Tao signifies “the way”, that is the path every individual should endeavour to follow in order to live in harmony with others. Living in harmony is fundamental to the concept that is Taoism. Synchronization by an individual with their environment needs to be developed in order for them to achieve immortality or an infinite life. With immortality comes spiritual liberation that which is granted to the perfected person.
Perfected persons are those who have achieved spiritual liberation this if followed by their status elevating to that of personal gods. Their achievements would have been acquired through the great deeds that they performed during their lifetimes on Earth. Taoists pray to their personal gods in the hope of being granted the knowledge to experience similar achievements in order to attain their own elevated status.
Taoism encourages the belief that the world in which we live comprises two basic forces – yin (yielding, receptive) and yang (masculine, active). By utilising the energies emanating from these two forces Taoism suggests that it is possible for every individual to live in a harmony with their surroundings. Utilization of yin and yang energies needs to be carefully balanced and can only be achieved through what is recognized as Taoism qualities, which are vitality, energy and spirit. By working to ensure that all three of these qualities found within the human body are properly balanced so it is possible to keep the two forces on Earth yin and yang healthily synchronized.
Taoism evolved as a belief system passed down by the ageless wisdom distributors who followed the belief in order to attain the perfected person status. The Chinese have always admired and heeded the knowledge held by their elderly population and accepted that such knowledge should not be lost simply as a result of the death. Retaining early knowledge is also fundamental to the concept that is Taoism thereby creating category for elderly folk that equates to ageless wisdom distributors.
Chinese astrology reflects some of the thinking behind Taoism in its use of the animal star signs and natural elements used to construct horoscopes. The elements in particular which are: earth, metal, fire, water and wood are things naturally associated with the world in which we live, while the animals too appear as part of the natural environment.
Taoism encourages people to turn away from the material world in favour of spiritual enlightenment and a significant method by which this can be attained is through meditation. Regularly clearing the mind on a daily basis should make it possible for an individual to be at peace with himself and thereby others and the universe.
Taoism has survived thousands of years as a religion that offers e means by which it is possible to attain an understanding of the natural environment not always offered by alternative religions.