Outline of the ‘Study of the Taoism (Daoism)
Daoism (Taoism) is China’s innate and indigenous religion. It is a religion that considers ‘the Dao’ (the Tao) as its teachings. Daoism is the enlightenment via education by ancient higher intelligence life forms that open wisdom for human mankind. Taoism is the origin of Eastern wisdom and it is the only religion in the world accelerating the development of science and technology. Moreover, out of all the religions on the entire planet, it treasures and cherishes life and living entities the most.
Daoism takes the Dao as its highest form of faith and regards the belief in Spirit Immortals as its innermost core content. It considers the Elixir Dao (Internal Alchemy) ritualistic arts as a path of cultivation and considers achieving the Dao and becoming an immortal as the ultimate goal.
It is believed that people who are cultivators of the Dao and are accumulating Virtue are able to be healthy and content, live long and achieve eternal vision (immortality) through the pursuit of natural harmony, great peace for the country, order for society and concord in family homes.
Taoism amply reflects the spiritual and moral life of Chinese people and their mentality of faith.
It exerts a far-reaching influence on all facets of life such as the ideologies of Chinese academic sciences, politics and economy, military affairs and strategies, literature and arts, science and technology, the character and personality of its citizens, the ethics of the Way and Virtue, thinking patterns, local customs and traditions, popular beliefs and so on.
Daoism originated from Pan Gu’s “Opening of the Heavens and Splitting of the Earth” (creation of Heaven and Earth) according to the records of 《the Classic of the Dao》. At first the establishing of the teachings, the expounding of the methods, and the imparting to the world of Daoism commences with the Yellow Emperor, Huang Di, inquiring about the Dao in Kong Tong.
The casting of the cauldron and the refining of the Elixir are expounded and disseminated with the transmission of the scriptures by Lao Zi, who he left to the West through Han Gu. Considering the Yellow Emperor as the beginning of an era, the Dao has already experienced more than 4700 years of history.
It is also called “the Daoist (Taoist) Family” (Daoist philosophy),”‘the Yellow Lao” (Yellow Emperor – Lao Zi), “the Lao Clan”, “the Mysterious Gate” and so on. Because Zhang Dao Ling, Heavenly Master Zhang, founded the religious organization in the Eastern Han Dynasty, its history dates back 1800-odd years, undergoing historical developments for a long time. Furthermore Taoism is divided into many sects and schools:
Nowadays it is mainly separated into the two major schools of “Complete Reality” and “Orthodox Unity”, revering Lao Zi as the Founding Father, who is venerable referred to as “Supreme High Sovereign Lao”. They regard《the Classic of the Way and Virtue》, 《the Classic of Orthodox Unity》 and 《the Classic of Great Peace》 as their primary scripture texts. Respecting the Dao is seen as the highest faith. It is thought that the Dao is the origin for the evolutionary creation of life in the universe, Heaven and Earth and the Ten Thousand Things.
Furthermore, a high and grand veneration for the Dao is an embodiment of Virtue. When people make use of the radiance and illumination within their hearts, that is “Virtue”. It stands for benevolence and love, goodness and kindness, compassion and mercy as well as guiding one’s own behavioral standards to become One with the Dao. Therefore the Daoist “Reverence for the Way” and “Esteem for Virtue” ,“Way” and “Virtue” of Daoism, jointly make up the core essence of its religious theories.
(2 ) Fundamental religious teachings
I. The core purpose:
“The Immortal Dao cherishes life,
Love for one’s neighbour benefits society and the world.”
II. The highest form of faith:
“Reverance for the Dao;
Esteem for Virtue,
Heaven, Earth and Humans unify.”
III. The worship of Spirit Immortals:
“Respect the Heavens;
Follow in the footsteps of the Founding Fathers;
Seek immortality and inquire about the Dao.”
IV. The recognition of Good and Evil:
“Interaction between Heavens and Humans;
The Heavenly Dao’s inherited burden.”
V. The secret of cultivation by refinement:
“Innate Nature and Life-Destiny double cultivation,
Revert to simplicity and return to the truth.”
VI. The intrinsic qualities of one’s conduct:
“The highest Virtue is like water,
Gentle and yielding without contention.”
VII. The mode of cultivating the Dao:
“Pure and tranquil with few desires;
Natural and non-action.”
VIII. The exploration of one’s spiritual consciousness:
“My Life-Destiny rests with me;
It is not dependent on Heaven and Earth.”
IX. The moral principles of conduct in society:
“Loyalty and filial piety;
Integrity and justice;
Benevolence and love,
Sincerity and honesty.”
X. The requirements and requests of people:
“Good fortune, longevity, health and serenity;
Wealth, happiness and luck.”
