Tag Archives: taoism

Taoism (Chinese: 道教; prounounced Daoism) refers to a philosophical or religious tradition in which the basic concept is to establish harmony with the Tao (道), which is the mechanism of everything that exists. The word “Tao” (or “Dao”, depending on the romanization scheme) is usually translated as “way”, “path” or “principle” — although the word literally means “nature” as in the nature of all things as well as the natural world. Taoism had not only a profound influence on the culture of China, but also on its neighboring countries. While the philosophical Taoism is not institutionalized, the religious Taoism is institutionalized and present in multiple countries. Taoist philosophy is deeply rooted in contemporary China, and is an unavoidable part of modern Chinese life.

Taoist propriety and ethics emphasize the Three Jewels of the Tao: compassion, moderation, and humility, while Taoist thought generally focuses on nature, the relationship between humanity and the cosmos (天人相应); health and longevity; and wu wei (action through inaction). Harmony with the Universe, or the source thereof (Tao), is the intended result of many Taoist rules and practices. Reverence for ancestor spirits and immortals is common in popular Taoism. Organized Taoism distinguishes its ritual activity from that of the folk religion, which some professional Taoists (Dàoshi) view as debased. Chinese alchemy (including Neidan), astrology, cuisine, Zen Buddhism, several Chinese martial arts, traditional Chinese medicine, feng shui, and many styles of qigong have been intertwined with Taoism throughout history.

Taoism’s most influential texts:
     1.   Tao Te Ching (Chinese: 道德經; Translation: The Classic Of ThWay And Its Power Or Virtue): A foundational scripture purportedly written by Laozi, with leading themes revolving around the nature of Tao and how to attain it.
     2.   The Zhuangzi (Chinese: 莊子): A book containing prose, poetry, humor, and disputation.
     3.   The Daozang (Chinese: 道藏; Translation: Treasury of Tao): A collection of texts originally compiled throughout the Jin, Tang, and Song dynasties. The current surviving version was published during the Ming dynasty and contains almost 1,500 texts. It is divided into three dong (洞, “caves”, “grottoes”), arranged from “highest” to “lowest” — “The Zhen” (Chinese: 眞; Translation: “real” or “truth”); “The Xuan” (Chinese: 玄; Translation: “mystery”); “The Shen” (Chinese: 神; Translation: “divine”).

Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism were ideological and political rivals for centuries and influenced one another. All three share similar values of embracing humanist philosophy emphasizing moral behavior and human perfection. (Wikipedia)

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Christopher Mir Makes Chicken Scratch Enticing.

The childish use of color and scraggly linework of Hamden, Connecticut-based artist Christopher Mir are misleading; if these works strike you as digital MS Paint drawings made by a youngster, you’d be dead wrong. Herein lies the most well-rendered chicken scratch you’ve ever seen, set down with acrylic paints and enamel, and full of fascinating...Read...
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Christine Wong Yap: Positive Signs Interpretive Diagrams

The SF Moma blog has taken to publishing a series of Positive Signs, which is described as, “a weekly series of interpretive diagrams, quotes, and speculations on creativity, optimism*, and the lives of artists, published every Wednesday through June. (*Notwithstanding brief forays into the nature of space, stuff, experience, and cognition.)” Original post here. #25,...Read...