Taoism – Origins of an Oriental

· Chinese Culture, Taoism
Authors

Ref: [1a]

Where do we begin?

As far back as possible? A hominid fossil that was 1.8 million year old was discovered in Indonesia, and later another hominid fossil, 1.9 million year old was found in China. Indicating that either homo erectus may have migrated to Asia as far back as 2 million years ago or that a hominid species may have evolved in China before that time. It was originally assumed that hominids evolved in Africa, with the earliest fossils of “Australopithecine” dated to 3.2 to 3.6 million years old. [1]

Scientists have assumed that the first hominids to venture into Europe and Asia from Africa were Homo Erectus till about 1.5 million years ago. But now scientists are beginning to suspect that a hominid species, pre-Homo erectus may have evolved in China long before 1.5 millions years ago. [2]

1.8-million-year-old hominid fossils in Indonesia, and 1.9-million-year-old hominid fossils in China suggests that Homo erectus may have migrated into Asia as early as 2 million years ago and then migrated across the continent very quickly. There is also evidence that a hominid species more primitive than Homo erectus may have evolved in China before that time. Hominids are early humans. Until recently scientists believed that man evolved in Africa and didn’t leave that continent until 1.5 million years ago and the first hominid to arrive in Asia and Europe was homo erectus, a species which included the famous Java Man and Peking Man. Now scientists working in China and elsewhere in Asia are challenging these theories. [2]

Archeologists have found bone fragments at Tianyuan Cavem near Beijing that has been carbon dated to between 42,000 and 39,000 years ago. What is puzzling states Professor Erik Trinkaus, Washington University in St Louis, USA is this, “We have remains from the Niah Cave in Sarawak, Borneo, and now this specimen from Tianyuan, China. As you go west, the next specimens are from Lebanon. There is nothing in between.” Erik Trinkaus believes that although the Tianyuan show modern Homo Sapiens characteristics, Trinkhaus’ team also speculates on the probability of the interbreeding between the Homo Sapiens from Africa and the native Hominoids. This could explain the genetic variation today. [3]

Origins of Oriental Culture – SHAMANISM [4a]

Early man would have queried the meaning and significance of thunder and lightning, night and day, fire and water, birth and death, illnesses and good health, success and failure, good fortune and back fortune. And the wise man of the tribe would soon evolve as the shaman of that community explaining and comforting the needy. Man needed answers, even primitive man. Thus, shamanism predates all organised religions, going back to the Neolithic period (12,000- 9500 years BC) and strong evidence that it goes back into the Paleolithic period (300,000 to 10,000 years ago). Shamanism provided the answers for man and was the unifying force of early man. That shamanism has had an influence on the culture or man and subsequent religions is without a doubt. Shamanism existed in all parts of the world with different emphasis depending upon local circumstances but some traits are common as identified by Elaide (1934):

1.  Spirits exist and play essential roles in personal lives and communities.

2.  Shamans can communicate with the spiritual world.

3.  Spirits can be good or evil.

4.  Shamans are able to treat illnesses caused by evil spirits.

5.  Shamans use trance as a means of entering the spirit world that separates them from ordinary people.

6.  The Shaman’s spirit can leave his body and enter the supernatural world to find answers.

7.  The Shaman evokes images of animals as spiritual guides, omens, and message bearers.

8.  The Shaman can foretell the future, read oracle bones, and perform divination.

Shamans are healers of illnesses (witch-doctors in Africa), ritualist for sacrifices to the spirits, Fortune tellers, tellers of folk-lore and traditional chants, and as a spiritual guide to the community. The Shaman is considered as a spiritual priest, a sage of traditional lore, and an interpreter of omens or dreams. [4]

As a matter of interest, shamanism was a large part of the “Bon religion” (the original religion of Tibetans) and still has a role in forming the current Tibetan Buddhism. Shamanism also has a great influence in many of the religious culture in many of the Central Asian, Nepal and Northern Indian cultures. It still alive today in different forms. [4]

Pre-historic China The Xia Dynasty (2207BC to 1766 BC) and earlier can be referred to as pre-history and there are no written records or many myths prior to that dynasty. The only evidence can be gleaned from archeological findings and to extrapolate deeper into the past. Some recorded history started with the Shang Dynasty (1765 BC to 1122 BC) with the discovery of oracle bones discovered of that period which archeologists have uncovered and authenticates the existence of their civilisation. A Chinese archeological team dated the find of those oracle bones to 2070 BC which was the beginning of the Xia Dynasty. [5]

