed as having reality in and of itself apart from its place in the entirety of the universe, is fundamentally an illusion. Nothing has any meaning, value, or reality apart from its relation to the Tao. This Tao is unknowable and unspeakable; all human knowledge is knowledge of individual things and their relations, so no human knowledge can encompass the whole of everything as as single thing."


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