Lao Tzu and Taoism | Confucius and Confucianism


Lao-Tzu and Taoism, Confucius and Confucianism

Great masters of ancient China and well known in the west

Lao Tzu (or Tsu), founder of Taoism

Lao Tzu, famed founder of Taoism taught that all beings are part of the whole, no one species is special and that our physical being is not the whole.  The root of all things is the infinite, all-powerful; or we are all connected to one great power. The way to harmony and peace is within, through meditation to remove desire. The main concept of his teachings is non-action, meaning acceptance of our karma  and of God’s will, and meditating to achieve nothingness, or complete mindfulness.

 

Name:

Lao Tzu

Birth, Age, Death:

6th century BC

Nationality:

Chinese

Method/Religion started:

Founder of Taoism

Holy book/teachings:

Tao Te Ching

Followers:

220+ Million                         

Lifestyle requirements:

Simple life, vegetarian

Form of practice:

meditation, Taoists are known to be very powerful due to their focused minds and highly advanced practice.

Wiki (encyclopedia) link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lao_Tsu

 

The requirements for Taoism, and in fact for many meditation based practices in China is a vegetarian diet and simple living. Drugs, Sex and indulgence creates physical tendencies, which is opposite to what we what to achieve.

Here is an excerpt from the holy book for Taoists,  The Tao Te Ching of Taoism.

  • When a wise person hears Tao, he practices it diligently.
  • When an average person hears Tao, he practices it sometimes, and just as often ignores it.
  • When an inferior person hears Tao, he roars with laughter.
  • If he didn’t laugh, it wouldn’t be Tao.

Thus the age-old saying:

    • The way to illumination appears dark.
    • The way that advances appears to retreat.
    • The way that is easy appears to be hard.
    • The highest virtue appears empty.
    • The purest goodness appears soiled.
    • The most profound creativity appears fallow
    • The strongest power appears weak.
    • The most genuine seems unreal.
    • The greatest space has no corners.
    • The largest talent matures slowly.
    • The highest voice can’t be heard.
    • The most luminous image can’t be seen.
  • Tao is hidden and has no name.
  • Tao alone nourishes and fulfills all things.

 Confucius, founder of Confucianism

What was unique about Confucius’ ideals was his attempt to include strong morality into many accepted ideas, beliefs, and social customs – his method was practical, a way of life in harmony with each other. Meditation came a little later, using a quiet inward method to help strengthen their ideals and ability to live in the world. This is slightly different to other methods which teach to escape the world, go beyond it. Confucianism is more of a philosophy or way or life than religion, so a person can be of any religion and still follow the teachings of Confucius

Name:

Confucius

Birth, Age, Death:

551-479 BC

Nationality:

Chinese

Method/Religion started:

Founder of Confucianism

Holy book/teachings:

Four Books and Five Classics including Analects

Followers:

300+ Million

Lifestyle requirements:

Strict morality, love thy neighbour

Form of practice:

Put the masters teachings into daily life

Wiki (encyclopedia) link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confucius

 

Confucianism has books and beliefs which dictate daily behaviour, these can be considered as moral values which are covered by six main topics. The first of these values is Li; the rule of proper etiquette. The second is Hsiao; there should be love within a family. The third is Yi; righteousness. The fourth is Xin; being honesty and trustworthy. The fifth is Jen; compassion/humanness towards others – this is considered the “highest” Confucian value. The final is Chung; loyalty to one’s state.

Confucius had many wonderful teachings. For example he taught people they should “internalize” their issues before they manifest them physically and by doing that the behavior will be more controlled. 

A famous quote from Confucius which we have all heard (and often thought it was Christian) was “Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself”