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Taoism (Taoismo)

Fishburn and Hughes: From the Chinese tao, 'the way': a philosophic and religious system which has been practised in China for more than 2,000 years. Over the centuries Taoist beliefs have mingled with Buddhism and with the preachings of Confucius, leading to a similarity of ideas within the three systems. Tao views the universe as a hierarchy, the entirety of whose being is reflected in man: anyone who sets out to understand the structure of the world ends up by finding it within the workings of his own mind. All being is 'tao' and returns to it: from unity to multiplicity and back to unity. Within this unity the alternation of the complementary energy forces Yin' and Yang' is the origin of the apparent external variety of reality. While the ways of the world are many and lead to a scattering of the personality, the Taoist aims to retain a primordial conviction of unity, balancing the Yin and the Yang within himself. The elderly, closer to realising this condition, are also closer to sainthood. Hence the cult of longevity. The Garden of Forking Paths