Classical Daoism: The Concept of the Heavenly Dao


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Essay #: 057384
Total text length is 3,864 characters (approximately 2.7 pages).

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The beginning:
Classical Daoism: The Concept of the Heavenly Dao
The concept of the heavenly dao is, like many other concepts in Daoism, not easy to understand. Indeed, it can be argued that the heavenly dao is not intended to be an object of understanding, but rather is the source of understanding. We cannot master it; it masters us, whether or not we allow it to do so.
One of the texts from Guodian reads:
The people have no command (mandate) of (from) it. Heaven from itself spreads it equally and peacefully. Construction of names is based upon beings. Since names were constructed upon being-already, then we should know their limit, when the limit is known, there will be no danger. The Dao's presence in under heaven, is like the small streams going to...
The end:
.....ical assessment of Daoism’s stance on politics is offered by Zhao, who claims that Daoism had a “disdain” for politics. However, in light of the way in which wuwei sanctions a kind of quietism that certainly has political overtones, whether or not Daoism itself recognizes these overtones, we should pay increasing attention to the political content of the dao.
Henricks, Robert G. Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching: A Translation of the Startling New Documents Found at Guodian. New York City: Columbia University Press, 2005.
Reichelt, Karl Ludvig & Holth, Sverre. Meditation and Piety in the Far East. London: James Clarke, 2004.
Zhao, Suisheng. Debating Political Reform in China: Rule of Law vs. Democratization. New York: M.E. Sharpe, 2006.