Verses and Images on Daoism, Nature, Yin, and Yang

changchun daoism temple dao de jing text wikicommons

Although the Chinese government banned Daoism in 20th century China, the practice is no longer banned and monasteries are re-establishing all over China. It is this very process of reconciliation, reintegration, and renewal of respect for all people that EdenKeeper is celebrating in this Saturday series on sacred scriptures.

Life on Earth is an all-encompassing ecosystem, and we all have equal right to enjoy this life. Setting our differences aside, we find our similarities that much easier to see. Sharing foundational beliefs leads to deeper understanding, growing respect, and flourishing cultural diversity.

The Wide Influence of Daoism

According to the Daoism statements from Alliance of Religion and Conservation (ARC), Daoism is a primary religious tradition of China. Its influence can be found in any Chinese community around the globe, and has influenced the cultures of Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, as well.

Daoism, also referred to as Taoism, was first penned by Lao Zi, a Chinese philosopher, over 2500 years ago. Called the Dao De Jing, Lao Zi’s work also pulled from even earlier Chinese classic folk traditions and beliefs. The most widely practised medical tradition of using natural remedies, commonly referred to as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) was directly developed from Daoist principles.

The Three Foundational Principles of Daoism

Three principles form the foundation of Daoism: “Dao,” or “The Way;” the Value of Life; and “Yin and Yang.” (Quotes from ARC) :

The Dao:
“At the heart of the very earliest Chinese vision of the cosmos, there is the Dao, the origin of all. Dao means ‘the way’. The Dao is the origin of everything and the ultimate aim of all Daoists. The Dao is Heaven, Earth and Humanity. The Dao cannot be defined because it exists beyond all forms. In the words of the great Daoist sage, Lao Zi: ‘That which can be named is not the true Dao’. The Dao teaches wu-wei, the way of no-action and no-selfishness. This means to live in a plain and modest way and not to struggle for material gain.”
The Value of Life:
“Daoism regards life as the most valuable thing and pursues immortality. Life can be prolonged through meditation and exercise. People should train their will, discard selfishness, and seek to be a model of virtue. With high moral sense and good exercise, one can maintain energy throughout one’s life. To achieve this, Daoism stresses the need for a peaceful and harmonious environment as a very important external condition.”
Yin and Yang:
“Yin and Yang are opposites which must always be in balance: Yin is female, moist, cold, the moon, autumn, and winter, shadows and waters. Yang is male, dry, hot, the sun, spring and summer, brightness and earth. The need to balance yin and yang can be applied to everything, including martial arts (Tai Chi), food (macrobiotics) and the arrangement of living conditions (feng shui).”

Verses and Images of the Dao, Nature, Yin, and Yang

The process of creation, by which the Dao originated reality, is defined in the following classic verses from Lao Zi’s Dao-De Jing. They are accompanied by inspirational images created from Pixabay public domain photos to further enhance reflection:
image “The Dao gives birth to the One [Unity, or Nature]…
image The One gives birth to the Two [Yin and Yang]…
image The Two gives birth to the Three [Heaven, Earth, and Humanity]…
image The Three give birth to the Ten Thousand [All things in Creation].”

For more beautiful verses and images, see the previous articles in this series:

Water’s Beauty in Nature and Islam

Creation & Stewardship in the Hebrew & Christian Bible With Images

Creation in the Christian New Testament Bible

Sikh Hymns Illuminate Creation and Creator

Verses in Buddhism on Humankind and Creation

Hinduism Verses on God, Creation, and Mother Nature

Jainism’s Tattvartha Sutra Verses on Creation

Confucius on Heaven, Earth, and Humanity

more to come, God Willing…

Please feel free to download and share these images, and don’t forget to hit the social media share buttons, as well. Also, please leave a comment below with your favorite verses on Nature or Creation and be sure to include its source, so it can be considered in an upcoming article in this series. We are hoping to cover every faith possible, and your help is very welcome!
(Top image note and source: Text from the Dao De Jing on a Chinese Temple Wall, wikicommons, edited by A.A.)

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About the Author

Aisha Abdelhamid (Birth-name Kathleen Vail) is a freelance lifestyle and environmental science writer currently living in Vancouver, BC. Her interests include environmental conservation, climate science, renewable energy, faith-based environmental activism, sustainable economics, corporate social responsibility, creative lifestyles, and healthy living.