This is a great read if one wishes to delve deeper into the Chinese mind.
Although Confucianism (more facets than the complete teachings) has been arguably chosen as contemporary China’s public face, Tao (as first expounded by Lao Zi and pre-dates Confucianism by a century) helps explains the Chinese fascination with harmony, good form, and ultimately balance – leading to the middle path.
I must note though that this alludes to Tao in its original form, a set of wisdom passed down from the ages; not popular Taoism as we might see today in its religious form.
In history, however, Lao Zi’s teaching have been known to be embraced by anti-authoritarian movements in Chinese dynastic history. So.
In a world growing in the export of Chinese cultural capital, the current set of self evident cross-pollination are locked into Confucianism and its meritocratic emphasis on hierarchy, Fengshui (a component of Tao), Zen, Kung Fu and of course, a voracious work ethic capable of offering good margins. If practicing what one preaches is good measure, I am not sure if Tao institutes are the way to go. But what is evident from China’s rise is a tilt towards polarity – economic growth alone, and having a say in the conditions for that growth, is arguably the Chinese imperative today. The Chinese have to remember what Tao is first, before they share and pass on the word.
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SINOGRAPH - Stillness conquers heat
By Francesco Sisci
Source – Asia Times, published September 2, 2010
BEIJING – Laozi parts ways with Confucius, as they have different interests in the world and in their thinking. Laozi moves west from the great plains of central China to the borders of the Chinese civilization, and to the state of Qin, because “if the sun rises from the East, people came from the West”, reasons Laozi.
In the state of Qin, where customs and manners are still not as corrupted as in the smaller and more ancient states of the central plain, the local people are struck by Laozi, a man with white hair but still with the face of a boy, untouched by the passing of time. They talk with him and then are sure that this man can help them to be great.
So starts Laozi’s Biography, a quasi novel by Yu Shicun that deals with the other half of the Chinese soul, the darker and more ethereal side of the Chinese binary system of yin and yang. On one side sits the Confucian method and practical mind, and on the other towers the fascination with nature and mysteries harkened in the ancient cryptic verses of Laozi, a central figure in Taoism, who, according to Chinese tradition, lived in the 6th century BC. Read the rest of this entry »