Question:

1. How does the Daodejing characterize early Daoist teachers?

Answer:

Selfless. spiritual. wisely worldly. steadfastness. equanamity. patience AnswerParty On!

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Chinese culture is one of the world's oldest cultures. The area in which the culture is dominant covers a large geographical region in eastern Asia with customs and traditions varying greatly between provinces, cities, and even towns. Important components of Chinese culture include literature, music, visual arts, martial arts, cuisine, religion etc.

The majority of traditional Chinese philosophy originates in the Spring and Autumn and Warring States eras, during a period known as the "Hundred Schools of Thought", which was characterized by significant intellectual and cultural developments. Although much of Chinese philosophy begins in the Warring States period, elements of Chinese philosophy have existed for several thousand years; some can be found in the Yi Jing (the Book of Changes), an ancient compendium of divination, which dates back to at least 672 BCE. It was during the Warring States era that the major philosophies of China, Confucianism, Mohism, Legalism, and Daoism, arose, along with philosophies that later fell into obscurity, like Agriculturalism, Chinese Naturalism, and the Logicians.

Following the Qin Dynasty, Confucianism became the dominant philosophical school of China. The largest philosophical rivals to Confucianism were Legalism and Mohism before the Han dynasty. Legalism as a coherent philosophy disappeared largely due to its relationship with the unpopular authoritarian rule of Qin Shi Huang, however, many of its ideas and institutions would continue to influence Chinese philosophy until the end of Imperial rule during the Xinhai Revolution. Mohism though popular at first due to its emphasis on brotherly love versus harsh Qin Legalism, fell out of favour during the Han Dynasty due to the efforts of Confucians in establishing their views as political orthodoxy. The Six Dynasties era saw the rise of the Xuanxue philosophical school and the maturation of Chinese Buddhism, which had entered China from India during the Late Han Dynasties. By the time of the Tang Dynasty five-hundred years after Buddhism's arrival into China, it had transformed into a thoroughly Chinese religious philosophy dominated by the school of Zen Buddhism. Neo-Confucianism became highly popular during the Song Dynasty and Ming Dynasty due in large part to the eventual combination of Confucian and Zen Philosophy.

Religion in China has been characterized by pluralism since the beginning of Chinese history. Chinese religions are family-oriented and do not demand exclusive adherence, allowing the practice or belief of several at the same time. Some scholars prefer not to use the term "religion" in reference to belief systems in China, and suggest "cultural practices", "thought systems" or "philosophies" as more appropriate terms. There is a stimulating debate over what to call religion and who should be called religious in China. Since 1949, China has been governed by the Communist Party of China, which is an atheist organisation. It presently formally permits five religions in China: Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Protestantism, and Catholicism (though despite historic links, for political reasons, the Chinese Catholic Church has been separated from the Roman Catholic Church).

Buddhism remains a widely practiced religion since its introduction in the 1st century. One of the largest group of religious traditions is popular religion the religion of the Han, which overlaps with Taoism, and the worship of the shens, a collection of local ethnic deities, heroes and ancestors, and figures from Chinese mythology. Among the most popular ones in recent years have been Mazu (goddess of the seas, patron of Southern China), Huangdi (divine patriarch of all the Chinese, "Volksgeist" of the Chinese nation), the Black Dragon, Caishen (god of prosperity and richness), and others.

Taoism

The majority of traditional Chinese philosophy originates in the Spring and Autumn and Warring States eras, during a period known as the "Hundred Schools of Thought", which was characterized by significant intellectual and cultural developments. Although much of Chinese philosophy begins in the Warring States period, elements of Chinese philosophy have existed for several thousand years; some can be found in the Yi Jing (the Book of Changes), an ancient compendium of divination, which dates back to at least 672 BCE. It was during the Warring States era that the major philosophies of China, Confucianism, Mohism, Legalism, and Daoism, arose, along with philosophies that later fell into obscurity, like Agriculturalism, Chinese Naturalism, and the Logicians.

