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The Tao & Confucianism. China. China population in year 2000 was approximately 1.3 billion people. Population. US population in year 2006 was approximately 300 million people. History of Knowledge. Ignorance is the cause of all sufferring – Buddha in India

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The Tao & Confucianism

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The tao confucianism l.jpg

The Tao & Confucianism

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China population in year 2000 was approximately 1.3 billion people.


US population in year 2006 was approximately 300 million people.

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History of Knowledge

  • Ignorance is the cause of all sufferring – Buddha in India

  • Ignorance is the cause of all evil – Socrates in Greece

  • Ignorance is the cause of all social chaos – Confucius in China

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History of China

  • 2500 BC – ink, tea, & silk invented

  • 900 BC – the I Ching invented

  • 700 BC – gun powder invented

  • 500 BC – Taoism & Confucianism

  • 100 BC – paper is invented

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Religion in China

  • A radical humanism with a desire to live in the world in harmony

  • Humanity has no need for a savior since humans are not born in sin

  • Humanity is basically good but needs proper education

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Thoughts at the time

  • Ancestors could help or harm

  • World full of spirits

  • Shang Ti the ruler of the universe, though not a creator god

  • Ch’I is an impersonal self-generating energy in the cosmos

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Ancient Traditions

  • 2,000 BC in Yellow River Valley Chineses had written language

  • Ancestor worship - called Li

  • Taoism started with Lao-tzu around 500 BC in Chou Dynasty

  • Chuang-tzu just after Lao-tzu

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Chinese Language

  • Western languages are phonetic, thus more left brain and linear

  • Chinese languages are actually pictures of things and ideas; thus right brain

  • Reading Chinese is like looking at a film strip

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Lao Tzu

“Live a simple life, be free, be yourself, and be close to nature. Do these things and you will be wise and happy”.

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Written by Lao-tzu, a curator of the royal library of the Chou dynasty, given to a border guard as he left society for the mountains at the reported age of 160. It is second only to the Bible is translations.

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The Goal of Taoism

The goal of Taoism is to align oneself with the unnamable original force…the Tao.

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Taoism is concerned with direct experience of the universe, accepting and cooperating with things as they are, not with setting standards of morality, not with labeling things as good or bad.

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Lose your mind and come to your senses.

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The Tao says…civilization, with its intellectual attempts to improve on things and its rigid view of morality, actually leads the world into chaos.

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Wisdom lies in recognizing the ever-shifting, but regular and balanced, patterns and moving with them. This creative rhythm of the universe is called the Tao.

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I Ching – Book of Changes

  • Throw three coins six times

  • Divination

  • Yin a straight line

  • Look up 1 of 64 hexagrams

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Assumptions of the I Ching

  • Human society like nature is hierarchical

  • Nothing behaves haphazardly

  • Things are complex but not chaotic

  • There is a controlling principle in every change process

  • Each hexagram represents a controlling principle

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How it works

Imagine our reality as viewed as a tube of time extending through space. We are constantly flowing through the tube along with everything we perceive. If we could slice through the tube at a certain moment with ourselves at the center, and then study this fixed cross-section, we would see all of the elements of nature that happen now to exist as well as their immediate relationships to one another. By evaluating these patterns would allow us to see how the forces in the situation are affecting our lives.

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Quantum Physics Today

David Bohm like Einstein maintained that there were hidden variables at work in this process. Bohm went further and suggested there were both an Explicate Order of things visible in local space-time, and an Implicate Order of things hidden or enfolded in the non-local quantum potential.

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Eight Forces of Nature









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Creating the Hexagram

Heads + Heads + Tails = Yang

Tails + Tails + Heads = Yin

All Tails = Yang that is changing

All Heads = Yin that is changing

Throw the coins six times and build the hexagram from the bottom up.

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Judgment & Image

Judgment– is attributed to King Wen dated 1150 CE

Image– is attributed to Confucius dated 500 CE

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Any extreme action will produce its opposite as a balancing reaction, thus one should strive for a middle way with subtle discretion and moderation.

The application of these principles in a spiritual way is called Taoism. The application of these principles in a political or moral way is known as Confucianism.

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The Tao-te Ching says it is best to harmonize with life by being receptive and quiet. Later, Chuang-tzu asserted that the best way to live in a chaotic, absurd civilization is to become detached from it.

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White Cloud Monastery

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Chi-kung – energy training

  • Body has chi – the vital force

  • Ching – generative force

  • Shen – spiritual force

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Be indifferent to birth and death. Masters come because it is there time. Masters leave because they follow the natural flow. Be content with the moment.

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Falun Gong

It is a combination of Taoist and Buddhist practices that include developing chi, honesty, benevolence, and spiritual insight with meditation. It is in China today.

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K’ung Fu-tzu

  • 6th century BC

  • Lord on High

  • Mandate from heaven

  • Moral virtues

  • Orderly society

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Confucius – 551 BC

  • Society was in chaos

  • Taught young men to be wise public servants

  • Taught the Six Classics: I Ching, poetry, history, rituals, music, and dance

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Confucian Basics

  • All humans are born alike

  • Human nature is neither evil or good, but humans can become either evil or good

  • Objectives are ethical basis for the family and to increase social harmony

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Peace begins with the moral cultivation of the individual and order in the family. This peace extends outward to society, government, and the universe itself like ripples in a pond.

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The State Cult

  • Rulers regarded as link between heaven and earth

  • Confucius’ teachings in force in China for the last 2,000 years

  • Civil Service exam on classics

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Communist China

  • 1949 reaction against the old ways

  • Confucius attacled as one of the “four olds”…ideas, cultures, customs, and habits

  • Mao hated Confucianism from childhood

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Mao kept and emphasized the Confucian morality toward sacrifice and selfless service to the country and to the world order.

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Tiananmen Square

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Today in Asia

“For two thousand years, Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism have co-existed in China, contributing mutually to the culture. Both Taoism and Buddhism emphasize the ever-changing nature of things in the cosmos, whereas Confucianism focuses on ways of developing a just and orderly society.”

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