Laozi

By Jude Mulligan

   Laozi, an ancient Chinese philosopher, created Daoism, the yin and yang, and encouraged governing less harshly than Confucius an Hanfeizi. "Taoism is a philosophical, ethical, political and religious tradition of Chinese origin that emphasizes living in harmony."  Daoism is a very calm religion that focuses on being close to nature.  "Yin and yang can be thought of as complementary (rather than opposing) forces that interact to form a dynamic system in which the whole is greater than the assembled parts."  Yin and yang means that you cannot have peace without war, light without dark, or good without bad.  "Governing a large country is like frying a small fish.  You spoil it with too much poking."  Rulers who followed Daoism governed less harshly because they believed life should be lead by nature.  Followers of Laozi's philosophy believed in the power of nature, two sides to everything, and peace.

   Daoism is the ancient Chinese religion that believes in order in nature, happiness through harmony with nature, and a life of simplicity and meditation.  "Maoist belief is based on the idea that there is central or organizing principle of the Universe"  Order in the natural universe means that what happens is the way that it was supposed to happen.  "Daoists believe that there is a "way of heaven", or Tao, that one can come to know by living in harmony with nature and hence with the cosmos and the Universe."  Daoists believe that heaven on Earth can be achieved by being close to nature while living in harmony with it.  "The Three Jewels of Tao, refer to the three virtues of Taoism: compassion, simplicity, and humility."  Daoists believe in giving up all desires and living simplistically and meditating to become closer to nature.  Heaven and harmony are achieved on Earth through a simple life connected with nature through meditation.

     Yin and yang, created by Laozi, is the belief that opposite forces are complimentary to each other, there are physical aspects, and that both sides make an indivisible whole.   "Opposite or contrary forces are actually complementary, and interdependent in the natural world."  Life doesn't exist without death, peace without war, and there is no love without hate.  "Many tangible dualities (such as light and dark, fire and water, and male and female) are thought of as physical manifestations of the duality of yin and yang."  Yin and yang is not just feelings, but physical things that are connected to each other.  "In Daoist metaphysics, distinctions between good and bad, along with other dichotomous moral judgments, are perceptual, not real; so, the duality of yin and yang is an indivisible whole."  Both sides together of the yin and yang equal one and you can't have one without the other.  Yin and yang are light and dark, or positives and negatives that are connected to each other.

     Laozi and Daoists believe in governing the people by letting them govern themselves, being kind to all, and letting nature govern.  "Laozi stressed the importance of wu-wei in the Tao Te Ching. Wu-wei has become known in the west to mean inaction."  Letting the people govern themselves meant that the government should not be involved in the lives of the people.  "Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love."  Being kind and setting an example for others is a foundation for Daoism.  "The Daoist view of nature has as a corollary a view of human beings as relatively unimportant, as simply a part of nature."  Daoists believe that people are just part of nature and not the most important thing.  Daoism is the belief that people should make their own choices, be kind to all, and live within nature.

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