XI. The theory of the creation of the world:
“The Dao gives birth to One;
One gives birth to Two;
Two gives birth to Three;
Three gives birth to the Ten Thousand Things.”
XII. The code of sublimation:
“Humans follow the laws of Earth;
Earth follows the laws of the Heavens;
Heavens follow the laws of the Dao;
The Dao follows the laws of naturalness.”
XIII. The tenets of longevity:
“Heaven and Humans embody each other (share one Body);
Yin Yang are balanced;
Mind and body are nourished in unison;
An integrated and holistic plan as a whole.”
XIV. The dynamic impetus of cultivating immortality:
“Long life without death;
Transformation and ascension;
Grasp firmly Heaven and Earth;
Twist around Yin and Yang.”
XV. The path to becoming an immortal:
“The Elixir Dao (Internal Alchemy) and the cultivation of truth;
Ingesting medicine and refining Qi;
Accumulating Virtue and performing meritorious deeds;
Building Gong and establishing one’s conduct.”
(3) Cultivation of the Elixir Path (Internal Alchemy)
The Elixir Dao is also called “Internal Elixir”, “Golden Elixir” and “Reverting to the Elixir”. The cultivation of Internal Alchemy is the inner-most core and the essence of Daoist ritualistic and magical arts. The ideological pillars of Internal Alchemy are the Daoist philosophical theories of the creation of the universe and the gift of a human body, the interaction between heaven and human, Yin-Yang, Five Elements as well as the philosophy of life of the unification of heaven and human. Internal Alchemy regards Daoist Medicine and Chinese Medicine’s Qi and Blood, the meridians and collaterals, acupuncture points, Zang-organs and Fu-Viscera as the basis of the study of medicine.
By means of guarding the intent in the three Cinnabar Fields/ the Upper, Middle and Lower/ the three chakras, the two channels, namely the Governing and Conception Vessel are open up freely. The Elixir Dao strives for the physical balance and harmony to be orderly so that one can commence one’s Kungfu. Internal Alchemy utilizes the symbols and talismans of Tai Ji, Yin-Yang, the Three Treasures, the Four Images, the Five Elements, the Six Positions, the Seven Regulators, the Eight Trigrams, the Nine Palaces, The Ten Stems, the Twelve Branches, the Twenty-Four Qi to explain the process of cultivation. Its highest goal is reaching accord of humans with the original nature of the universe, the unification of the body and the Dao therefore achieving the Dao and becoming an immortal.
This is like an engineering project of the human body system for unleashing life’s latent ability and for exploring the profound mysteries of the Heart’s Divinity and the cultivation.
“The Golden Elixir’s Great Dao;
Joined with Heaven and Earth;
Identical to the Sun and Moon;
In accord with creations and transformations;
Reversing to naturalness;
Returning to the Original ‘I’;
Cultivating Inner Nature and Life-Destiny:
It is the Dao of the unification of Heaven and Human.”
The cultivation of the Elixir Dao (Internal Alchemy) is divided into four main phases:
- Laying the Foundation
- The Initial Barrier
- The Middle Barrier
- The Upper Barrier
(1) “Laying the Foundation” denotes the harmonization of inhaling and exhaling, protecting and
nourishing the physical body, building a good foundation for the Elixir Cauldron as well as
dispelling diseases and replenishing deficits.
(2) ‘The Initial Barrier’ (the Microcosmic Orbit) includes the refinement and transmutation of
Essence (Jing) into Qi, opening up of the two channels, namely the Governing and Conception
Vessels, and the Eight Extraordinary vessels. It is differentiated into four levels:
1.Picking the Medicine (locking in Essence-Qi)
2.Tight Sealing (preventing loss to the outside)
3. Boiling and Refinement (cycling the Microcosmic Orbit)
4. Boiling and Refinement (cycling the Macrocosmic Orbit)
(3) ‘The Middle Barrier’ (the Macrocosmic Orbit) symbolizes the refinement and transmutation of
Qi into Spirit (Shen), including the processes of the trembling of the Six Roots, Seven Days to
generate the Great Medicine, extracting lead and adding mercury, safeguarding the centre,
warming and nourishing the Sage Embryo,transferring the embryo and so on.
(4) ‘The Upper Barrier” incorporates the refinement of the Spirit and the return to the void, including
the processes of suckling the infant and its warming and nourishing, the exiting of the Spirit
and its return to the void and so on:
“Reaching the spherical merging of Body and Mind,
the Yang Spirit, the True ‘I’, exits and enters the realms unhindered. “
Beyond the three Barriers, the refinement of the void and the unification with the Dao signifies
the accomplishment of becoming One with the Dao, the “Feather Transformation” (becoming an immortal) and the ascension into the realm of immortals.