What is the
ultimate religion of mankind?*
Written by Lam
From the same piece of essay, one can generate two dissimilar impressions, which is instigated usually by one's attitude in perusing the text either carelessly or carefully. The present essay should epitomize evidently the very case.
If this text were being read heedlessly, it would come across as utter
absurdity and downright scaremongers.
However, if this were done attentively, every sentence would be
perceived as being precious, refreshing and insightful. The author aspires
sincerely to all politicians, economists, historians, religionists and
philosophers; both from overseas and at home, to hold back their sentiment
temporally, therefore, allowing themselves to sip through the whole text from
beginning to end. Then, one may
asseverate it as "thought provoking"; hence it is neither
inarticulate nor disconcerted, or it is certainly not pessimistic; but an
imperative attempt to offer its service to the country, the people and mankind!
Religion was the ancient form of politics, and for considerable period
societies relied upon it for their expansion and preservation. Although at
today space age, in which we have reached a stage where comprehensive
distinction between politics and religion has been drawn, the two are still
interwoven in an unclear manner; “religion supplements where politics lacks;
administrates when laws fail”. It
would be difficult for anyone to overturn this unremitting rule of its role
and benefit on societies.
No matter how society has metamorphosed, or even at the blink of
cessation, if once there were a sign of revival, its immediate association
with religion would be spontaneous and mutual; the transformation of
religious climates in
Every single religion in the world started out initially with some
forms of ancient beliefs and worships.
For the ancient humans, who were faced with those utterly
incomprehensible daily occurrences, their irresolute responses were to
relinquish and blinded worship; consequently, this had lead to the beginning
of religious practices. In an attempt
to enrich the content of these stone-blind worships, relinquishments and
rituals, some forms of coordination and doctrine were established, therefore,
this led to the beginning of religion which subsequently lead to generations
of its following and expansion.
Someone said, "religion was the spiritual opium for the
masses" which was a subjective exasperation from a bygone age; however,
this snap judgement on religions has evoked people in the acceptance of
"humans procreate gods and all spiritual entities", rather than
"God create humans". This
serves to ascertain the essence of Lao-Tzu's teaching in "Tao Te Ching", as the requisite path for the external
existence of religions.
Calamities, joyfulness and miseries, lives and deaths, were like those
irrepressible, unceasing, invisible and perplexing ligatures which led humans
to believe that they must have been sustained and controlled by some forms of
supernatural powers. These untouchable
and yet mystical awes were then being promulgated as gods and spiritual
entities. From there on, religion,
gods and spiritual entities have formed that entanglement, which subsequently
brought on the provenance of torments and onslaughts by politics.
Although "Tao Te Ching" is mankind
earliest philosophical classic on "atheism", throughout the ages,
how many rulers have ever used its teachings to enlighten people to break
free from the rot of gods and spiritual entities? Conversely, they weighted them down even
more heavily onto the masses, thus to enslave them for inequitable
exploitation. This, however, has uncovered the scared and eternal principle: "Tao succours naturally" and
"reform and open" as mankind's dedicated
guidance on politics, economies, cultures and religions.
The rise and fall of the Taoist rulings were the thermometers of the
Taoist religion. In the Han 1 and Tang 2dynasties, the so-called "The illustrious reigns
of Man and Kin" and "The illustrious ruling of Ching-Koon",
respectively, were the golden eras of the Taoist rulings and the Taoist
religion. Subsequently, the two both
gravitated to their decline and obscurity, and from there onwards, the Taoist
religion was forced to conceal behind the routine of religious rituals and
ceremonies, thereby, to assure its preservation and continuance. Mr. Lou Shun said that the Taoist religion
is the root of the Chinese civilization; and this distinctive and yet far-reaching
comment is not without its rationale.
Mr. Deng Xiao-Ping, was the first person
after Lao-Tzu who had perceived the knowledge of "the world could not
perceive"; and had implemented the action of "the world could not
implement". By centring on his
"Open Door Policy" in reforms and developments; unprecedented and
yet subtly, he routed round inches of thick ice of the wintry freeze, and
brought forth the sunny spring of religions in China, thus signalling to
every Taoist individual to rekindle their unfeigned spirits, and to cohere
with the country and their people, in contributing diligently their efforts
on economic expansions and developments.
With current prosperity of the twentieth-first century, in which
religions are at the era of amelioration, the direction of reform could
induce a pivotal impact on the world's economies, politics and cultures. In welcoming the dawn of this momentous
epoch, a summarized exposition of the Taoist religion here would serves to
stimulate discussions, appraisals on the rationale behind this article, and
therefore lead to the evaluation of whether Taoism is eligible to become the
ultimate religion of mankind.
In ancestral and spiritual worships, the belief of "mindful of
cessations and respectful to forebears" was shared by the common
beginning of mankind, and the root could be traced from the imprints in the
histories of the four ancient civilizations of the world. Eventually, this form of belief has been
preserved solely in the Chinese civilization, which in the process
safeguarded the existence of the Chinese civilization through centuries of
The Yellow Emperor3 who united
all tribes in
Following the development and advancement of the society, eminent
intellectuals in Taoism utilize the scientificity
of "Tao Te Ching" to untie and cleanse
the religion from superstitions, deceptions, menaces and follies, thereby
offering the Taoist religion to the modern age to make significant
contribution in the process of reunification of the country and stabilisation
of the society.
