Chapter 2 Themes and Colors Key LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Mountains Beyond Mountains, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.
Its origin goes back to the time when Chinese civilization began to emerge. Daoist culture has long permeated the everyday life of ordinary Chinese people since it exerted great influences on social customs and national consciousness.
Today, as a major religion in China, there are more than 1, temples and more than 25, Daoist priests of the Quanzhen and the Zhengyi Sect, though the number of ordinary believers is impossible to assess.
The highest ideal of a Taoist is to acquire immortality. To achieve this goal, one must practice Taoism both inside and outside one's physical existence. Inner practice involves physical and breathing exercises, concentrated contemplation, and the taking of elixirs.
Later, this type of practice gradually came down to refining the interior elixirs neidan. The basic principle of this practice is still to cultivate the self both spiritually and physically. External practice involves doing good deeds and helping others. The functioning of the Tao in a particular existence is called the virtue or the obtainment of Tao.
Tao is also referred to as One, Non-Being since there is really no name for Tao.
Tao is beyond words. Words are part of our world but Tao is not. We can intuit Tao but we cannot describe it.
Tao is also the law every existence has to follow. It is the underlying, ordering, structuring force prevailing in everything and every space in the universe.
Man is the only known creature that can depart from Tao. Chinese people usually visited their temples to worship but did not officially join any of those religions.
They could go to a Buddhist temple one day, and a Taoist temple next day. Taoism as a religion showed some striking features in Chinese history: The fundamental belief of Taoist religion is that you do not have to die physically, which is essentially what behind modern medicine and science.
Taoist religion is based on the ancient Taoist philosophy, which was famous for its atheistic view against Mohism and Confucianism during the Axial Age BCE.
The birth of Taoist religion in the second and third centuries was associated with a massive uprising of peasants. One of the major parts of religious practice of Taoism is sex. After Buddhism entered China, the hybridization of Buddhism and Taoism produced a more secular and practical form of Buddhism, Chan or Zen, which is well known in the West.
They only used the word gods occasionally in a casual manner. The Taoist religion that developed later introduced a large number of deities for worshippers, though some of those deities came from folk cults and Chinese traditions.
Those deities were organised in a way that reflected the secular history of the Chinese empire. All people under heaven obeyed him willingly.
Unlike in the West, religion shared power with the monarchy, Chinese rulers used religions to control their people. Chinese emperors had the power to close down any religions and, in fact, both Buddhism and Taoism were banned sometimes but released later.
Christianity was established in China during the Tang dynasty but vanished later because of an official ban from the empress. Under such political circumstances it was understandable that the Taoist religion introduced deities to attract believers and please the emperor.
Without those deities, Taoism as a religion might not have been able to survive to today. The next level is the Jade Emperor. There are disagreements regarding the proper composition of this pantheon. Popular Taoism typically presents the Jade Emperor as the official head deity.
Chinese medicine considers the patient as a whole while Western medicine considers the disease only. Chinese medicine sees the lack of harmony with nature as a major reason why disorders develop.
Excess pleasure will weaken or damage our health. The Taoist theories of yin yang and the five elements are the fundamental theories of Chinese medicine.Custom "Mountains beyond Mountains" Essay The title of the book is a metaphor explaining how one can be having a challenge yet more challenges yet to come.
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