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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Taoism

I was surprised to be even less impressed with Taoism than Confucianism. Maybe I've been saturated with eastern religion. Smith divides Taoism into three groups. Philosophical Taoism and Religious Taoism are the first two. The third sounds basically like Taoism as self-help fad, although Smith used the less pejorative energizing Taoism. The focus of Taoism is on tuning one's spiritual energy or ch'i. The difference between Philosophical Taoism and energizing Taoism is that the former focuses on efficiency (which doesn't turn me off) and the latter focuses on increasing one's energy (which does turn me off).

Every once in a while I will run into someone who is really into the notions of aligning spiritual energy and think acupuncture can align their ch'i and yoga can keep them from getting the flu. Generally these are people who think it is ridiculous that a Catholic would believe in transubstantiation or that an Evangelical would believe prayer could heal cancer. So why on Earth would they accept a supernatural belief system from another culture?

/Rant

An interesting note though. Buddhism + Taoism = Zen Buddhism. It is my impression that Zen Buddhism is most related to the Philosophical Taoism.

Next up is Islam. Which is good because I am obviously ready to get back to the Great I Am.

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