|Dr. Hartnell's Nutty the A.D.D. Squirrel||
What if it's all just a dream?
Both a philosophy and a religion, Taoism (or Daoism) emphasizes the importance of unity with nature. Developed along with Confucianism, historians credit Laozi (also spelled Lao-tzu) [pictured left] with its founding in the 6th Century BC, although many argue he never existed.
Whatever the case, Taoism said people should conform to the underlying pattern of the universe, or the Tao ("Way"), which can neither be described in words nor conceived in thought. Duuuude. Trippy...
To be in sync with Tao, one has to "do nothing"... that is, nothing strained, artificial, or unnatural. By acting on the impulses of your own nature, you can achieve unity with the Tao. Many Taoists call for a return to a primitive and agrarian life.
The yin and yang symbol is associated with Taoism. Yin and yang are opposite and complementary forces. Yin cannot exist without yang and yang cannot exist without yin. There is always an element of yang within yin and an element of yin within yang. Chinese philosophers wrote about yin and yang in terms of the environment, like with the shaded and sunny sides of a hill.
The Tao-te Ching (which means Classic of the Way and its Power) is the fundamental Taoist text.
Yin is described as being associated with all things "dark, moist, receptive, earthy, and female".
Yang is described as being associated with all things "bright, dry, active, heavenly, and male".
Chinese philosophers stressed that rebellion, floods, and diseases were caused by yin and yang imbalance.
Taoism influenced Chinese art, literature, and religion. It developed on a popular level as a cult in which immortality was sought through magical potions.
Since the Communist Revolution in 1949 made China Communist, Taoism has been discouraged in China but flourishes in Taiwan.
Ying and yang impacted Chinese General Sun Tzu's The Art of War. A guide to winning battles, these essays gave advice like:
"By appearing weak, you maintain strength. Appearing in chaos when you are actually orderly deceives the enemy."
Because "doing nothing" is part of the Taoist way, don't try to use that excuse when you don't do your homework. And don't tell your teachers that homework is against your religion. Nice try.