Religion and Theology

Religion and Theology

Laozi is one of the renowned classical philosophers. Laozi was popularly known for his contributions to the Chinese believe in Taoism. Apparently, Taoism is also referred as Daoism by some contemporary scholars. Although, many other philosophers are linked to the founding of Taoism, Laozi is regarded as the pioneer of the philosophy or the intellect behind the philosophical concept, besides other popular philosophers like Confucius. In other instances, Lazio is perceived as a deity by those who subscribe to Daoism. Like many other Chinese philosophical thoughts such as Confucianism and Buddhism, Taoism also borrows its thoughts from both traditions and religion. Laozi is known to have written various materials on Taoism, which gives insightful reference on Taoism. Such materials include the Lao, Daodejing, the Dao and the Zilan. Considering the time and period the philosophical thought became popular and that Laozi was popular in sixth century B.C.E, it is evident that he was significant in development of Taoism.

Basically, Taoism emphases are on social and religious aspects of life. For example, Taoism emphasizes that people should live in harmony through the path of simplicity and observance of the naturalness. A better explanation of this is that people are expected not to over indulge in excesses. In fact, people are rather expected to be compassionate of others and should not exhibit pride, but humility. In order for the above to be achieved, components such as the Daodejing by Laozi became a common philosophical concept for the same. Other important aspects that were to contribute to Taoism include Laozi’s work on the classic of the way and its power. (Poceski 58)The continued support by Confucius and the alleged consultations that Confucius made to Laozi further implies that Laozi was a key figure in classical philosophy in China and Taoism.

Daodejing is greatly associated with Laozi in many ways. Nonetheless, the Daodejing is in form of a text consisting of around 81 poems. The main message that is entailed in the poems is to provoke the community members to live peacefully.

Basically, the Daodejing prefers the community members to perceive the Dao as the supreme authority or deity (Coward, Neufeld & Dargyay 302).  Like many other religions, Daodejing advocates that the community should give reference to a certain supreme authority, through which all things are created. For example, the first poem in the Daodejing illustrates that “the named is the mother of all things” (303). In this aspect, the Daodejing describes how the Dao is a mystery beyond human understanding. Nonetheless, the texts or poems describe the immense power of Dao over all things, and for these reason humans have to be in harmony with the Dao. Some of the main ideas behind Laozi work on the Daodejing reveal that Taoism does not advocate for progression by mankind. This is perceived to be destructive and causes imbalances in the universe. For example, Taoism idea is to ensure that humans live in harmony with all living things in the immediate environment. The maintenance of naturalness and simplicity are the core elements of Taoism. These very elements are well embedded in the Daodejing texts. Progression of human society is perceived as an excess and a way of entrenching destructive desires in a society. Such desires may be achieved through technology, economic structures or practices and politics. For example, Taoism would not advocate for capitalism or political acts such as war and issuance of unfavorable taxations. In this respect, Daodejing advocates for non-action approach toward everything, and therefore creating a consistent flow of nature as ideally intended by Dao. A more critical approach on Daodejing highly advocates for meditation as away of averting the mind from unprecedented actions such as immorality.

In the writings “the classics of the way and its power”, Laozi has several messages that pertain to Daodejing. As indicated, the writings specifically address issues on Daodejing. From this perspective, Daojing and Dejing become the core elements of the writings (Laozi 196). Basically, the meaning of both Dao and De becomes the central point of discussion. For example, the Dao is referred as the Tao, while the De is perceived as the virtues that surround Taoism.

An in-depth analysis on the writing’s message reveals that Dao is strongly associated with messages on the writer’s ontological point of view. Moreover, Laozi uses Dao to explain the philosophy of cultivation methods, in addition, messages on Dao reveals the writer’s views on Tao’s shape and a description of Tao’s supremacy. An example of the writings messages are well exemplified by Dao’s cultivation concept, which advocates for simplicity rather than excess. This principle reveals that Dao is consistent with allegiance to Buddha. Dao practices also conform to the principle of observing natural laws. Moreover, seeking truth is part of being part of Dao and Taoism.

In conclusion, it is important to note that Laozi’s Daodejing work and writings are based on the philosophical approach on understanding the universe, the world and also defines various human perspectives on the same. These philosophies are aligned to other classical and philosophical approaches used by Confucius and other religious classical philosophers.


Works Cited

Coward, G. Harold, Neufeld, W. Ronald & Dargyay, K. Eva, Readings in eastern regions. Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2006. Print.

Laozi. Dao De Jing: The book of the way. California: University of California Press, 2001. Print.

Poceski, Mario. Chinese religions: The EBook. Pennsylvania: JBE Online Books, 2009. Print.

Use the order calculator below and get started! Contact our live support team for any assistance or inquiry.