Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2014 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Taoism

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6086-2_683

Lao Tzu wrote in the sixth to seventh century: “Every being in the universe is an expression of the Tao… .The Tao gives birth to all beings, nourishes them, maintains them, cares for them, comforts them, protects them, takes them back to itself… .That is why love of the Tao is in the very nature of things.” (Lao Tzu in Mitchell 1989, p. 13)

The Tao (pronounced “Dao”) is “The Way” of the ancient Chinese philosophers. The central idea is that harmony with nature is the way to live graciously. To live in harmony with the way the universe works is to keep in tune with natural laws. The concepts of Yin (feminine) and Yang (masculine) energies flow all through the worldview of the Taoists. The classic text, the Tao te Ching, is believed to have been written by the poet and philosopher Lao Tzu. Much of Chinese culture has been deeply influenced by these Taoist ideas, including statesmanship, religion, medicine (e.g., acupuncture), physical exercise (Tai Chi or Qi Gong), and even auspicious...

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Bibliography

  1. Firebrace, P., & Hill, S. (1994). Acupuncture: How it works, how it cures. New Canaan: Keats.Google Scholar
  2. Izutsu, T. (1983). Sufism and Taoism: A comparative study of key philosophical concepts. Los Angeles: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  3. Mitchell, S. (Ed.). (1989). The enlightened heart: An anthology of sacred poetry. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mind Body Spirit InstituteStamfordUSA