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”), which describes various so-called “religious” movements dating from the late Han dynasty (c. While modern scholars, especially those in the West, have been preoccupied with classifying Daoist material as either “philosophical” or “religious,” historically Daoists themselves have been uninterested in such categories and dichotomies. But they also practid meditative stillness and emptiness to gain knowledge, engaged in physical exercises to increase the flow of inner energy (qi), studied nature for diet and remedy to foster longevity, practiced rituals related to their view that reality had many layers and forms with whom/which humans could interact, wrote talismans and practiced divination, engaged in spellbinding of “ghosts,” led small communities, and advised rulers on all these subjects. Recent scholarship is moving toward a consensus that the persons who developed and collected the teachings of the DDJ played some role in advising civil administration, but they may also have been practitioners of ritual arts and what we would call religious rites.
Thus, “Daoism” encompasses thought and practice that sometimes are viewed as “philosophical,” as “religious,” or as a combination of both. They offered insights we might call philosophical aphorisms. Because they embody ) protects the sage and the sage’s spirit becomes invincible (ch. Among the most controversial of the teachings in the DDJ are those directly associated with rulers.
There are two major source issues to be considered when forming a position on the origins of Daoism.. (hereafter, DDJ) is divided into 81 “chapters” consisting of slightly over 5,000 Chinese characters, depending on which text is used. The text is well known for its creativity and skillful use of language.
1) What evidence is there for beliefs and practices later associated with the kind of Daoism recognized by Sima Qian prior to the formation of the two classical texts? In its received form from Wang Bi (see below), the two major divisions of the text are the The text is a collection of short aphorisms that were not arranged to develop any systematic argument. Those who are empty will be full.” While these appear paradoxical, they are probably better understood as correlational in meaning. Within the text we find longer and shorter treatises, stories, poetry, and aphorisms. Chapters 1-7 are those most often ascribed to Zhuangzi himself (which is a title meaning “Master Zhuang”) and these are known as the “inner chapters.” The remaining 26 chapters had other origins and they sometimes take different points of view from the Inner Chapters. 11-16 and parts of 18, 19, and 22 (Yellow Emperor Chapters), and Chs.
2) What is the best reconstruction of the classical textual tradition upon which later Daoism was based? The long standing tradition about the authorship of the text is that the “founder” of Daoism, known as Laozi gave it to Yin Xi, the guardian of the pass through the mountains that he used to go from China to the West (i.e., India) in some unknown date in the distant past. The DDJ says, “straightforward words seem paradoxical,” implying, however, that they are not (ch. What is the image of the ideal person, the sage () without deliberation or volitional challenge. They live naturally and free from desires rooted in the discriminations that human society makes (ch. The may actually contain materials from a teacher known as Zhuang Zhou who lived between 370-300 B. Although there are several versions of how the remainder of the may be divided, one that is gaining currency is Chs. 17-28 (Zhuang Zhou’s Disciples’ material), with the remains of the text attributable to the final redactor. The way to this state is not the result of a withdrawal from life.