The doctrine of Taoism, that is, the Doctrine of the Path to the Knowledge of Tao and Mergence with it, was formulated and described in the book of Tao Te Ching by the great Chinese spiritual ascetic Lao Tzu about two and a half thousand years ago.
The book of Tao Te Ching is one of the fundamental textbooks on the philosophy and methodology of spiritual perfection of man. Moreover, it should be noted that it states the same as the Bhagavad-Gita and other Divine Teachings, but in somewhat different words.
In China and a number of other East Asian countries, this Doctrine of Beauty, Silence, and Harmony had a decisive influence on the formation of spiritual culture. These include “tea ceremonies”, and “landscape parks”, and arts of painting and photography that are adequate to this religious and philosophical direction, and even corresponding types of martial art.
The central deity of Taoism is Tao. Its main meaning is “way”. Its dictionary meanings are extremely diverse: “road”, “truth”, “teaching”, “speaking”, “expressing”, etc.
In Taoism, Tao is the ancestor of all things, the principle underlying the world. Tao penetrates everything. It is like water, which apparently seems soft, but it has tremendous destructive and creative power.
The tract "Tao Te Ching", which is attributed to Lao Tzu, consists of 81 chapters and has about 5 thousand hieroglyphs. Traditionally, it is divided into two parts - "Tao-Ching" and "Te-Ching", but they have no significant differences. The current canonical version of the text refers to the II-I centuries. BC.
Tao-te Ching is written in a rhythmic, rhymed prose. Its meaning is rather dark and incomprehensible, and therefore, starting from the II century BC, numerous commentaries on this text have been written. The most famous commentaries were written by Heshan-gong, Zhang Lu (II -III centuries BC) and one of the founders of neo-Taoism Wang Bi (III century BC .)
According to legend, Lao Tzu wrote the "Tao Te Ching" at the request of the head of the guard when he left the city. The goal was to convey the basic ideas and principles of the Teaching to a wide range of readers. That is, theoretically, reading Tao Te Ching should be enough to get acquainted with Taoism. In practice, most of those who come across Taoism for the first time, especially if they have a very vague idea of China and its religious and cultural heritage, simply cannot understand what this book is about.
Perhaps to the Chinese, whose very lives are saturated with Taoism in an explicit and implicit form, it is simpler. However, for the Europeans, it is really hard. Therefore, there are various translations of the Tao Te Ching of varying degrees of adaptability and other supporting literature.
In our time, perhaps the most successful example of the interpretation of this treatise is the amazing, truly magical book by Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of the Pooh. This book was first published in 1982 and immediately took its place in the New York Times bestseller list, lasting 49 weeks in leadership positions!
The brilliant, witty and gracefully written book of the American writer Benjamin Hoff takes us back to our childhood and at the same time immerses into the foundations of the wisdom of Tao. It turned out that Winnie the Pooh was no stranger to Taoism. Simple, clear, deep and mysterious – Tao of the Pooh fascinates readers.
In the book, you will meet with old acquaintances - Winnie, Piglet and all his friends, however, in a somewhat different incarnation. Winnie the Pooh will seek to know Tao, and the way to achieve this goal will be his favorite - to ask questions and get answers (sometimes, in the form of quotes from Taoist tracts). Quite unconsciously, you will learn many interesting facts about Taoism.
The chapters from Tao Te Ching suddenly become clear and accessible when they are explained by the behavior of a teddy bear. Not all the theses from the great Chinese book of wisdom are explored, but it is quite enough to understand their main idea. This book helps to make the inaccessible understandable. The story of the Tao Pooh is also adorned with Chinese parables, which are brought by Benjamin Hoff. They are like color illustrations in a book with black and white pages. They are informative and certainly expand the horizons.
Using examples from the world-famous children's book, the author unobtrusively and jokingly explains the basic principles of Lao Tzu's philosophy, which seeks to learn and appreciate everything that we have to deal with in everyday life, interact with it and learn the relevant lessons from it. Life in the Tao is easy and pleasant, but only if you allow yourself to follow your inner nature and surrender to the power of the universal flow. The principles of non-interference ("wu-wei"), simplicity and strength in the natural state of things ("p’u"), compassion, care and the Great Nothing ("t’ai ‘hsu") are revealed simply and clearly, as if for children. The reader gets the unique possibility to discover the writings of Chuang Zhou and Lao Tzu in a very easy to perceive way, and it is for this that such books are necessary.
This book should be required to read - easy, positive, life-affirming, advising to live and enjoy every day, every minute. It can be read in a single sitting. The excerpts from "Winnie the Pooh ..." by A.A. Miln only reinforce this impression.
The pace and way of life in ancient China, of course, did not at all resemble the realities of the modern civilized world. There were no effective managers, Instagram, and iPhones, people valued peace of mind, the harmony of immersion in their inner world, unity with nature. This is exactly what Winnie-the-Pooh does - constantly immersed in himself, simple and naive, absorbed in momentary, seemingly insignificant problems, treats everyone with kindness and cordiality, performs simple-minded and silly acts, but always looks wise and practical.
The book itself is built in the form of a dialogue between the author and the characters of the tale. He seems to be trying to tell us about the principles of Taoism, at the same time explaining certain points on the examples from his life to the Pooh. Very bright, figurative and instructive.
This book is a real cure for a person who loves peace and simple joys of life. This book is very entertaining and fascinatingly presents the basic principles of Taoism. It causes keen interest and desire to get acquainted with Tao further.
Benjamin Hoff, among other things, conveys to us a great cyclical nature, a peculiar meaning of life, which is reflected in the fact that every time we achieve our goals, our interest in it fades away, and we rush to another goal, then to the next, and so on to infinity. This does not mean that the goals achieved are meaningless. But their primal point is that they make us strive to achieve them, and it is this process that brings us wisdom and happiness.
Use the ideas of Tao to change your thinking and your lifestyle. This will lead you to a spiritual and philosophical way of thinking. This thinking is also known as "peace." To make our life more harmonious and measured, you need to live in simplicity, here and now, as the way of Tao teaches us, to realize that joy and love are inside us and there is no need to make efforts to achieve them. Our life, like nature, is essentially dual, it consists of two energies - yin and yang. We must not turn their opposition, into a collision that destroys it.
Start your journey to yourself, peace and harmony today!
“There are things about ourselves that we need to get rid of; there are things we need to change. But at the same time, we do not need to be too desperate, too ruthless, too combative. Along the way to usefulness and happiness, many of those things will change themselves, and the others can be worked on as we go. The first thing we need to do is recognize and trust our own Inner Nature, and not lose sight of it.”
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