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Daodejing Characterization of Early Daoist Teachers Essay

Since every chapter of the Daodejing describes Daoism in different aspects it is believed that several authors contributed to the completion of it. The Daodejing is very poetic and mysterious. The early teachers of the Daodejing seemed to pass things down that was difficult for ordinary minds to comprehend as a way to get people to analyze and understand the world around them. Meanings encrypted in different ways and metaphors constantly used seem to be a common characteristic between the early teachers.

Although they were oddly written, all of the passages seemed to give a basic insight on the early teachers’ perspective of things. The Daodejing characterizes common human weakness and meant to effect the way people think or react. Early teachers believed that the truth about the “human mind” can only be sought from within. Outside influences and worldly thing will not guide you to understand yourself. Based on the Daodejing, the early teachers also believed that the understanding of self is given as a gift from nature not acquired knowledge that you just so happen to stumble upon.

The text of the Daodejing offers a practical way of life and dismisses any ideas of human immortality. These passages were intended to restore peace and harmony to a world that the early teachers believed was in disarray. The text stresses the importance of learning to resolve things naturally and to restrain from unnatural reactions. The Daodejing was written to explore the natural meaning and value of life itself. Daoist Teachings I see the Daoist teachings as effortless kind of go with the flow beliefs.

When I read of the teachings and research the ways of a Daoist, it seems similar to a “tree hugger” or “hippie” type of lifestyle. This similarity isn’t shocking since most religions or cultural movements share common interests of certain ideas. The ying yang symbol which was part of the origin of the Daoist was used by the “hippie” cultural movement. Daoism also adopted beliefs from other religions such as Confucianism and Buddhism. The teachings seem to focus on understanding the nature of reality and no concern for things that can’t be changed.

Followers of Daoism believed in the idea of avoiding the unnatural things and to become more like nature. Nature desires only what is necessary to flourish and nothing more. Education is regarded as artificial and not a necessity as it is within other religious practices. Daoist teachings express the elimination of whatever is unnecessary and artificial. Daoism has no single founder and does not place “trust in an unchanging and invisible stability that somehow transcends the fleeting experience of time” (Miller, 2012).

I believe the goal in Daoism is to reach perfect health by nature through peace and harmony. References: Ammer, C. (1997). Quit while one’s ahead. In The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms Houghton Mifflin. Retrieved from http://dictionary. reference. com/browse/quit while one’s ahead Miller, J. (2012). A short history of daoism. Retrieved from http://www. daoiststudies. org/dao/content/short-history-daoism-introduction.


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