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They never make a display of themselves, chs. They do not brag or boast, chs. They leave no trace ch.
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Because they embody dao in practice, they have longevity ch. They create peace ch. Creatures do not harm them chs. Soldiers do not kill them ch. Among the most controversial of the teachings in the DDJ are those directly associated with rulers. Recent scholarship is moving toward a consensus that the persons who developed and collected the teachings of the DDJ played some role in advising civil administration, but they may also have been practitioners of ritual arts and what we would call religious rites.
Be that as it may, many of the aphorisms directed toward rulers in the DDJ seem puzzling at first sight. According to the DDJ, the proper ruler keeps the people without knowledge, ch. A sagely ruler reduces the size of the state and keeps the population small.
Even though the ruler possesses weapons, they are not used ch. The ruler does not seek prominence. The ruler is a shadowy presence, never standing out chs. This picture of rulership in the DDJ is all the more interesting when we remember that the philosopher and legalist political theorist named Han Feizi used the DDJ as a guide for the unification of China.
Han Feizi was the foremost counselor of the first emperor of China, Qin Shihuangdi r. The Zhuangzi The second of the two most important classical texts of Daoism is the Zhuangzi.
This text is a collection of stories and remembered as well as imaginary conversations. The text is well known for its creativity and skillful use of language. Within the text we find longer and shorter treatises, stories, poetry, and aphorisms. The Zhuangzi may date as early as the 4th century B.
Unlike the Daodejing which is ascribed to the mythological Laozi, the Zhuangzi may actually contain materials from a teacher known as Zhuang Zhou who lived between B. Although there are several versions of how the remainder of the Zhuangzi may be divided, one that is gaining currency is Chs.
The way to this state is not the result of a withdrawal from life. However, it does require disengaging or emptying oneself of conventional values and the demarcations made by society.
This baggage must be discarded before anyone can be zhenren, move in wu-wei and express profound virtue de. For its examples of such living the Zhuangzi turns to analogies of craftsmen, athletes swimmersferrymen, cicada-catching men, woodcarvers, and even butchers. One of the most famous stories in the text is that of Ding the Butcher, who learned what it means to wu wei through the perfection of his craft.
When I first began cutting up oxen, all I could see was the ox itself. After three years I no longer saw the whole ox. Perception and understanding have come to a stop and spirit moves where it wants. I go along with the natural makeup, strike in the big hollows, guide the knife through the big openings, and follow things as they are.
So I never touch the smallest ligament or tendon, much less a main joint. A good cook changes his knife once a year—because he cuts. A mediocre cook changes his knife once a month—because he hacks.
There are spaces between the joints, and the blade of the knife has really no thickness…. The whole thing comes apart like a clod of earth crumbling to the ground. The point is not that wu-wei results from skill development. Wu-wei is not a cultivated skill.
It is a gift of oneness with dao. Persons who exemplify such understanding are called sages, zhenren, and immortals. Zhuangzi describes the Daoist sage in such a way as to suggest that such a person possesses extraordinary powers. Just as the DDJ said that creatures do not harm the sages, the Zhuangzi also has a passage teaching that the zhenren exhibits wondrous powers, frees people from illness and is able to make the harvest plentiful ch. Just how we should take such remarks is not without controversy.
To be sure, many Daoist in history took them literally and an entire tradition of the transcendents or immortals xian was collected in text and lore. Zhuangzi is drawing on a set of beliefs about master teachers that were probably regarded as literal by many, although some think he meant these to be taken metaphorically. For example, when Zhuangzi says that the sage cannot be harmed or made to suffer by anything that life presents, does he mean this to be taken as saying that the zhenren is physically invincible?
Or, does he mean that the sage has so freed himself from all conventional understandings that he refuses to recognize poverty as any more or less desirable than affluence, to recognize blindness as worse than sight, to recognize death as any less desirable than life?
It is a human judgment that what happens is beautiful or ugly, right or wrong, fortunate or not.
The sage knows all things are one equal and does not judge. Our lives are snarled and jumbled so long as we make conventional discriminations, but when we set them aside, we appear to others as extraordinary and enchanted.
An important theme in the Zhuangzi is the use of immortals to illustrate various points. Did Zhuangzi believe some persons physically lived forever?
Well, many Daoists did believe this. Did Zhuangzi believe that our substance was eternal and only our form changed? Almost certainly Zhuangzi thought that we were in a constant state of process, changing from one form into another see the exchange between Master Lai and Master Li in Ch.
In Daoism, immortality is the result of what may be described as a wu xing transformation. Zhuangzi wants to teach us how to engage in transformation through stillness, breathing, and experience of numinal power see ch. In the words of Lady Li in Ch. He has long been venerated in Chinese history as a cultural exemplar and the inventor of civilized human life.
