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Taoism Applied Essay Research Paper Taoism applied

Taoism Applied Essay, Research Paper

Taoism applied to everyday life "Practice not-doing and everything will

fall into place" (Chapter 3). In Taoism this is the concept known as "wu

wei". Wei wu wei is the practice of doing and not-doing. This concept comes

from the theory of the Yin and Yang. The Yang, along with wei, is the practice

of doing. The Yin, along with wu wei, is the practice of not-doing. One

compliments the other, and each cannot exist alone. The Tao tells people to

practice not-doing because it will bring happiness in their life. By not-doing,

the Tao means not performing actions, which are unnecessary and uncalled for.

People should just take things as they come in life and they will live a life

full of happiness and pleasure. If you don’t interfere with the Tao and let

things take their natural course, everything will work out in your life (Chapter

10). "If powerful men and women could remain centered in the Tao?all

people would be at peace?" (Chapter 32). If you work against your Tao,

you will never find happiness. The Sage practices wu wei. He teaches without

words and performs without actions (Chapter 43). He knows and therefore does not

speak (Chapter 56). Many people mistake conceptual knowledge for the map to the

territory. The Sage is our map to the Tao. He points his finger to show us the

way, but does not really tell us what to do and how to practice Taoism. Lao

Tzu’s concepts of the Tao can be a guide to rational living. If one follows

these beliefs he is guaranteed happiness in his life. However, it is very

difficult to follow the Tao, even though the teachings are said to be easily

understood and easily put into practice (Chapter 70). The reason the Tao is so

difficult to grasp is because you cannot know that you are practicing it. The

Tao is beyond all words. If you give it words, it does not exist. It is

unnamable. If you concentrate on the Tao, you will never understand it. You

cannot think about it, you must just do it. This is very difficult because

people always think about what they do, but this does not work with the Tao

(Chapter 1). You cannot look for the Tao; you cannot listen for the Tao. You

must just accept the idea that it is always there, omnipresent, and you can’t

see it. This is all very important because if one cannot understand these first

simple steps in Taoism, they will be lost the rest of the way. In personal life,

you should never define yourself. When you define yourself, you are actually

putting limits on yourself. If a man defines himself as a doctor, he is limiting

himself to science. If a man defines himself as a singer, he is limiting himself

to music. By limiting yourself, you are not allowing yourself to experience life

fully (Chapter 24). Also, you should never define any object because they will

always have an opposite. If you define something as "good" then its

opposite is defined as "bad", when in reality it might not be (Chapter

2). When a man is about to buy a car, he will want to buy a company with a

"good name". He has defined one car as "good" and the rest

are "bad". When he realizes he cannot afford the "good" car

he is unhappy. He has to buy a "bad" car. While driving his

"bad" car, he thinks about what people will say. He worries that they

will not approve of his new purchase. If the man had not originally set such

high expectations of buying a "good" car, he would not be upset with

his situation. By caring about other people’s approval he becomes their

"prisoner" (Chapter 9). If you see things as they are, then you will

be happy with whatever you have. If you see things through other’s eyes then you

will never achieve the high goals you are setting. "In family life, be

completely present" (Chapter 8). All family members should always be there

for each other. You should be completely present for the rest of your family,

this way other members can talk to you whenever necessary. This gives a sense of

security to the rest of the family. Parents should always be there for their

children, children should always be there for their parents, and siblings should

always be there for each other. "Because (the Sage) has nothing to prove,

people can trust his words" (Chapter 22). The Sage and the parental figures

of a family should have this in common. Parents have nothing to prove to their

children and therefore children always believe what their parents tell them.

Parents do not have to impress their children and can therefore set an example.

If parents cannot have this connection with their children, there is a guarantee

of failure in the family. "In work, do what you enjoy" (Chapter 8).

Most people hate their job. If you like what you do, you can wake up every

morning with a smile, looking forward to the day of work that lies ahead of you.

At your job you should not try to hold all the power. By not trying to be

powerful, you are truly powerful (Chapter 38). Also, in you work you cannot

chase after money. You must do your work because you like it, not because you

want the money. If you chase after money "your heart will never

unclench" (Chapter 9). When you have no desire for the money, you are at

peace (Chapter 37). You must "be content with what you have, rejoice in the

way things are" (Chapter 44). You mustn’t expect too much because you will

never get what you want. "When you realize there is nothing lacking, the

whole world belongs to you" (Chapter 44). "In governing, don’t try to

control" (Chapter 8). As a leader, it is best if the people hardly know

that you exist. As a leader, you must not be bossy and try to have all the power

because the people will hate you and will not obey you. You must lead, not

control (Chapter 17). By pointing people in the right direction you are helping

them. By telling them where to go, you aren’t letting them think for themselves.

The best leader listens to her people (Chapter 68). As a leader you must govern

with tolerance and you must not have high expectations of your people because

you will never get what you expect (Chapter 58). You must govern a country with

moderation for the best results (Chapter 59). If you have weapons, your people

will be insecure. If you have laws, your people will break them. If you do not

desire common good it will become as "common as grass" (Chapter 57).

If a nation does not get involved with the affairs of others, it will be well

respected by all other nations (Chapter 61). "If you overesteem great men,

people become powerless. If you overvalue possessions, people begin to

steal" (Chapter 3). Society should not define things because bad things

will happen. If you overvalue possessions it is obvious that people will steal

them because they are worth something to society. If everything had none or

equal value, no one would steal anything because nothing would be more important

than everything else. This is an extreme suggestion however, it is the only way

for society to come together as a whole and have no one steal from others.

"Let the Tao become present in your life and you will become genuine. Let

it be present in your family and your family will flourish. Let it be present in

your country and your country will be an example to all countries in the world.

Let it be present in the universe and the universe will sing." (Chapter