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The Way forward for Taoism in Europe

A global revival of Chinese thought can be seen in the publication of J. J. Clark’s pertinent work ‘The Tao of the West'.
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We have seen that Taoism has 2500 years of living history, and is known in Europe for only a couple of hundred years. We have seen how utterly diverse it is. It is not going to disappear next week obviously. Some commentators with little imaginations would like to dismiss the case of a global revival
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of Chinese thought: When British gentleman J. J. Clark, of Kingston University in the UK, in 2000 published his pertinent work °ÆThe Tao of the West’, his main critics accused him of patronage, for they argue that Taoism wasn’t misunderstood in Europe and therefore ignored;
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the opposite: it was ignored precisely because it was understood. To which we reply that Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism are inseparable from the Chinese culture, history, and language, just as the Greco-Hellenic and the Judeo-Christian traditions are inseparable from the European ones, even if all its citizens turned overnight into atheists or agnostics. There’s something to be said about the reawakening of certain traditions. Just 30 years ago, who could have imagined that Confucianism would see its official revival -on a global scale? As we have seen, Taoism is complementary to many actual European movements today such as spiritual revival, environmentalism, the social sciences, and even feminism. Thoughtful people quote Taoism. And is Taoism not effectively what most European politicians and
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intellectuals do already: doing nothing. As the philosopher Peter Sloterdijk
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once jested: “The Euro-Dao that can be spoken of is not the true Euro-Dao.” The actual pursuit of wu-weior °Ænon-action’ is a luxury that’s best reserved for the highest social strata of society. Once accomplished persons reached the lofty airs on top of their profession, the metaphorical sacred mountain, aka, the Taoism leadershipmodel, are they not truly indifferent to the inklings and etchings of major events just passing by? At least if we wanted to believe what’s said in the popular °ÆTaoism for Dummies’ What a tremendous advantage, indeed, of a relaxed Taoism over “the more assertive and militant religions in the world.”
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Well, yes, and no: Being flexible and formless is a great way to fit in with almost every imaginable situation. Yet, think just how much more powerful Taoism could have been, if only during its 2500 years of °Ænothingness’ it had beenjust a little bit more°≠ I don’t know ®Cmaterial? Tao is invisibly empty, master Lao once confessed, But its use is extremely plentiful. I rest my case.
A global revival of Chinese thought can be seen in the publication of J. J. Clark’s pertinent work ‘The Tao of the West’. We need to know that Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism are inseparable from the Chinese culture, history, and language, just as the Greco-Hellenic and the Judeo-Christian traditions are inseparable from the European ones. Tao is invisibly empty, master Lao once confessed, But its use is extremely plentiful.
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Taoism and Western Culture

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