All in one and one in all?
In the Chinese language the word "tao" means "way," indicating a way of thought or life. There have been several such ways in China's long history, including Confucianism and Buddhism. In about the 6th century BC, under the influence of ideas credited to a man named Lao-tzu, Taoism became "the way" . Like Confucianism, it has influenced every aspect of Chinese culture.
Taoism began as a complex system of philosophical thought that could be indulged in by only a few individuals. In later centuries it emerged, perhaps under the influence of Buddhism, as a communal religion. It later evolved as a popular folk religion.
600 BC: Birth of Taoism
Until the arrival of Buddhism in China, Taoism was the chief religious and philosophical system of the population. Confucianism, the other major Chinese tradition, is more a philosophical system than a religion.
The origins of Taoism are lost in obscurity. The basis for it is usually ascribed to a mysterious master teacher, Lao-tzu, who is supposed to have written the basic text, also known as the 'Lao-Tzu' or 'Tao-te Ching'. The word tao means "the way," as in the work's English title, 'Classic of the Way and Its Power'. Most scholars today believe this work was not written by one person.
Fundamental to early Taoism was the belief that the Tao is the eternal reality and source of all existence. The goal of individual lives is to avoid earthly things and to live in harmony with the Tao and with nature in hopes of achieving immortality. Despite the spread of Buddhism, Taoism has continued to influence Chinese thought and culture up to and including the present day.
Philosophical Taoism The Tao is considered unnamed and unknowable, the essential unifying element of all that is. Everything is basically one despite the appearance of differences. Because all is one, matters of good and evil and of true or false, as well as differing opinions, can only arise when people lose sight of the oneness and think that their private beliefs are absolutely true. This can be likened to a person looking out a small window and thinking he sees the whole world, when all he sees is one small portion of it. Because all is one, life and death merge into each other as do the seasons of the year. They are not in opposition to one another but are only two aspects of a single reality. The life of the individual comes from the one and goes back into it.
The goal of life for a Taoist is to cultivate a mystical relationship to the Tao. Adherents therefore avoid dispersing their energies through the pursuit of wealth, power, or knowledge. By shunning every earthly distraction, the Taoist is able to concentrate on life itself. The longer the adherent's life, the more saintly the person is presumed to have become. Eventually the hope is to become immortal.
Communal religious Taoism is quite distinct from its philosophical counterpart. It emphasizes moral teachings and collective ceremonies. Good moral conduct is rewarded with health and long life, while bad conduct results in disease, death, and suffering in the afterlife. There is an array of gods who are administrators of the universe, of which they are a part. From these gods come revelations of sacred texts. There is an order of married priests who live in the communities they serve and perform exorcisms and complex rituals.
Folk religion is part of the everyday lives of the people. The gods are intimately connected with each individual's life as bringers of calamities or givers of bountiful gifts. Each object of daily life has its presiding spirit that must be consulted and appeased.
All types of Taoism have in common the quest for a harmonious, well-ordered universe. They emphasize the individual's and the group's need for unity through mysticism, magic, and ceremony.
As you can see, Taoism is contrary to the bible. It is also the main theme of the new age movement in which many celebrities have promoted. The Beatles, Shirley McLain and many others have fallen for this deception. It is also the main theme of Witchcraft in that nature is one with the gods. There is no creator, no good and evil, just existence and you make life what you want it to be. Just as Buddhism influenced Taoism, so has eastern beliefs influenced the church. What a shame that people fall for this garbage.