My boyfriend says he most identifies with the Taoist religion. What do you all know about this and can you give me any hints on talking to him about religion?
There are several different types of Taoism, and its more of a philosophy than a religion, a bit like buddhism.
They dont really have a God, but believe in a “force” or “energy” associated with many eastern religions.
The concept of a personified deity is foreign to them, as is the concept of the creation of the universe. Thus, they do not pray as Christians do; there is no God to hear the prayers or to act upon them. They seek answers to life’s problems through inner meditation and outer observation. (religioustolerance.org/taoism.htm)
You could say it is like a form of atheism as they don’t believe in a God, nor do they believe in a creation. So my suggestion would be to start with, how he thinks the universe was created and go from there. Also ask more about his specific beliefs as Taosim can infer different beliefs. So find out what his views are and go from there
To understand Taoism, read the Tao Te Ching (written by Lau Tzu). I personally love the Tao Te Ching, as it is very similar to “the little way” espoused by Saint Therese of Liseiux.
The idea is that you get closer to God by seeing the holiness and virtue in the everyday tasks we all must perform. Making every daily task holy is the essence of Taoism and Saint Therese’ “little way”.
Someone asked Lao Tzu “how do you achieve enlightenment”?
Lao Tzu answered: “I chop wood, I carry water”.
Thanks everyone. Here is what he has told me about his beliefs:
*]He does believe in God or a higher power.
*]He likes Taoism.
*]He likes Buddhism.
*]He likes the Karma doctrine of Hinduism.
*]He is very liberal politically and morally.
I like him already! Thanks Holly for putting this thread on…I have always been very intrigued by the Eastern religions…they seem to have developed a knowledge that I think is complimentary to what we know in Christianity.
I am working on the idea of a bridging theology connecting Aboriginal (Indigenous) Spirituality with the Church…and part of what I am also learnign is about "chi’, and in my 50’s experienced my first acupuncture session! Yes, “chi” is the energy that I see as the universe (God)…and part of my prayer now is centering prayer where I breath in the universe and exhale my processes back to the universe…
It is a pretty big concept, so my prayer then focuses on God the Incarnation as I can understand God as represented by Jesus and I understand the Holy Spirit…and yet the Spirit of God is all creation and there is much we can learn from Toaist and Buddhist teachings…
I think you should start a group on this topic or Eastern Religions and I would certainlhy love to participate…
Cheerz and Blessings
Trickster (Aboriginal Concept for Transformation)
I would advice you to watch out Bruce. You are getting involved in New Age teachings which can be very dangerous. Don’t let it suck you in.
[quote=Catechism of the Catholic Church]Divination and magic
2115 God can reveal the future to his prophets or to other saints. Still, a sound Christian attitude consists in putting oneself confidently into the hands of Providence for whatever concerns the future, and giving up all unhealthy curiosity about it. Improvidence, however, can constitute a lack of responsibility.
2116 All forms of *divination *are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to “unveil” the future.48 Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.
2117 All practices of *magic *or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one’s service and have a supernatural power over others - even if this were for the sake of restoring their health - are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. *Spiritism *often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another’s credulity.
“It is a pretty big concept, so my prayer then focuses on God the Incarnation as I can understand God as represented by Jesus and I understand the Holy Spirit…and yet the Spirit of God is all creation and there is much we can learn from Toaist and Buddhist teachings…”
I too have felt drawn to Eastern religions and the Catholic writers and “mystics” who have explored the parallels between the 2 world views (i.e Merton, Bede Griffiths et al). This led me to go to the local Buddhist monastery and do some retreats with them. I got into yoga in a fairly big way and looking back for me God had become synonymous with self. Enlightenment was bliss-and the distinct grace of salvation/new life in Christ became blurred. I also rather unwittingly: poco a poco- began to reduce Christ to an exceptional man- an enlightened being…Sin became, in my mind, mere ignorance of the “fale self”. I believe looking back, that my faith had become tainted by this syncretism. I had relativised the cross of Christ: and thats just not Church!
I’ve decided to come away from Buddhist meditation and embrace more traditional prayer and the frevent spirituality of Catholicism. I feel more grounded, more “real”, less self centred and in relation with a REAL personal God again. It really is priceless and no blissful melting of the ego or merging with the “chi force”, “OM” or anything else comes close.
A word of caution then, I humbly offer. Yes we can learn from other religions: perhaps techniques and methods of stilling the mind etc. But as Peter Kreeft reminds us: these means are connected to their ends. Enlightenment, nirvana, Samadhi are not the same as mystical union with a triune God through grace. Be careful that these novel means do not lead you to an unwelcome end…
For the rest of it: I heartily reccomend a read of the letter/document that the CDF sent the Bishops “Orationes formis” - looking at authentic Christian Spirituality, meditation and the use of oriental methods. The message is really: don’t remain inside yourself- alone…God is more intimate than your deepest intimacy, higher than your highest reaches too (intimior intimo meo, superior summo meo) and all Christian prayer has Christ at the Center: the epicentre of the new Creation- the source of the transforming Spirit, the covenantal and incarnational embrace of heaven and earth, God and humanity.
God is not a universal energy. God is a being made up of three persons.