Following the Qin Dynasty, Confucianism became the dominant philosophical school of China. The largest philosophical rivals to Confucianism were Legalism and Mohism before the Han dynasty. Legalism as a coherent philosophy disappeared largely due to its relationship with the unpopular authoritarian rule of Qin Shi Huang, however, many of its ideas and institutions would continue to influence Chinese philosophy until the end of Imperial rule during the Xinhai Revolution. Mohism though popular at first due to its emphasis on brotherly love versus harsh Qin Legalism, fell out of favour during the Han Dynasty due to the efforts of Confucians in establishing their views as political orthodoxy. The Six Dynasties era saw the rise of the Xuanxue philosophical school and the maturation of Chinese Buddhism, which had entered China from India during the Late Han Dynasties. By the time of the Tang Dynasty five-hundred years after Buddhism's arrival into China, it had transformed into a thoroughly Chinese religious philosophy dominated by the school of Zen Buddhism. Neo-Confucianism became highly popular during the Song Dynasty and Ming Dynasty due in large part to the eventual combination of Confucian and Zen Philosophy.

Asia

Chinese classic texts, or Chinese canonical texts, (Chinese: 中國古典典籍; pinyin: Zhongguo gudian diǎnjí) today often refer to the Chinese texts which originated before the imperial unification by the Qin Dynasty in 221 BCE, especially the Neo-Confucian titles of Four Books and Five Classics (四書五經), a selection of short books and chapters from the voluminous collection called the Thirteen Classics. All of these pre-Qin texts were written in classical Chinese. As canons they are collectively referred to as jing (經).

More broadly speaking, Chinese classic texts may refer to texts written either in vernacular Chinese or in the classical Chinese that was current until the fall of the last imperial dynasty, the Qing, in 1912. These can include shi (史, historical works), zi (子, philosophical works belonging to schools of thought other than the Confucian, but also works of agriculture, medicine, mathematics, astronomy, divination, art criticism, and all sorts of miscellaneous writings) and ji (集, literary works) as well as jing.

Chinese folk religion (traditional Chinese: 中國民間宗教 or 中國民間信仰; simplified Chinese: 中国民间宗教 or 中国民间信仰; pinyin: Zhōngguó mínjiān zōngjiào or Zhōngguó mínjiān xìnyăng) or Shenism (pinyin: Shénjiào, 神教), are labels used to describe the collection of ethnic religious traditions which have historically comprised the predominant belief system in China and among Han Chinese ethnic groups up to the present day. Shenism describes Chinese mythology and includes the worship of shens (神, shén; "deities", "spirits", "awarenesses", "consciousnesses", "archetypes") which can be nature deities, Taizu or clan deities, city deities, national deities, cultural heroes and demigods, dragons and ancestors. "Shenism" as a term was first published by A. J. A Elliot in 1955.

Chinese folk religion is sometimes categorized with Taoism, since over the centuries institutional Taoism has been attempting to assimilate or administer local religions. Chinese folk religion is sometimes seen as a constituent part of Chinese traditional religion, but more often, the two are regarded as synonymous. With around 454 million adherents, or about 6.6% of the world population, Chinese folk religion is one of the major religious traditions in the world. In China more than 30% of the population adheres to Chinese folk religion. Chinese religion mirrors the social landscape, and takes on different meanings for different people.

The Tao Te Ching, Daodejing, or Dao De Jing (道德經: 道 dào "way"; 德 "virtue"; 經 jīng "classic" or "text"), also simply referred to as the Laozi, is a Chinese classic text. According to tradition, it was written around 6th century BC by the sage Laozi (or Lao Tzu, "Old Master"), a record-keeper at the Zhou dynasty court, by whose name the text is known in China. The text's true authorship and date of composition or compilation are still debated, although the oldest excavated text dates back to the late 4th century BC.

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