Taoism can be separated into a doctrine and a faith. As a doctrine Daoism has no supernatural elements whilst as a faith it does, these supernatural elements chiefly refer to the elevated position of seniors to divinities and the being of Heavens and Hells.[ 1 ]Taoism has ne’er existed as a incorporate faith, in the same manner Christianity has legion subdivisions, hence there are distinguishable differences between subdivisions. There are still core beliefs that the bulk of the subdivisions portion.[ 2 ]The one belief shared between all subdivisions is of Dao. Dao is the manner or way of life. Daoists believe that Dao is the beginning of all things, heaven, Earth and creative activity.

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Equally good as a belief in Dao, Daoists believe in Gods and Immortals. The Gods of Daoism are the Celestial Worthy of Primordial Beginning, the Celestial Worthy of Numinous Treasure and the Celestial Worthy of the Way and Its Virtue, The Jade Emperor and the Great Emperor of Zhenwu.[ 3 ]Immortals are worlds who have become divinities due to their cultivation of Dao. Daoists besides believe in the being of 36 Celestial spheres and 36 Hells with there being a highest Eden and a lowest Hell. Upon decease Daoists believe they are judged by the Ten Kings of the Netherworld who decide which Heaven and Hell they belong to. The lowest of the Heavens and the highest of the Hells consequence in reincarnation whilst the higher Heaven consequences in the freedom of the hurting of life and decease and the lowest Hell consequences in penalty. The different divinities and immortals have duties based on the manner they cultivated Dao, popular divinities are in charge of: air current, rain, boom, H2O, fire, wealth and the land.

The end of a Daoist is to go close to the Dao through take parting in De, the active life and cultivation of Dao.[ 4 ]Wu Wei is another cardinal construct of Daoism and is found in subdivisions. Wu Wei is translated to “ without action ” . Wu Wei is similar to De in the manner it brings Daoists in alliance with Dao. Wu Wei is the belief in practising efficiency and working in conformity with the natural harmoniousness of the existence. P’u is the end of following Wu Wei. P’u is a province of absolute receptivity. It is the province of head in which there are no prepossessions or semblances, the head is unburdened of anterior cognition and experiences. De, Wu Wei and P’u are all of import in a Daoist being entered into a higher Heaven after decease and go an Immortal themselves.

The moralss of Daoism are besides based around length of service and geting immortality. Daoists believe that in order to populate a long and healthy life one must follow societal moralss, making good workss and avoiding making incorrect. Daoists believe that if they commit evil they shall hold a decreased life span and decease an early decease.[ 5 ]Similar to other faiths Daoism has basic moral regulations against killing, stealing, lying, and sexual misconduct. Daoists believe in concentrating on being a better individual instead than making good workss, through being a better individual they will assist more people and non step in with the natural order of life. By bettering oneself and others Daoists pattern their beliefs outside their physical being and are more likely to come in a higher Heaven. Those who commit Acts of the Apostless of immorality and travel against Dao are sent to one of the Hells.

The Doazang or Daoist canon contains over 800 texts. The Ming Daozang includes about 1500 texts.[ 6 ]The texts of Daoism do non incorporate Hagiographas about the supernatural elements and divinities of the faith as Daoism originally started as a doctrine and non a faith. These texts, nevertheless, are considered sacred by Daoists.

Mount Penglai is believed to be the meeting topographic point for the Eight Immortals and is a Daoist sacred site. This fabulous mountain is a Eden where castles are made of gold and there are ne’er stoping sums of nutrient and fruits which can allow ageless life. Qin Shi Huang attempted to happen Mount Penglai in hunt of the elixir of life.[ 7 ]Each subdivision of Daoism has its ain grotto-heaven which is normally a cave or other belowground infinite. These sacred sites were found all over China with 10 Large Daoist Caves and 36 Small Daoist Caves and 72 Promised Lands.[ 8 ]These sacred sites are used as residences of the immortals. Daoist temples are another signifier of sacred site for Daoists. Daoist temples were used for rites, worship every bit good as resting topographic points.[ 9 ]

The sacred symbols of Daoism include the Taijitu ( Yin and Yang ) , the Ba gua ( Eight Trigrams ) , the Pinyin ( Big Dipper, a configuration )[ 10 ]and triangular flags[ 11 ]which may be hung at Daoist temples, by and large with Daoist Hagiographas on them.

[ Seen above, from left to compensate ; Taijitu, Ba gua and Pinyin. ]

The Taijitu is frequently seen on Daoist flags, temples and sacred vesture. These symbols are brooding more so of the doctrine of Daoism instead than the faith. The constructs shown in these symbols though are relevant in the Daoist strive for immortality.