Oracle bones were used in divination a practice that runs through the thread of Shamanism. This is a clear indication that even in the Xia Dynasty (2207 BC to 1766 BC) there was already a society sophisticated enough to be concerned with spirituality, and predictions, and spiritual forces. The question is, how many generations before the Xia Dynasty were people sophisticated enough to seek knowledge and to trust the wisdom to Shamans to meet their spiritual and practical needs? [6]

Thus it is abundantly clear that shamanism was aware of spiritualism and developed profound thoughts and philosophies about spiritualism. How sophisticated, therefore, were people of the Neolithic period (12,000 – 9000 BC) to be able to visualise in the abstract visions of spiritualism? In fact, shamanism in all probability would have been handed down from the Paleolithic period (300,000 – 10,000 BC.)  The etymology of the word Shama is uncertain, but can be related to the Tungus root “sa-” meaning, “to know” thus related to the Turco-Mongol cultures. Other scholars claim that it comes directly from the Manchu language. [4]

By comparison, the Pharoahs at the time of Abraham (1813 BC-1638 BC) worshipped physical gods, with no obvious connections to spirituality as with the Shamans. “The Egyptian community had  more than 2000 gods but there were some gods like Ra, the sun god, who was worshipped by all Egyptians throughout the country. Ra was the main god, but here is a list of others. Ra – The Sun God, the one who was there at the beginning. Amun – the Father of life who later combined with Ra to become Amun-Ra the all important State God. Osisris, Isis, Seth & Nephthys came from the Creation of the Universe. Ptah created Heaven and Earth. Sekhmet was the Wife of Ptah. Seth murdered his Brother Osiris by trapping him in a coffin and then threw him in the Nile. Nephthys as Sister and Wife to Seth. Isis was Osiris’ Sister and Wife and sometime after his death was able to revive him long enough to conceive Horus. Osiris was chosen to judge dead mortals who wanted to follow him to Heaven. He sat in judgement as their heart was put in the balance against a feather of the Goddess Maat, who stood for truth. Horus a Falcon, avenged his Father Osiris. Thoth was given the Moon and appointed assistant to the Sun God, Ra. Isis together with Horus, Anubis and Thoth were able to reassemble the previously dismembered parts of the body of Osiris, and add a phallus (the original having bveen eaten by fish,) wrapped it in bandages and thereby created the first Mummy. Hathor, the Goddess of Love, Joy and Music first suckled Horus then later became his wife.” [7]

It was not till Moses saw the burning bush in 1314 BC did the concept of a “Spiritual God,” Yahweh, was conceived. Yet, the environment of the Manchus or Orientals and that of the Jews were different and each evolved their own philosophies according to their environment. Moses evolved from a physical polytheist culture into one that was monotheist. The Oriental shamans evolved from an earthy spirituality into a more complex polytheist culture but still strongly linked to spirituality.

The Zhou Dynasty (1045 BC to 256 BC):

The Golden Age of Chinese Philosophy The Zhou Dynasty followed on the heels of the Shang dynasty. It was during this period that scholars modernised and simplified the hieroglyphic script and this brought a spurt in more literature being written and recorded. It also stimulated more scholars who were able to express themselves and leave their ideas for posterity. It brought forth some of the greatest Chinese philosophers of that era and their impact on the culture of the people remain even today. Some of these philosophers were: Kong Fuzi (551BC-479BC) (Latinised: Confucius), who laid down the basis for the followers of Confucianism. Laozi (Lao Tsu) (circa:145BC-86BC) Founder of Daoism (Taoism) Mozi (Latin: Micius), founder of Mohism, Mengzi (Latin:Mencius) a Confician who expanded upon Kong Fuzi’s legacy. Shang Yang and Han Feizi, responsible for the devemopmenty of Ancient Chinese Legalism which was the core of the Qin Dynasty. Xunzi, who was at the center of ancient Chinese intellectual academia, even more iconic than Mencius. [8]

