The Tao of Philosophy
The Tao of Philosophy details certain fundamental
and immutable laws of Nature and the Universe. It provides practical
information on the handling of government institutions, promoting
social harmony, and the cultivation of well being. It is likely
that the Thoughts of Confucious were based largely on Taoist principals.
The idea of the 'Superior Man', that is one who understands the
cyclical and ever changing nature of the Universe and who acts
in accordance with Natural law, is very common in Chinese philosophy.
The Superior Man is the quintessential Taoist.
The Tao of Revitalization
The Tao of Revitalization is a system of practices
and exercises for healing and revitalizing the internal organs,
balancing the body, promoting invulnerability to disease and immortality
of the physical body. These exercises take three forms:
1. Concentrating on the internal organs themselves.
2. Concentrating on the energetic pathways known as Meridians
3. Cosmic or energy breathing exercises.
Most of these theories and practices survive to this day in the
practices of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Qi Gong, Acupuncture,
and various other oriental meditative, healing and martial arts
The Tao of Balanced Diet
There are two levels of diet in Taoist practice.
One is normal eating and the other is the 'Forgotten Food' diet.
In this practice the nutritive value of food is considered, as
well as correct preparation, colour, seasonal considerations,
healing properties, pH balance, tastes, and timely consumption
all have an impact on health. Taoist guidelines, similar in intent
to the Hebrew rules of Kosher, include practical ways of removing
toxins, parasites and unwanted chemicals. The foods that we eat
on a daily basis are considered to nourish us only temporarily.
Not only do they nourish us but they also nourish the bacteria,
viruses and parasites that share our bodies with us. This 'temporariness'
is a very important concept, since these foods tend to go bad
quite quickly. It is said that the difference between a nourishing
food and a poison is about 3 hours. To this day, the typical Chinese
meal is still prepared with these guidelines in mind and the treatment
of disease with dietary changes is still a mainstay of Traditional
The Tao of Forgotten Foods
While the Tao of Balanced Diet considers foods we
like to eat, that look good and taste good, the Tao of Forgotten
Foods survives to this day as the practice of Herbal Medicine.
In this practice those parts of the plant, animal and even minerals,
that we don't normally eat, are considered for their healing and
restorative properties. The bark, roots, leaves, twigs of many
plants and trees, animal and reptile parts and even certain rocks
and resins have all been shown to have medicinal properties. In
the Chinese Materia Medica there are over 10,000 entries. In the
Taoist way, there is no clear cut distinction between what is
considered food and what is considered medicine. Literally everything
we put in our mouth affects the body in some way. In Taoist practice
quite literally, 'you are what you eat.' Besides taste, nutritive
value and medicinal property, Taoists assign relative strengths
to foods. Eating 'strong foods' such as what comes from a tree
or an animal known for its strength will pass on that Qi. Eating
foods from a weak plant or animal will pass on weak Qi. As
in all things Taoist, it is important to have a balance to these
kinds of foods. Herbal or 'Forgotten Foods', when they are prepared
properly, can last indefinitely. Unlike the temporariness of regular
food, herbal food contributes to longevity. As well, germs and
parasites are not nourished by Forgotten Foods and will flee a
body rich in that Qi.
The Tao of Healing Art
The Tao of Healing Art is similar to the Tao of
Revitalization, except the latter is for self healing while the
former is for healing others. This art survives today as Tui Na
(Chinese Massage), which is a fully developed practice and recognized
branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Tui Na, as all the branches
of TCM relies on a knowledge of Meridians and internal organs,
theories of Qi, Yin/Yang, and 5 elements theory as outlined
by ancient Taoists. Needless to say, Tui Na and Acupuncture are
The Tao of Sex Wisdom
In this practice, the ancient Taoists developed
sexual practices that improved health, promoted longevity, increased
mental powers and spiritual awareness, and practices for treating
disease. In Taoist thought, semen is considered to contain a man's
energetic essence. One of the more interesting practices is to
separate orgasm from ejaculation. It is thought that if a man
doesn't ejaculate or at least ejaculate often, his essence is
preserved. This observation is born out in TCM practice. A man's
essence is thought to reside in the Kidney organ system. Overindulgence
in sex, by men, results in severe Kidney depletion with all the
attendant signs and symptoms. This is actually not the case for
women. In fact, sexual indulgence actually strengthens and revitalizes
a woman. It is her monthly period and child birth that depletes
a woman's essence.
There are also practices for using sexual energy
for healing. This has a certain scientific basis since it is well
know that sexual arousal produces large amounts of Pheromones
and Endorphines, both of which are known to have pain killing
and healing properties about 100 times more potent than any modern
medicine. Even modern medicine is aware that masturbation to orgasm,
especially for women is the best treatment for migraine headaches.
The Tao of Sex Wisdom also includes techniques for harmonizing
relationships and increasing spiritual realization.
The Tao of Mastery
The Tao of Mastery is concerned with one's own self-mastery.
One gains insights into one's own nature and the relationships
one has with his environment. Included in these practices are
Numerology, Chinese Astrology, and Symbology used in a similar
manner as their Western versions, to gain insights into one's
own personality. There are also techniques for 'reading' facial
features and finger prints. Directionology, has to do with organizing
space according to natural laws in such a way as to foster harmony
among groups of people. It is likely that practices such as Feng
Shui arose out of this practice.
The Tao of Success
The Tao of Success is contained in the I Ching
or Book of Changes. Proper use of the I Ching allows
one to understand the elemental and cyclical forces of Nature
as well as Social Forces. Knowing the absolute laws of the Cosmos
and abiding by them allows the 'Superior Man' to develop successful
strategies for overcoming adversity, gaining wealth, power and
The Tao of Success is divided into three parts:
1. The study of symbols and signs that represent the never ending
cycle of changes which occur throughout the Universe.
2. The Tao of Change, a detailed study of the 64 hexagrams that
make up the Book of Changes and coming to understand the fundamental
laws of Nature.
3. The actual practice of casting Yarrow Sticks or coins from
which the 'Superior Man' receives advice on how to act in specific
All Taoist thought is based on the writings of
the Tao Te Ching, a very small book written by the great
philosopher Lao Tse. It is probable that Lao Tse himself
did not actually write the Tao Te Ching, but simply wrote down
what was already ancient wisdom in his day. It is said that Lao
Tse believed the language of wisdom to be silence. Accordingly,
after writing his little book, the legend is that he never spoke
another word for the rest of his life.
Back To Top