Taoist Beliefs


What do Taoists believe?

The ancient Chinese religion of Taoism is not entirely distinct from Confucianism or Chinese folk religion, for all Chinese religion and philosophy operate within the same ancient worldview.

Since earliest times, Chinese thought has been characterized by an awareness of man's close relationship with nature and the universe, a cyclical view of time and the universe, veneration or worship of ancestors, the idea of Heaven, and belief in the divinity of the sovereign. 

Both Confucianism and Taoism operate within this worldview and incorporate many of its concepts. These two organized belief systems are best viewed as complementary rather than competitive. While Confucianism concerns itself with the social and moral side of life, Taoism focuses on the individual, spiritual life. 

The articles in this section explain some of the beliefs that are especially fundamental to Taoism:

Ch'i

Ch'i is a fundamental concept in Chinese philosophy and culture.

Death and Afterlife

In Taoism, life and death are merely two aspects of reality, the unchanging Tao. Death is simply a transformation from being to non-being; from yang to yin.

Immortals

The spiritual beings of primary importance in religious Taoism are the Immortals (Xian in Chinese).

Purpose of Life

The focus of most religious Taoism is attaining immortality.

The Tao

The ultimate reality in Taoism is the Tao, or Way.

  • Death and Afterlife in Taoismhttp://www.religionfacts.com/taoism/beliefs/death-afterlife

    In Taoism, life and death are merely two aspects of reality, the unchanging Tao. Death is simply a transformation from being to non-being; from yang to yin...

  • Ch'i, Chi or Qi - Taoismhttp://www.religionfacts.com/taoism/beliefs/chi

    Ch'i (also spelled Chi or Qi) is a fundamental concept in Chinese philosophy and culture. Found in Chinese traditional religion but especially Taoism, Ch'i literally means "air" or "breath," but as a concept it refers to the energy flow or life force that is said to pervade all things...

  • Immortality and the Purpose of Life in Taoismhttp://www.religionfacts.com/taoism/beliefs/immortality

    The ideal person in philosophical Taoism is the sage who understands and lives in accordance with the Tao. Knowing that all opposites are relative and interdependent, and that the best way to live is in harmony with the natural course of things (the Tao), a Taoist does not struggle, oppose, or strive...

  • Taoist Deitieshttp://www.religionfacts.com/taoism/beliefs/gods

    Taoist Deities Traditional/Folk Deities One common type of Chinese deity is the "place god" or T'u-ti (Pinyin: Tudi). The primary characteristic of a place god is the limitation of his jurisdiction to a specific location, like a bridge, home, street, or field...

  • Taoist Immortals - Eight Immortalshttp://www.religionfacts.com/taoism/beliefs/immortals

    The spiritual beings of primary importance in religious Taoism are the Immortals (Xian in Chinese). First introduced in the Chuang-Tzu and perhaps intended by the author to be allegorical, these super-humans or "perfected persons" (chen jen) came to be worshipped and emulated by Taoists...

  • The Taohttp://www.religionfacts.com/taoism/beliefs/tao

    The ultimate reality in Taoism is the Tao, or Way. Broadly defined, the Tao is the mysterious natural order of the universe. But paradoxically, what the sages have most often said about the Tao is that nothing can be said about it...