An Introduction to Taoism part 03

Tao-te Ching and Chuang-tzu Two sacred texts of Taoism that have made a big impact on the Eastern world are the Tao-te Ching and the Chuang-tzu. These texts give you a look at the ancient Taoists beliefs around the nature of the universe and how man fits into this equation.

Taoism is also written Daoism and is a philosophy about living as simply and honestly as possible in harmony with nature.

Lao-tzu was considered to be the origniator of Taoism

Also written Laozi, There is much debate as to whether he was a real living being. Some scholars think he was more of a myth than a real person. The exact origins of the texts from the Tao-te Ching and Chuang-tzu are also hazy and unclear.

Tao-te Ching is considered to be the oldest and the most important texts in Taoism.

Tradition states that Lao-Tzu was the author of these texts but as mentioned earlier some don’t even think he existed! With that in mind some scholars state that these texts were compiled over generations and not over the time span of one person’s lifetime. The dates spanning between the 8th to the 3rd century BCE.

The texts of the Tao-te Ching were originally used to advise the rulers in ancient China but they continue to be studied today in our modern world. The collection is comprised of 80 sections of poetry, mysticism and practical knowledge.

Chuang-tze explains the ancient Taoist belief system

Chuang-Tzu is not considered as important as the Tao-te Ching. It is believed that Master Chuang wrote these texts. The texts are centered on the teachings of Lao-Tzu (that guy that not everyone believes existed).

It was believed to be written in the 4th or 3rd century BCE. Chuang-tzu which is also written Zhuangzi included many sermons that are believed to be written by Lao-tzu along with debates between Lao-tzu and the famous Confucius. The book is full of allegories, parables and stories that describe the Taoist belief in the philosophy of living simply, honestly and in harmony with nature.

In Conclusion

The philosophy of Taoism which is also spelled Daoism is the belief in living simply, honestly and in harmony with nature. As with most philosophies Taoism has its own sacred texts of which the most important is the Tao-te Ching which is believed to be written by Lao-tzu who would have been the first man to receive the inspiration of the Tao. These sacred texts don’t have an exact date of origin and scholars state a wide range of dates that go from the 8th to the 3rd century BCE. Even though the orgins of the Tao-te Ching are very unclear and who actually wrote them as well but it is still an extremely important text in the collection of sacred Taoist texts. The name actually includes the word Tao which alludes to its very important place in the Taoist philosophy.

Chuang-tzu is the second most important text in the sacred texts of the Taoist philosophy and is believed to be written by Master Chuang in or around the 4th to 3rd centuries BCE. It includes sermons from Lao-tze or what was believed to be written by Lao-tze himself and even some debates with other important scholars from these times even though there is doubt that he even existed.