The New Age god is an impersonal energy, really a particular extension or component of the cosmos; god in this sense is the life-force or soul of the world. Divinity is to be found in every being, in a gradation “from the lowest crystal of the mineral world up to and beyond the Galactic God himself, about Whom we can say nothing at all. This is not a man but a Great Consciousness”… This is very different from the Christian understanding of God as the maker of heaven and earth and the source of all personal life. God is in himself personal, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who created the universe in order to share the communion of his life with creaturely persons… God is not identified with the Life-principle understood as the “Spirit” or “basic energy” of the cosmos, but is that love which is absolutely different from the world, and yet creatively present in everything, and leading human beings to salvation. (PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR CULTURE PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE: JESUS CHRIST
THE BEARER OF THE WATER OF LIFE)
The document I referenced above can be found at the vatican website. We are told this is not the way to perceive God.
Also in the document published by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in ‘Guidelines for evaluating Reiki as an alternative therapy’ it states that Reiki goes against Christian teaching because it operates in the realm of superstition due to it ‘working’ by manipulating ‘life energy’ also known as ‘chi’ which is not compatible with christianity. This could be applied to your discussion of acupuncture.
In another document titled ‘called to vigilance: pastrol instruction of the new age’ by Archbishop Norberto Rivera Carrera we are warned about new age practices. In terms of your new form of prayer which sounds like mediation the document has this to say:
These practices were unquestionably born as spiritual disciplines or religious acts within traditional religions (as in the case of Zen, tai chi, and the many forms of yoga), or in sects or new religious movements (as in the case of transcendental meditation and dynamic meditation). At times an attempt is made to “christianize” these forms, as occurred, for example, with “centering prayer” and “focusing,” but the result is always a hybrid form with slight gospel basis…Basically, a prayer that disregards the Word of God and Christ’s life and example, a prayer that is not a conversation with the Beloved and a commitment to charity, has hardly any place in the life of a Christian.
I recommend you check out the following website by a lady who often features on Catholic Answers Radio www.newagedeception.com or give them a call one time when she is on.
Im not trying to say your wrong, im just saying be careful.
In this case I recommend you show him that Taoism and Buddhism are atheistic philosophies and hence because he believes in a God they are essentially wrong. But show him that the peaceful side of Christianity and Gods endless love for us. Have you ever seen the DVD ‘Why be Catholic?’ by Tim Staples? i think that may help, there is also a recording of the seminar on youtube.
That’s almost exactly where I was when I became a Christian!
The main difference is that I was politically libertarian rather than liberal.
I had gotten there from being agnostic, but I wasn’t happy with the purely materialistic explanation for everything. Then I discovered Alan Watts who turned me on to other Eastern religion writers. Alan Watts is a good place to start learning about that approach.
*]上帝, which used by Daoism, and Protestant Christianity;
*]天主, which is used by Catholicism;
*]神, which is used by Protestant Christianity;
*]主, which is used by both Protestants and Catholics in prayers;
All of those terms can be translated into English as “Most High God”.
Philosophical Daoism ignores questions about things not of this earth.
Religious Daoism and Folk Buddhism impart a deity to every object.
Out of curiosity what is the language you posted?
Are you sayingg Buddhism and Daoism (Taoism) believe in a supreme being? Or is it more Daosim is an agnostic philisophy that teaches maybe there is, maybe there isnt?
If your saying they idnore questions about things not of this earth then whats with the Qi (Chi) energy, which cannot be sensed by our senses and hence could be considered “not of this earth”?
For the buddhists:
“one doctrine agreed upon by all branches of modern Buddhism is that ‘this world is not created and ruled by a God’.”(religionfacts.com/buddhism/beliefs/atheism.htm)
Hence Buddhists (strict buddhist, not those who have incorporated aspects of other religions such as Hinduism) do not believe in a God who created the world. Sounds a little like atheism?
But I dont know much about these and will happily learn more
Chi is a New Age idea. It means “life force” or something like that. We are not powered by a “life force”. We are kept alive by God. If God did not help us, we would die instantly.
Its certainly not according to the teaching of Jesus and the Apostles. What do you think: Jesus forgot to tell us about chi force? Invoke the Holy Spirit, that is of God certainly, free from all taint of darkness or idolatry. I know it sounds harsh: but I’ve been there and done it…syncretism leads inevitably to a watered down Lord: who will not save or sancify…
“The Light shines in the Darkness and the Darkness did not welcome it…But as many recieved him He gave them power to become children of God” John 1. We need the exousia-the power to be bestowed on us by God-for we are but mere anthropoi-humble men and women. We cannot tune in to, or step up to, or meditate, chant or feel our way into divine sonship: it is bestowed upon us through the reception of the Word made Flesh: the light that continues to shine in the darkness…May the Spirit guide us here brother.
Blessings and Light from the Lord on you all!
Hi Henry…I will have to get back to you later on this…i use those terms but using the terms does not imply believing in the system from whcih those terms were borrowed…chi might have a deeper buddhist definition but I am talking about the energy that is electronic in nature and has been verified by science…this is a very real important point, because Christianity has a great deal to learn from Eastern religions and a few years ago there were books on Christian yoga as an example…the church has not stand on acupunture…theyacknowledge that it has help the people with health issues and as long as we don’t blindly accept the spirituality behind it, we are doing nothing wrong…but this subject is intriguing and I need to do some work on it…I am so far behind in responding as it is…but we’ll get there…thanks for responding…
I can tell you that I speak from an authentic Aboriginal place of Catholicism being Catholic myself and you should know that New Agers have appropriate (without our permission or concent ) taken our spirituality and have made millions by re-contextualizing it in the New Age movement…my aboriginal spirituality is not relative as an example…so there is much more that we have to talk about in this string…and I look forward to that conversation…
Trickster (Aboriginal Transformational Character)
Thanks Amber, that is fascinating…look forward to learning more…
Trickster (Aboriginal Transformational Character)
DAVID, excellent questions I look forward to learning more as well