singforme wrote:No didn't want to offend you 42, I'm sorry that I have! But I want to learn. I'm a secondary school teacher and amongst other things I teach world religions and so far I haven't found the idea of Buddhism being 6000 years old. So that's interesting to me. I'm really not interested in any trolling going on here especially as I find this forum to be a great and very respectful platform!
Although not a religion per se, daoism is quite interesting. Especially in the West, daoism is represented by the writings of Laozi and Zhuangzi mainly. The rituals that were adopted in China when facing the popularity of buddhism around year 400 or so did not transfer to the west in terms of exposure to daoism. Daoism is more like a living philosophy and it's also the foundation of chinese culture, medecine and acupuncture. Although many books were burned in the past and many daoists killed, the rulers could not get rid of the doctors for pratical reasons and these doctors carried on the daoist knowledge in dire times.
Daoism view of the universe is based on a 'binary' system of yin and yang behind which there is an eternal void, 无极 wuji. These binary forces fragmented down to give the whole world, basically. On yin and yang were created a philosophy, a medecine system, a energy system, and martial arts. For instance if you mention 丘处机 Qiu Chuji to Chinese persons today, as I did a few times, you could get a reponse like: "The kungfu guy ?" It means that the philosophy is lived in every aspect of the life be it the body, the spiritual, healing, social, etc. The impact of the Yi Jing, the book of revelations based on hexagrams which are themselves made of yin and yang had a profound impact on Chinese culture. There's no bible in China through which god speaks to the humans. It is rather a book of changes, a book of transformations.
There was a few hundred years in Chinese history in which there was a god who created man and woman using soil of the Earth. But it vanished away, replaced by the universal conception of daoism. Of which there are two expressions: 道家 daojia and 道教 daojiao. The first is the philosophy, the second which evolved later as said above, is the 'religion' with its rituals, garments and all the like. IMHO, as with many religions, people are better off with philosophy, and living it.
Daoism might lack the impact in organization and 'show' religions have so it's not counted as such and not included in curriculums tossed aside as some form of shamanism. However it has given birth to traditional Chinese medecine, a living philosophy. a wholistic approach to the body, to the universe, and has left its footprints in the culture of one of the largest country in the world.
This was a short overview, unstructured. You might know much of this already. So please consider it as an invitation to discuss daoism if you are interested. The 'Backstage' section of the forum, for unrelated topics, could be a good place to ask anything of interest about daosim and whereas I do not profess myself an expert, I can quickly answer some questions.