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Daoism Worksheet

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Complete the following questions in detail. Answer each question with a 1- or 2-paragraph response that includes a reference citation. Make use of Experiencing the World’s Religions and other sources in your research as you complete the questions.

1. Describe the principles of yang and yin.
a. The principle of yang and yin is that all things exist as inseparable and contradictory opposites, for example femal-male, dark-light and old-young. The two opposites attract and complement each other and, as their symbol illustrates, each side has at ites core an element of the other (represented by the small dots). Neither pole is uperior to the other and, as an increase in one brings a corresponding decrease in the other, a correct balance between the two poles must be reaches in order to achieve harmony.

2. The main scripture in Daoism is the Daodejing (Tao Te Ching). What is the history and importance of this text for the tradition? a. In addition to its relevance as a philosophical text, it has also been influential in the development of various indigenous Chinese religious traditions. An early commentary written by Ho-Shang Kung, which reintermets the text as an instruction manual for prolonging life, was instrumental to the development of Daoist alchemy. Also, the heavenly masters used the text as a primary scripture. For these reasons, the text remains a highly significant component behind the importance and history for this text.

3. How are Daoist ideals expressed through art? Offer several examples. a. Daosim uses art to express things such as what they have been overcome, the time that has gone by, rituals, the architecture, and what the creators practiced in the beginning of Daoism. Theres is a sculpture created during the fifteenth-centruy that is one of the Three Purities. There are carious sympbols that describe the religion such as the robe that is worn during Daoist ceremonies. There is a very common painting shown of Laczi, who is thought to have written the Daodejing, riding an ox, making his way to the West from China. He is said to have written down his teaching (the Daodejing) when a guard at a gate asked him to do so.

4. What challenges does Daoism face in the modern world?
a. According to an article I read, there Is a decline of Daosim among Chinese people in Singapore. Researchers say the main reasons for the Daosim’s troubles are its poor social networking and the lack of available information about ties teachings. Increased competition for young people by proselytizing Christion groups may also be a factor. Another problem for Daoism is that, like all small religions, it is often made fun of or outright ridiculed by people of other faiths. Earlier this month, a Christian pastor in Singapore made a personal apology to Daoist Federation Chairman Tan Thiam Lye for comparing Daoist beliefs to the “Protection racket,” according to an article in the Strait Times. I think that this is a huge challenge that Daoism faces and if they are not able to, for lack of a better term, promote their faith, they might lose out entirely.

5. Explain a situation to which following the Daoist principle of wu wei might be beneficial to you or others. In what situation might following the principle of wu wei be harmful in some way? There are so many situation where you can follow the principle of wu wei. To me, wu wei is a bout knowing when effort is appropriate and when it is wasted. Obviously, it doesn’t apply to tasks that you must exert effort to finish: reports don’t write themselves, Garages don’t clean themselves, and babaies don’t burp themselves. But there are some valubal things in life which cannot be achieved by simply trying harder; whats more, efforts to achieve them can often be self-defeating, like planning to be spontaneous or not thinking of a green elephant. An example is HAPPINESS. As I understand it, and there is probably disagreement on this, I know that happiness is not something you seek, but rather the byproduct of doing things that make you happy. I think this applies pretty well wether you define happiness as momentary hedonic pleasure or deeper, longer-lasting fulfillment. In either case, you can’t try to be happy; you do things that will make you happy as a result.


Yong, C. (2015, April). Is Daoism Losing Its Way?. Strait Times, ().

Daoism in China. (1996-2015). Retrieved from http://www.historycentral.com/dates/China/Daosim.html

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