Daoism is filled with other accounts designed to show that those who learn to live according to the according to the dao have long lives. Pengzu, one of the characters in the Zhuangzi, is said to have lived eight hundred years.
The most prominent female immortal is Xiwangmu Queen Mother of the Westwho was believed to reign over the sacred and mysterious Mount Kunlun. The passages containing stories of the Yellow Emperor in Zhuangzi provide a window into the views of rulership in the text. On the one hand, the Inner Chapters chs. On the other hand, the Yellow Emperor materials in Chs. This second position is also that taken in the work entitled the Huainanzi see below. The Daoists did not think of immortality as a gift from a god, or an achievement in the religious sense commonly thought of in the West.
It was a result of finding harmony with the dao, expressed through wisdom, meditation, and wu-wei. The struggle to wu-wei was an effort to become immortal, to be born anew, to grow the embryo of immortality inside. A part of the disciplines of Daoism included imitation of the animals of nature, because they were thought to act without the intention and willfulness that characterized human decision making. Physical exercises included animal dances wu qin xi and movements designed to enable the unrestricted flow of the cosmic life force from which all things are made qi.
These movements designed to channel the flow of qi became associated with what came to be called tai qi or qi gong. Daoists practiced breathing exercises, used herbs and other pharmacological substances, and they employed an instruction booklet for sexual positions and intercourse, all designed to enhance the flow of qi energy. They even practiced external alchemy, using burners to modify the composition of cinnabar into mercury and made potions to drink and pills to ingest for the purpose of adding longevity.
Many Daoist practitioners died as a result of these alchemical substances, and even a few Emperors who followed their instructions lost their lives as well, Qinshihuang being the most famous.
The attitude and practices necessary to the pursuit of immortality made this life all the more significant. Butcher Ding is a master butcher because his qi is in harmony with the dao. Daoist practices were meant for everyone, regardless of their origin, gender, social position, or wealth.
However, Daoism was a complete philosophy of life and not an easy way to learn. When superior persons learn the Dao, they practice it with zest. When average persons learn of the Dao, they are indifferent. When petty persons learn of the Dao, they laugh loudly. If they did not laugh, it would not be worthy of being the Dao. Daoism and Confucianism Arguably, Daoism shared some emphases with classical Confucianism such as a this-worldly concern for the concrete details of life rather than speculation about abstractions and ideals.
Nevertheless, it largely represented an alternative and critical tradition divergent from that of Confucius and his followers. While many of these criticisms are subtle, some seem very clear. The clear implication is that the person following the dao must cease ordering his life according to human-made distinctions ch. Indeed, it is only when the dao recedes in its influence that these demarcations emerge chs. In contrast, Daoists believe that the dao is untangling the knots of life, blunting the sharp edges of relationships and problems, and turning down the light on painful occurrences ch.
So, it is best to practice wu-wei in all endeavors, to act naturally and not willfully try to oppose or tamper with how reality is moving or try to control it by human discriminations. Confucius and his followers wanted to change the world and be proactive in setting things straight. They wanted to tamper, orchestrate, plan, educate, develop, and propose solutions. Daoists, on the other hand, take their hands off of life when Confucians want their fingerprints on everything.
If the Daoist goal is to become like a piece of unhewn and natural wood, the goal of the Confucians is to become a carved sculpture. The Daoists put the piece before us just as it is found in its naturalness, and the Confucians polish it, shape it, and decorate it. This line of criticism is made very explicitly in the essay which makes up Zhuangzi Chs.
Confucians think they can engineer reality, understand it, name it, control it. But the Daoists think that such endeavors are the source of our frustration and fragmentation DDJ, chs. They believe the Confucians create a gulf between humans and nature that weakens and destroys us. Indeed, as far as the Daoists are concerned, the Confucian project is like a cancer that saps our very life. This is a fundamental difference in how these two great philosophical traditions think persons should approach life, and as shown above it is a consistent difference found also between the Zhuangzi and Confucianism.
The Yellow Emperor sections of the Zhuangzi in Chs. These materials provide a direct access into the Daoist criticism of the Confucian project.121109 miss A Jia skill: flexibility (All The K-POP)
Daoism in the Han The teachings that were later called Daoism were closely associated with a stream of thought called Huanglao Dao Yellow Emperor-Laozi Dao in the 3rd and 2nd cn. The thought world transmitted in this stream is what Sima Tan meant by Daojia. The Huanglao school is best understood as a lineage of Daoist practitioners mostly residing in the state of Qi modern Shandong area.
Huangdi was the name for the Yellow Emperor, from whom the rulers of Qi said they were descended. When Emperor Wu, the sixth sovereign of the Han dynasty r. And yet, at court, people still sought longevity and looked to Daoist masters for the secrets necessary for achieving it.