Mandate of Heaven

When the Zhou defeated the Shang, there was a slight but significant shift of emphasis in the perception of the legitimacy of ruler. Whereas, prior to the Zhou’s, the authority of the Emperor was conferred upon him by SHANGDI (DI), considered to be “The Supreme God, creator of the Universe” or “Lord on High,” or “Celestial Lord,” or “Above Emperor.” Shangdi was believed to rule over natural and ancestral spirits and the supreme guide to the natural and human order on this earth. The rulers of all Chinese Dynasties would perform annual sacrificial ceremonies before Shangdi at the Great Temple of Heaven in the Imperial Capital of China. Shangdi was never represented by any image or idol. [9] However, in order for the Zhou’s who usurped the Shang, to gain the legitimacy of their rule and acceptance of the people, rather than by conquest and the use of force, the Zhou’s proclaimed a political theory to justify their usurpation by the doctrine known as “t’ien ming” or “the mandate or decree of Heaven.” The subtle difference is that, whereas the Shangs and before had the “authority of the creator of the Universe,” the Zhous had “the authority of the Lord of the Heavens.” This declared the right of the Zhou Emperors to rule by Heaven. This concept gained acceptance in ancient China. The Mandate of Heaven (t’ien ming) promised the well-being of all humanity, and so represented a moral order. “Ming” meant destiny, the Heavenly Destiny that rules the physical world of floods and drought, abundance and poverty, earthquakes, life and death, wealth and poverty, and all the matters that were in the hands of the Heavenly Gods. Eventually, the combination of the two concepts of heaven and destiny spelt the moral and physical order of the universe as determined by heaven. This led to “The Way of Heaven” or in Chinese “Tao.” [10]

Despite the autocratic and absolute power in the hands of the early Chinese Emperors, they sought the legitimacy of their rule by receiving their moral authority from the Heavens (God) in 1115 BC. This is an indication of the complex thoughts in the philosophy of ancient China. Through Moses in 1312 BC the Jews and Judaism were proclaimed to be the chosen people of God. Christians believe that the only salvation for man is to believe in Christianity and in God. In the 7th century AD the Prophet Muhammad proclaims that Allah is the One and only God for all man (Muslims). Thus all these faiths have sought to legitimise their moral authority by seeking the blessings of the Heavenly God, yet it does not necessarily follow that this Heavenly God is the same God for each of the differing faiths. Whose God has the absolute moral authority? Do these gods seek divisions and hatred and domination among peoples because these different gods do not seem to be immiscible? Is there a Right God for all?

Kong Fuzi (551 BC – 479 BC) (Latinised: Confucius), who laid down the basis for the followers of Confucianism. Confucius was a teacher, scholar and a minor political official whose comments developed into pragmatic philosophy for living. He defined moral obligations of individuals and their society.

