Daoism Growth of a Religion
Quest of Western materialism for peace has also provided Daoism with the opportunity for huge appreciation as a philosophical discipline. According to Eva Wong Many people will experience, at least once in their lifetime, the urge to venture beyond the everyday world of the mundane into the world of spirit. These journeys into the spiritual world often take us into a universe we normally do not encounter in our daily lives and allow us to explore regions of our consciousness that we have not before known (1). While the Western philosophical discipline often fails to answer an individual’s questions regarding spiritual consciousness, Daoism, in this context, has been regarded as an effective source to solve these queries: The spiritual landscape of Taoism is a kaleidoscope of colors and sounds. It is also a land of silence and stillness. It can be friendly and attractive, and at the same time challenging and dangerous (Wong 1). Irrespective of the fact that it is quite difficult to restrain Daoism within a particular time frame, however, it can be said approximately that in A.D. 215 journey of Daoism commenced as a religious discipline through initiatives of Cao Cao (Robinet, and Brooks 2). Like all the major religious disciplines Daoism is still very much alive and continuously evolving. Though Cao Cao can be identified as a prime figure in recognizing Daoism, however, it has been widely argued that Daoism has never been founded and it is continuously evolving through different dimensions of human lives (Hu, and Allen 6). Daoism as a Religious Discipline: The literal meaning of Dao or Tao is the way, the road people walk on (Hu, and Allen 3). There are numerous instances of wide usage of the terminology in various philosophical disciplines of ancient China and consequently also makes it clear that Daoism cannot be confined within scope a particular philosophical domain. rather the evaluative capacity of this discipline is actually a result of different ideologies: The Tao of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing, Taoism’s foremost sacred text) was actually only one of many understandings of the word in ancient China. However, just as the Tao of the Tao Te Ching is the original force that encompasses all, the religion and philosophical system inspired by Tao Te Ching has also demonstrated inclusiveness by incorporating many other ancient understandings of the word into Taoism itself (Hu, and Allen 3-4). Thus, the vast expanse of Daoism encompasses almost all dimensions of human life, especially in the Chinese cultural context. This integrity is one of the main reasons that the differencing limits between being Daoist and being Chinese is often blurred. Apart from scholarly and academic disciplines, the common people of China also encounter the problem when it comes to differentiating between being a Daoist and being a Chinese. The evolutionary process of the religious and philosophic discipline is so deeply associated with every dimension of Chinese socio-cultural existence that starting from daily lifestyle, attitude towards life, personal philosophy, healthcare and even different incidents of the Chinese social history bear the evidence of the influence of Daoism: Taoism has interacted with integrated many elements of what is now recognized as Chinese civilization.