Wu continued to engage in many Daoist practices, including the use of alchemy, climbing sacred Taishan Mt. Taiand presenting talismanic petitions to heaven. This is a highly synthetic work formed at what is known as the Huainan academy and greatly influenced by Yellow Emperor Daoism. John Major and a team of translators published the first complete English version of this text All this is of added significance because in the later Han work, Laozi binahua jing Book of the Transformations of Laozi the Chinese physics that persons and objects change forms was employed in order to identify Laozi with the Yellow Emperor.
Celestial Masters Daoism Even though Emperor Wu forced Daoist practitioners from court, Daoist teachings found a fertile ground in which to grow in the environment of discontent with the policies of the Han rulers and bureaucrats.
Indeed, the basic moral and philosophical text that provided the intellectual justification of this movement was the Classic of Great Peace Taiping jingprovided in an English version by Barbara Hendrischke.
The present version of this work in the Daoist canon is a later and altered iteration of the original text dating about CE and attributed to transnormal revelations experienced by Zhang Jiao. Easily the most important of the Daoist trends at the end of the Han period was the wudou mi dao Way of Five Bushels of Rice movement, best known as the Way of the Celestial Masters tianshi dao.
This movement is traceable to a Daoist hermit named Zhang ling, also known as Zhang Daoling, who resided on a mountain near modern Chengdu in Sichuan.
The revelation said that those who followed Zhang would become part of the Orthodox One Covenant with the Powers of the Universe Zhengyi meng wei. Zhang began the movement that culminated in a Celestial Master state. The administrators of this state were called libationers ji jiubecause they performed religious rites, as well as political duties.
They taught that personal illness and civil mishap were owing to the mismanagement of the forces of the body and nature. The libationers taught a strict form of morality and displayed registers of numinal powers they could access and control.
Libationers were moral investigators, standing in for a greater celestial bureaucracy. The Celestial Master state developed against the background of the decline of the later Han dynasty. Indeed, when the empire finally decayed, the Celestial Master government was the only order in much of southern China. But this backfired because it actually served to disperse Celestial Masters followers throughout China.
The movement remained strong because its leaders had assembled a canon of texts [Statutory Texts of the One and Orthodox Zhengyi fawen ]. This group of writings included philosophical, political, and ritual texts. It became a fundamental part of the later authorized Daoist canon.
As a result, Confucian scholars sought to annotate and reinterpret their own classical texts to move them toward greater compatibility with Daoism, and they even wrote commentaries on Daoist works. It is represented by a set of scholars, including some of the most prominent thinkers of the period: In general, these scholars share in common an effort to reinterpret the social and moral understanding of Confucianism in ways to make it more compatible with Daoist philosophy.
These thinkers included landscape painters, calligraphers, poets, and musicians. He practiced not only philosophical reflection, but also external alchemy, manipulating mineral substances such as mercury and cinnabar in an effort to gain immortality.
For him, longevity and immortality are not the same, the former is only the first step to the latter. The mixture of these two traditions is represented in the writings of the Xu family.
The Xu family was an aristocratic group from what is today the city of Nanjing. Seeking Daoist philosophical wisdom and the long life it promised, many of them moved to Mao Shan Mountain, near the city. There they claimed to receive revelations from immortals, who dictated new wisdom and morality texts to them. Yang Xi was the most prominent medium recipient of the Maoshan revelations CE.
These revelations came from spirits who were local heroes named the Mao brothers, but they had been transformed into deities. The writings were extraordinarily well done and even the calligraphy in which they were written was beautiful.
The importance of these texts philosophically speaking is to be found in their idealization of the quest for immortality and transference of the material practices of the alchemical science of Ge Hong into a form of reflective meditation.
Some thirty years after the Maoshan revelations, a descendent of Ge Hong, named Ge Chaofu went into a mediumistic trance and authored a set of texts called the Numinous Treasure Lingbao teachings. These works were ritual recitation texts similar to Buddhist sutras, and indeed they borrowed heavily from Buddhism.
At first, the Shangqing and Lingbao texts belonged to the general stream of the Celestial Masters and were not considered separate sects or movements within Daoism, although later lineages of masters emphasized the uniqueness of their teachings. Many early translators of Buddhist texts used Daoist terms to render Indian ideas. Some Buddhists saw Laozi as an avatar of Shakyamuni the Buddhaand some Daoists understood Shakyamuni as a manifestation of the dao, which also means he was a manifestation of Laozi.
An often made generalization is that Buddhism held north China in the 4th and 5th centuries, and Daoism the south. But gradually this intellectual currency actually reversed. Daoism grew in scope and impact throughout China. By the time of the Tang dynasty CE Daoism was the intellectual philosophy that underwrote the national understanding.
The imperial family claimed to descend from Li by lore, the family of Laozi.