CONFUCIUS [11a] Confucius grew up in a very troubled time. In the period of the sixth century BC, the Zhou’s China had disintegrated into a loose confederation of warring  city states, each vying for power and control. Greedy and cruel warlords ruled villages and towns and battles between rival factions and the central government was severely disrupting normal life.  The Zhou’s were helpless to control these warring states. There was complete disintegration of central government and the country was in moral decline.  There were no principles of integrity among the official and governing classes. Corruption was rife, and cruelty and executions occurred continuously. Robbers and highway men terrified the villagers and law and order was non-existent. Occasionally the Central government would send in her army but they were not much better in their treatment of the citizens, pilfering, stealing and raping as they went along.  There was anarchy. Family life was non-existent as poverty and self-preservation turned son against father, and family harmony was shattered. This stimulated intellectuals like Confucius to think about such relationships. From among this rotten heap, Confucius attempted to revive the moral teachings of China’s glorious past. The fact that Confucius failed in his lifetime was immaterial for his philosophies had a profound influence on the later Chinese values and formed the basis of Chinese ideology, today labelled as Confucianism and it still leaves an indelible mark on Chinese culture. But it must be stressed that Confucius preached a philosophy, and not a religious belief. Not long after the death of Confucius, his disciples collected his works into a work known as “Lun yu” commonly translated as the “Analects” but can more accurately described as the “Edited Conversations” between Confucius and his students and an occasional ruler.  The work and thoughts are profound and I quote here: “The primary emphasis of the Lun yü is on political philosophy. Confucius was concerned about the “rampant” immorality and amorality of much of the government of his time, and he spent much of his life trying to find a ruler who would accept his teaching that ethical considerations should be the guiding principle of government. Confucius taught that the primary task of the ruler was to achieve the welfare and happiness of the people of his state. To accomplish this aim, the ruler had first to set a moral example by his own conduct, and this example would in turn influence the people’s behavior. Confucius rejected the use of a rigid legal system and believed instead that moral custom and voluntary compliance were the best ways of maintaining order in society. Confucius considered the early years of the Chou dynasty as the embodiment of the perfect form of government. It was not the rulers of this period that he admired so much as the chief minister, Chou Tan, or the Duke of Chou. The Duke of Chou was known in early Chinese tradition as the founder of the state of Lu, and he was probably the chief culture hero in this state. Because Confucius came from Lu, some scholars have claimed that much of Confucius’ teachings were simply a revival of this cult. It is certainly true that Confucius himself never claimed to be teaching original ideas but rather termed himself a “transmitter.” Nevertheless, Confucius is the first Chinese thinker to introduce concepts that became fundamental not only to Confucian philosophy but to Chinese philosophy in general. The most important of these are jen (benevolence), yi (propriety), and li (ritual). Confucius believed that the chün-tzu, or “gentleman,” must set the moral example for others in society to follow. The word chün-tzu originally meant “ruler’s son,” but in the Lun yü it refers to the educated “man of virtue,” who was not necessarily an aristocrat. The chün-tzu was expected to follow a set of ethical principles, of which jen, yi, and li were the most important. Jen meant in the Lun yü what has been translated as humaneness or benevolence, a quality a chün-tzu should cultivate and, once acquired, attempt to transfer to others. Li was considered the rules of decorum and ritual that were observed in religious and non-religious ceremonies and, as applied to the chün-tzu, composed his rules of behavior.His influence on his immediate disciples was profound, and they continued to expound his theories until, in the first Han dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 8), they became the basis of the state ideology.” [11] According to the Lun yü, it was through a knowledge of the li that yi, or propriety, could be attained. Yi represents what is right and proper in a given situation, and the chün-tzu, by observing the ritual and because of his inclination toward goodness, always knows what is right. Confucius was basically a humanist and one of the greatest teachers in Chinese history.  And to the ordinary families, Confucius stressed upon a harmonious family relationship. “Although Confucianism is often followed in a religious manner by the Chinese, arguments continue over whether it is a religion. Confucianism lacks an afterlife, its texts express complex and ambivalent views concerning deities, and it is relatively unconcerned with some spiritual matters often considered essential to religious thought, such as the nature of the soul. Confucius’ principles gained wide acceptance primarily because of their basis in common Chinese tradition and belief. He championed strong familial loyalty, ancestor worship (ancestor reverence), respect of elders by their children (and, according to later interpreters, of husbands by their wives), and the family as a basis for an ideal government. He expressed the well-known principle, “Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself” (similar to the Golden Rule). He also looked nostalgically upon earlier days, and urged the Chinese, particularly those with political power, to model themselves on earlier examples. Because no texts survive that are demonstrably authored by Confucius, and the ideas associated with him most closely were elaborated in writings that accrued over the period between his death and the foundation of the first Chinese empire in 221 BC, many scholars are very cautious about attributing specific assertions to Confucius himself. [11] “Confucius himself had a simple moral and political teaching: to love others; to honor one’s parents; to do what is right instead of what is of advantage; to practice “reciprocity,” i.e. “don’t do to others what you would not want yourself”; to rule by moral example (Analects XII:19). This was not a principle that Chinese rulers always obeyed, but it was the ideal of benevolent ( While the essence of morality is the limitation of self-interest, Confucius is clear that this does not mean complete denial of self. We have already seen a hint of this with AnalectsXV:23, which begins with the character for “self” and ends with the characters for “others” (or “persons”). If what you don’t want for yourself, you shouldn’t to do others, then you would like others to do for you what you would indeed like for yourself. AnalectsVI:28, “If you desire to establish yourself, also establish others.”” [12]

Laozi (c. 570 BC-490 BC)

Very little is known of Laozi. Laozi is also known as Lao Tzu, Lao Tsu, Lao Tze, Laotze, etc. but his surname was Li, and his given name was Erh, which means long ears, a physical attribute that he parents used to name him. He was born in the state of Ch’u which today is known as Ho-nan province. Confucius met him in 517 BC in the capital of the province when Laozi was serving as a curator at the Royal Library. It was Legge’s opinion, that it was then that Confucius addressed Laozi with the honoured title of “Old Philosopher” or “Sage” Laozi as a mark of respect. (Lao meaning “Old” and Zi meaning “Teacher” or “Sage.”) Because when Confucius met Laozi, Confucius was 35 years of age and Laozi was 88. [19] [NB: All dates during this period are approximate (circa) as different sources provide different dates. Hence exactness is no possible.]

