China: The Way of the Tao in Today’s China

The philosopher Lao tsu spent his life time seeking a long life through herbal Chinese remedies, stories in Chinese antiques shop keepers stories. His work contains only five thousand characters, making disagreement on some nuanced point on some thing he said. This was some thing he could see what might happen and so it has come to be. Neither Lao tse nor Confucious wanted immortality in the hearts and minds of their followers. They would be satisfied to one day die and have others read their words and learn one small thing.

Lao tsu, a modest man,felt that if his words made even one life some how enriched by his thoughs, his life was not in vain. And yet over the centuries small monastaries were created as space for study of his words. For many centuries the words of Lao tsu could only be read by scholars and students, yet crowds would gather to listen to a scholar with a fresh parchment of rice paper emblazened by the words of the master, Lao tsu. To live in harmony with nature is all.

In one sentence break Lao tsu explains the Tao (also known as Dao): Man conforms to Earth; Earth conforms to Heaven; Heaven Conforms to Tao; and Tao conforms to the way of nature. What Lao tsu did not want was for his followers to make a god of him, but to continue to debate his words. Many now bow to an effigy of him in a chapel dedicated to his writings, where scholars who studied his works still gather. Some of the chapels are in rural areas and so quaint and attractive they have become travel shrines, more for modern tourists.

One Taoist scholar Zhuangzi (369-286 BCE)wrote the follow ups to the Tao De Jing which ensured it became assured forever as an anchor of Chinese literature. Taoism teaches us that liberation of the human capacity of soul is attained when a person lives in harmony with the empty, spontaineous and natural essence of the Tao – that is, the way, or path of the universe. Long life can be attained bt living in harmony with nature. Tao has reality and evidence but no action or form.

How well this could be explained in your first visit into a Chinese antiques shop that had much about the way, or the path, will determine how much you can learn by what you read. Perhaps the shop keeper will have an understanding about the Way, or the Path. It is a beautiful natural way that perhaps we all hope we are still capable of, live in harmony with nature. .

Derek Dashwood enjoys noticing positive ways we progress, the combining of science into the humanities to measure life at Chinese Antiques

Article Source: China: The Way of the Tao in Today's China