Laozi was venerated by royal decree. Officials received Daoist initiation as Masters of its philosophy, rituals, and practices. A major center for Daoist studies was created at Dragon and Tiger Mountain longhu shanchosen both for its feng shui and because of its strategic location at the intersection of numerous southern China trade routes. In aesthetics, two great Daoist intellectuals worked during the Tang. Wu Daozi developed the rules for Daoist painting and Li Bai became its most famous poet.
Interestingly, Daoist alchemists invented gunpowder during the Tang. The earliest block-print book on a scientific subject is a Daoist work entitled Xuanjie lu CE. As Buddhism gradually grew stronger during the Tang, Daoist and Confucian intellectuals sought to initiate a conversation with it. The Buddhism that resulted was a reformed version known as Chan Zen in Japan.
The Three Teachings During the Five Dynasties CE and Song periods CE Confucianism enjoyed a resurgence and Daoists found their place by teaching that principal thinkers of their tradition were Confucian scholars as well.
Most notable among these was Lu Dongbin, a legendary Daoist immortal that many believed was originally a Confucian teacher. Daoism became a complete philosophy of life, reaching into religion, social action, and individual health and physical well-being. A huge network of Daoist temples known by the name Dongyue Miao also called tianqing guan was created through the empire, with a miao in virtually every town of any size. The Daoist masters who served these temples were often appointed as government officials.
They also gave medical, moral, and philosophical advice, and led religious rituals, dedicated especially to the Lord of the Sacred Mountain of the East named Taishan. Daoist masters had wide authority.
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All this was obvious in the temple iconography. Taishan was represented as the emperor, the City God cheng huang was a high official, and the Earth God was portrayed as a prosperous peasant. Daoism of this period integrated the Three Teachings sanjiao of China: Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism. Laozi tells his son that it is better to treat respectfully a beaten enemy, and that the disrespect to their dead would cause his foes to seek revenge.
Convinced, Zong orders his soldiers to bury the enemy dead. Funeral mourning is held for the dead of both parties and a lasting peace is made. Many clans of the Li family trace their descent to Laozi,  including the emperors of the Tang dynasty. According to the Simpkinses, while many if not all of these lineages are questionable, they provide a testament to Laozi's impact on Chinese culture. He ventured west to live as a hermit in the unsettled frontier at the age of At the western gate of the city or kingdomhe was recognized by the guard Yinxi.
The sentry asked the old master to record his wisdom for the good of the country before he would be permitted to pass. The text Laozi wrote was said to be the Tao Te Ching, although the present version of the text includes additions from later periods. In some versions of the tale, the sentry was so touched by the work that he became a disciple and left with Laozi, never to be seen again. Others say he was the Buddha himself.
Laozi pretended to be a farmer when reaching the western gate, but was recognized by Yinxiwho asked to be taught by the great master. Laozi was not satisfied by simply being noticed by the guard and demanded an explanation. Yinxi expressed his deep desire to find the Tao and explained that his long study of astrology allowed him to recognize Laozi's approach.
Yinxi was accepted by Laozi as a disciple. This is considered an exemplary interaction between Taoist master and disciple, reflecting the testing a seeker must undergo before being accepted.
A would-be adherent is expected to prove his determination and talent, clearly expressing his wishes and showing that he had made progress on his own towards realizing the Tao. Yinxi received his ordination when Laozi transmitted the Tao Te Ching, along with other texts and precepts, just as Taoist adherents receive a number of methods, teachings and scriptures at ordination.
This is only an initial ordination and Yinxi still needed an additional period to perfect his virtue, thus Laozi gave him three years to perfect his Tao. Yinxi gave himself over to a full-time devotional life. After the appointed time, Yinxi again demonstrates determination and perfect trust, sending out a black sheep to market as the agreed sign.
He eventually meets again with Laozi, who announces that Yinxi's immortal name is listed in the heavens and calls down a heavenly procession to clothe Yinxi in the garb of immortals.
The story continues that Laozi bestowed a number of titles upon Yinxi and took him on a journey throughout the universe, even into the nine heavens. After this fantastic journey, the two sages set out to western lands of the barbarians. The training period, reuniting and travels represent the attainment of the highest religious rank in medieval Taoism called "Preceptor of the Three Caverns". In this legend, Laozi is the perfect Taoist master and Yinxi is the ideal Taoist student.
Laozi is presented as the Tao personified, giving his teaching to humanity for their salvation. Yinxi follows the formal sequence of preparation, testing, training and attainment. As Taoism took root, Laozi was worshipped as a god. Belief in the revelation of the Tao from the divine Laozi resulted in the formation of the Way of the Celestial Mastersthe first organized religious Taoist sect.
In later mature Taoist tradition, Laozi came to be seen as a personification of the Tao. He is said to have undergone numerous "transformations" and taken on various guises in various incarnations throughout history to initiate the faithful in the Way.