*

Confucius meets Lao Tzu, curator in the Royal Library in Ho-nan

Daoism:Taoism

The philosophy of Taoism has been reputed to have been founded by Zhuangzi and Laozi. Zhuangzi’s philosophy about “The Way” in Shuangzi’s  self-titled writing “Shuangzi” was similar to Laozi’s works, “Daodejing.” It was the historian Sima Qian who identified this linkage. Attempts to discover more about these two men have led to a vacuum and this seems strange in view of the Chinese passion for detail. In both cases, this seems rather strange as Laozi lived in the 6th century BC [13] [14] , and Zhuangzi is reputed to have lived in the 2nd or 3rd century BC. [15] Confucius also live in the 6th century BC and there is adequate historical data of his life during that period.  This points to some incident that occurred in those early days when some Emperor was displeased with some of Laozi’s(LaoTzu) and Zhuangzi’s philosophies, and expunged them from historical records, but some of their works survived.

Qin Shihuangdi (259 BC-210 BC)

The First Emperor of China “fensu kengru,” the 4 Chinese characters describes the tyrannical and brutal Qin Shi Huang, The First Emperor of China, “He burned the books and buried the Confucian (and Daoist) scholars alive.” In 213 BC, Li Si, Chief Advisor to the emperor, Qin Shi Huang, advised him that to establish his authority and eliminate any uprisings or comparisons of his reign with that of the past or current ideologies, that he must eliminate all books on governance and rulers. Thus the Emperor ordered all books on these topics to be burned exempting books on astrology, agriculture, medicine, divination, and the history of the Qin state. The possession of the “Book of Songs” or the “Classical History of China” suffered severe penalties. He also ordered 460 scholars to be buried alive for possessing and hiding these books. But the Emperor kept copies of these books in his private library to study but these too were destroyed when the place at Xianyang was burned down in 206 BC by Xiang Yu. [15a] [15b] This explains the sudden gap in literary Chinese history of that era. China can be said to have been the first nation (213 BC) to introduce “kristall nach.” Hitler did the same in 1939, “Reichskristallnach,” and Mao Tze Dung again in the Cultural Revolution (1980-1987.)

*

Burning Books 213 BC China

Basic Tenets of Taoism Dao signifies the natural flow of the cosmos.

Nature blends with the cosmos, but humans with their conscience tend to resist the Dao. The aim of Daoism is to harmonise the human life with that of nature and the cosmos and all things physical.

The Way to be in tune with nature and the cosmos.

1.  Time is cyclical, not linear.

2.  Health and Vitality are the essence of Human life.

3.  The 5 main organs and orifices of the human body corresponds to the five parts of the universe: water, fire, wood, metal, earth.

4.  Every person must nurture the Ch’i (air, breadth) given to him by heaven.

5.  The development of human virtues is the main task of everyone. The three Jewels to seek are Compassion, moderation, and humility.

6.  Taoists believe in the art of “wu wei” which is to let nature take its course.

7.  Everyone should plan in advance and consider carefully each action before deciding.

Taoist also believe in kindness because such action is usually reciprocated.. Taoists believe that “people are compassionate by nature” when left to their own devices and will show such compassion without expecting a reward. Taoism began as a philosophy intermingled with psychology evolving from the crude basic shamanism of the earlier dynasties. It was the evolution of the mystical with the natural expressed in philosophical terms. It was the sophisticated presentation of shamanism in a modern (6th century) perspective. Eventually by 440 AD it was adopted by the rulers of China as the state religion as it was practised and revered by the citizens of the land. [17]

Lao Tzu also believed in the transmigration of souls, which is of the same concept of the Hindu/Buddhism belief in reincarnation. [18]

Daodejing (Tao-te ching) Written my Laozi was in poetic form and was/is one of the finest examples of Chinese literature. In this form, it was poetic, mystical, ambiguous, vague and open to interpretations. Tao-te ching expresses the tenets of the Dao philosophy, the Ying-Yang of life. Daoism is concerned about philosophy of the harmony of life and nature and was not divorced with politics, governance, or the interactions of society. In this way it was a purist concept unlike the philosophies of Confucius that dealt with politics, governance, and the interactions of families and society. [16]

