Sunday, November 07, 2010

China's Religious (and Taoist) Revival

"China is in the midst of a religious revival, and people will pay to visit holy sites." So says today's nytimes magazine. ("The Rise of the Tao") "In cities, yuppies are turning to Christianity. Buddhism attracts the middle class, while Taoism has rebounded in small towns and the countryside. Islam is also on the rise, not only in troubled minority areas but also among tens of millions elsewhere in China."

The official Chinese state worldview-position is: atheism. But the estimated number of people who hold to some kind of religion is now 300 million. A different poll showed that "85 percent of the population believes in religion or the supernatural."

Just as there is a revival in Christianity, so also is there a revival in Taoism.

"Taoism is based on the idea that behind all material things and all the change in the world lies one fundamental, universal principle: the Way or Tao. This principle gives rise to all existence and governs everything, all change and all life. Behind the bewildering multiplicity and contradictions of the world lies a single unity, the Tao. The purpose of human life, then, is to live life according to the Tao, which requires passivity, calm, non-striving (wu wei humility, and lack of planning, for to plan is to go against the Tao."),