Taoism lacks official sacred times due to the assorted subdivisions of Daoism. Specific rites may take topographic point on certain day of the months for a subdivision of Daoism, for illustration the Qingming Festival which by and large takes topographic point around April 5th. On these peculiar vacations there are street parades which involve music and pyrotechnics. On other day of the months forfeits may take topographic point every bit good as fasting. Forfeits and fasting takes topographic point as offerings to the different divinities of Daoism.

Mayans believed that “ All things, whether animate or inanimate, were imbued with an unobserved power ”[ 12 ]In some instances this unobserved power was in the signifier of a divinity which would act in a humanlike province. Mayan beliefs relied to a great extent upon the motions of the Sun, Moon, planets and stars which were besides considered divinities. The motion of these divinities dictated when black events took topographic point. Mayans believed that there were over 150 Gods who were responsible for different parts of life such as Chac, the God of rain, and Yum Cimil, a decease divinity. The most of import God was the Godhead God, Itzamna . Thirteen divinities existed in the Upper World and nine in the Lower World. Mayans believed that the existence was created by the interactions of the different Gods. Mayan faith explained that natural forces were beyond human comprehension and organised the existence to its natural order. After decease people were sent to Xibalba, an belowground metropolis which was ruled by devils who set traps for the dead for their amusement. Heaven was reserved for those who died in conflict or were sacrificed.

Popol Vuh, the Dresden Codex and the Paris Codex are Mayan texts which still survive today and are how we know of Mayan myths and beliefs. Mayans would non hold had entree to these texts but the narratives and beliefs in them would hold been taught and passed down orally. These texts explain the creative activity of the existence, world, planets, stars and natural happenings such as rain and fire and Teach ethical motives. Narratives involve the interaction between different Gods and their effects on the existence. These texts and narratives nevertheless, were non considered to be sacred, but as of import records of spiritual rites and cognition.[ 13 ]

The ethical system of Mayan faith is largely unknown. The thought of ‘covenants ‘[ 14 ]between divinities and human existences existed in Mayan faith. In order for society to work decently and for people to take happy lives they would carry through these compacts and rites.

Sacrifice and metempsychosis was a common subject in Mayan mythology and was celebrated in Mayan rites of human forfeit. Mayan ceremonials included the playing of a athletics in which squads competed to go through a ball through rock basketballs utilizing merely their hips and cubituss. This athletics was considered to be sacred and was diversion of the Gods ‘ flight from Xibalba. Teams who lost at this athletics were used as human forfeits for the Gods.[ 15 ]Other spiritual rites included dramatic public presentations, dancing and supplication. Mayans believed in blood forfeit to maintain the existence in balance and the “ tree of life ” .[ 16 ]Blood forfeits were by and large non-fatal and would affect piercing an organ. Blood forfeits were made in order to have divine favor from the Gods. On juncture human sacrifices did take topographic point and were large events. Blood and human forfeits were critical to Mayan beliefs as they propitiated the Gods and if they did non take topographic point would do upset and pandemonium.

The snake was an of import spiritual symbol for the Mayans. The serpent represents metempsychosis and reclamation which is a subject explored within their mythology. One of the chief divinities, Quetzalcoatl, is represented as a feathery snake.

Caves and hosts in the Earth taking to the resistance were considered unsafe and sacred sites. It was believed that Xibalba was accessible through these holes into the Earth. Temples were built on top of looming pyramids which were believed to be the closest point to the celestial spheres.

Mayans were fascinated by the construct of clip and star divination due to this Mayan faith has a really complex and advanced system of clip. The motions of the star and planet divinities were critical to Mayan ceremonials and rites. Time was divided into different rhythms which assisted in cognizing the right clip to make things, such as reaping harvests and get downing wars.

Taoism and Mayan faith are both characterised by mythology of polytheism but to changing grades. Supernatural powers and divinities have rather similar functions in each faith. Daoism is a much more subjective faith than Mayan faith due to its original creative activity as a doctrine. Both faiths nevertheless have fabulous creative activity narratives, rites that are performed for supernatural intents, have animistic beliefs of liquors in all objects, the belief in celestial spheres and snake pits. Deities exist in both faiths for about all activities, more so in Mayan faith than Daoism. The difference in civilizations consequences in different rites and types of sacred times/locations/symbols with Daoism being more humanist/conservative and Mayan faith being more sacrificial. The lives of both Daoists and Mayans and their beliefs are based around the function of supernatural powers and divinities which are built-in to their day-to-day lives and belief systems.

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