Dao and Water

Rethinking Daoism as naturalism

Authored by: Jea Sophia Oh

The Routledge Handbook of Religious Naturalism

Print publication date:  February  2018
Online publication date:  February  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138292079
eBook ISBN: 9781315228907
Adobe ISBN:


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In Dao De Jing, Chapter 1, Lao Tsu teaches, “the Dao that can be told is not the eternal Dao” (Feng and English 1985: 9). Perhaps this sounds vague and mysterious. Nature is the manifestation of the Dao while the condition of its manifestation is its inner stillness (xing), the power within. It is the Way (Dao) of nature. It is not strange to say that nature comes out of nature. The Dao is everywhere and flows through everything. Therefore, the Dao is everything. It is not awkward to use naturalistic terms to describe Dao as the ultimate mystery that is manifested in nature natured (natura naturata) via nature naturing (natura naturans).

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