Evolution of Daoism Taoism was a mystical, ambiguous, vague philosophy of The Way of Life in harmony with nature. Thus it was open, flexible and not dogmatic. It was a philosophy of living. But alongside with this philosophy was the philosophy of Confucius, and more positive and affirmative attitudes regarding human relationships. Thus initially much of the philosophies of Confucius became infused into Daoism and part of the Chinese religious beliefs. To even confuse and complicate matters, Buddhism was being introduced to China and accepted as a way of life in their religious rituals, and added in the mix. Today the demarkation of where Taoism ends and where Confucianism or Buddhism begins in the mix of ritualisms and ideologies is indeed difficult to separate. However, the differences lie with the priests and the different rituals in the temples, but to the man in the street, he would find it difficult to explain the boundaries of the individual faiths. Taoism, that grew out of shamanism,  and Buddhism became one of the two great religions of China, infused with the philosophies of Confucius. Many Chinese see Confucianism as an alternative form of religion, but Confucianism has no ethereal spirit of figure of worship as it is but an ideology, hence intermingled with Taoism-Buddhism it makes a plausible cause(?). However, by the end of the Ch’ing dynasty in 1911, China was so decayed as a nation, and corrupted that the state support for Taoism stopped. Religious freedom and old traditions were further suppressed after the Communist Regime took over. The Communists were determined to destroy the corrupt and decadent ways of Old Imperial China, and also to destroy the culture and follows loyal to the old corrupt ways. This led the Communist “Cultural Revolution” of 1966-1976 that destroyed much of the old traditional Imperial dynasties. But, typical of all cultures, the people hung on to their old customs and cultures and no doubt Taoism-Buddhism (and Christianity) will continue to shape the Chinese culture of the future. [17]

References:

[1a] Migration of Homo Sapiens: http://www.handprint.com/LS/ANC/disp.html

[1] Prehistoric man in China: http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=33&catid=2&subcatid=1

[2] Hominid discovery by Angela MH Schuster: http://www.archaeology.org/9903/newsbriefs/hominid.html

[3] Modern man-Tuanyuan Caves, Beijing: http://www.stonepages.com/news/archives/002333.html

[4a] Shamanism, animism, worship of spirit of ancestors and other spirits: http://www.wowwiki.com/Shamanism_and_nature_worship

[4] A Shaman: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shamanism

[5] China: pre-history, pre-Xia/Shang: http://www.imperialchina.org/Pre-history.html

[6] Oracle Bones: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oracle_bone

[7] Gods of Abraham and the Pharoahs: http://knol.google.com/k/mbp-lee/islamic-origins-abrahamic-faiths/1l23x9udotn1a/20#

[8] Zhou Dynasty and Chinese Philosophy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhou_Dynasty

[9] Shangdi, the Creator of the Universe: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shangdi

[10] The Mandate of Heaven: http://wsu.edu/~dee/GLOSSARY/TIENMING.HTM

[11a] Bronze Confucius: http://edinburghphoto.blogspot.com/2009/02/confucius.html

[11] Confucius and his philosophy: http://www.answers.com/topic/confucius

[12] Confucius’ sayings: http://www.friesian.com/confuci.htm

[13] Laozi (570 BC-490 BC) http://www.thetao.info/tao/laotzu.htm

[14] Laozi (604 BC – 531 BC) http://qanda.encyclopedia.com/question/lao-tzu-born-165101.html

[15] Zhuangzi live in the 3rd or 2nd Century BC: http://qanda.encyclopedia.com/question/lao-tzu-born-165101.html

[15a] Burning of the Books: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qin_Shi_Huang

[15b] Burning of the Books: http://www.international.ucla.edu/asia/events/showevent.asp?eventid=6910

[16] Tenets of Taoism: http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Springs/6339/Daoism.html

[17] Tenets and history of Taoism: http://www.content4reprint.com/religion-and-spirituality/a-look-at-the-history-of-taoism-and-what-is-is.htm

[18] Transmigration of Souls in Taoism: http://mb-soft.com/believe/txo/taoism.htm

[19] Lao Tzu biography: http://www.taopage.org/laotzu.html

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