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II. Lao Zi's Doctrine of the Dao


As has been noted, Lao Zi is depicted in his biography quote( above as a man who "practiced Dao and De." His doctrine was then generalized into something that "aimed at self-effacement and namelessness" on the one hand, and, on the other, into something that advised people to "take no action and thus become self-transformed, and love tranquility and thus become righteous." Although it definitely gets to the point, a generalization o this kind over-simplifies what Lao Zi intended to express in over 5,000 words. Widely recognized as the founder of Daoism, Lao Zi constructs a philosophy of fertility and individuality that unfold by virtue of his preoccupation with and formulation of the Dao
Lao Zi was the first to form the special concept of the Dao, which in turn works as the keystone of Daoism as a philosophy.[12] The Chinese term Dao literally means "way" or "road." Based of this primary meaning, it assumed in ancient times a metaphorical sense, such as "the way of man," signifying human morality, code of conduct or essence of life, etc. But in Lao Zi's terminology the meaning of the Dao transcends social and ethical domains. It i then found ascribed to certain metaphysically extended implications relating to the origin of the universe, the root of all things the law of natural change and social development, the principle of political and military affairs, and above all, the truth of human existence. The Dao as such can be conceived of as the constellation of Lao Zi's philosophizing. The most complicated but most fascinating of all its aspects lies, however, in the fact that it' connotations vary with the different contexts in which it is used So long as one sticks to both textual scrutiny and contextual analysis, one will be able to approach what the term Dao really suggests in a more justifiable fashion.

"Dao" is even retained in Tai Chuan basic training: "Taolu" (or Daolu), where "lu" adds a double effect in terms of sequencing various movement in a perfect arrangement to prepare for a complete accomplishment (frame).

Offered here is a. brief discussion of the term from eight dimensions:

1. The Dao of the Universe


The Dao is looked upon as the highest category of Lao Zi's philosophy. Right at the beginning of the Dao De Jing it is defined as "the origin of Heaven and Earth" and "the mother of the myriad things" (Cf. Dao De Jing, Ch. 1. The subsequent citations are from the same source and marked with chapter numbers only). "Heaven and Earth" in Chinese culture means either nature or the universe, and by "the myriad things" is meant all beings in the world. Hence the Dao is often likened by modern scholars to the phenomenon of the universe and the essence of alt things in occidental terms.
The Dao itself has two essential aspects discriminated as Wit (Being-without-form) and You (Being-within-form). The former is invisible and abstract, employed by Lao Zi to indicate the state of the Dao before it comes down to its actuality, whilst the latter is visible and concrete, employed to indicate the outcome of the Dao as manifested in the things which surround us. Both of these aspects are derived from the Dao and are thus regarded as the two sides of one coin. The interrelationship as such seems analogically identical to that between name and object, or thinking and being.
The Dao as the origin of the universe and the root of all things precedes God in time (Ch. 4) and exists everywhere in space. It therefore features subtlety, profundity, eternity and indescribability as well as inexhaustibility. The coming into being of all things is characterized by a process; that is, "The Dao produces the One. The One turns into the Two. The Two give rise to the Three. The Three bring forth the myriad things. The myriad things contain Yin and Yang as vital forces which achieve harmony through their interactions." (Ch. 42)
The Dao of the universe ultimately follows "the way of spontaneity" or naturalness. It begets all things without any practical purpose. Accordingly it treats all things alike without making any distinction. And furthermore it lets all things be what they can become (Ch. 25).

Here is a basic but essential principle: according to Dr. Yu Yongnian , worldwide eminence and reference in Zhan Zhuang (Pile standing) exercises, the simplest but also the highest accomplishment in martial arts can be seen while "standing like a tree", "one as origin of myriad things", is understood as "one movement to cultivate thousands of movements", which constitutes the main principle of the Chinese Martial Art Yiquan, created by Wang Xiangzhai, who studied in addition to Tai Chi Chuan, others internal styles such as Xingyi and Bagua (Yu Yongnian is among his last living direct disciples)...




 

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