Taoism through the ages has been the state religion of the Chinese civilization. For those Chinese who use animal scarifies or substitutes in religious ceremonies and practices to serve as signs of respect to their forebears, gods and spiritual entities, regardless of whether they have joined any Taoist organizations or not, are classified collectively as the Taoist. However, it is also important to be aware of the believers' subject of worships, if ancestries worship was their initial element and from there led to the inclusion of other gods and spiritual entities, therefore, they would be included as part of the Taoist faith. Moreover, for those, who have preserved their ancestral surname, and have not yet be ridded totally of their Chinese skin and hair, it would be a mammoth task for them to sever their tides totally from the Taoist religion. For this reason, even if Taoism was to become the ultimate religion of mankind, the contingent of Taoist followers would keep increasing and expanding naturally and unceasingly.
The Chinese were the earliest people to utilize scientific wisdom to
conceptualise the physical happenings and effects in the universe. Lao-Tzu is the personification of one such person, and his classic "Tao Te Ching"
epitomizes such proof.
Tao is the collective classification of all forms of energies that
created the universe and everything within it. Lao-Tzu applied detailed observations and
thorough analyses, in perceiving the neutrality in Tao to its transposition
to sociality in mankind; thereby proclaiming a thoroughgoing understanding on
the relationship between nature and mankind, hence, the conceptual view
between the Tao of nature and the Tao of mankind. The word "Tao" in the title “Tao
Te Ching” denotes the Tao of nature, which is the
intrinsic law of the transformation of all natural energies and their
manifestations, "Te" denotes the Tao of mankind, thereby, the
inherent rule of human's society and development; "Ching"
denotes these unremitting and eternal principles. Therefore, Tao Te Ching
is mankind's philosophical classic on general understanding and realization
of the entire rules on all forms of natural energies transformation within
the universe and their manifestations on the development of mankind's society.
The Taoist religion designated Lao-Tzu as the founder of Taoism, and
opted for the world earliest and most exhaustive philosophical classic, Tao
Te Ching, as the bible. It adheres to the principle of "Tao
succours naturally" as the exemplary guidance, and puts forth the
principle of four scientific approaches: (i) be
viable within science, (ii) be liveable in practice, (iii) be accountable to
history, (iv) be accommodative to all, to appraise the activities and
practices of all humans, thereby to verify and to prove their scientific
values of its perpetual reusability.
Tao Te Ching, the humans' ocean of wisdom
and the luminescence of peace and prosperity, is mankind's exclusive
The Taoist religion welcomes public discussion and inspection of its
doctrines, and persists fearlessly with the four scientific principles; with
its worldwide, luminous, outstanding and everlasting canon:
(1) Humans procreate humans,
(2) Humans create societies,
(3) Humans procreate gods and all
(4) Humans participate actively
in society and serve to benefit the others, and be the benefit of own self.
These four scientific principles are valid universally, thus they are
forever robust and always applicable and reusable; not only it surpasses the
realm of politics with its “gargantuan and virtuous assimilation", but
offering their service to the Chinese civilization diligently and honourably
with the aim of "abiding to the Tao solely", hence inaugurating the
everlasting peace and prosperity for all mankind.
The continuation of the Chinese civilization through years of
adversities, could not detach from the belief of "mindful of cessations
and respectful to forebears"!
Throughout the history, countless aggressors had made numerous
attempts to invade and colonize
Therefore, in establishing the world peace that utilizes the Chinese
civilization as the supporting pillar, one must at the same instance concentrate
on the promotion of the scientific Taoist religion.
For those Taoists who are sincere and diligent in progressing the
scientific Taoist religion, since they are not only be the contributors to
the Chinese culture but also offering their service to all mankind, they
should be gathering in forces in the domain of the preservation of the
Chinese civilization and the protection of world peace.
Since the worship of blood relatives (i.e. mindful of cessations and
respectful to forebears), was once shared as the common belief in the
beginning of mankind, and it could be traced in the histories of the four
ancient civilizations. Therefore for all mankind to believe in "mindful
of cessations and respectful to forebears" should not be perceived as
beyond the boundary of possibility, but would be viewed as a manifestation of
mankind's quest of their origin. Consequently, the resurgence of religions
and the commonality of mankind would be an eventual actuality.
The resurgence of the Chinese civilization, the preservation of world
peace and the avoidance of mankind's calamities and sufferings, would be
predetermined by the promotions and implementations of Tao Te Ching and the scientific Taoist religion. Although we may
be in anticipation of this coming moment, we should be working zestfully to
urge this day to come even sooner.
Taoism was mankind's earliest religion, and it would also be mankind's
ultimate religion, "Tao succours naturally" is the foundation stone
of the throne; "mindful of cessations and respectful to forebears"
is the rustproof metal within the throne and combined with "unceasing
worships of the forebears by their offspring", are the fragrances and
vibrancies of the Taoist religion which is forever expanding and outreaching.
In the society of
"China shall never be in a state of cataclysm!” a summary of one
hundred of thirty-six years' experience from recognising 'the idea of
colonialism' to counteract against 'the invasion of colonialism'; the Chinese
should regard this summarized experience as the rule of thumb and no attempt
should be made to step over this border line.
This has also served as a guideline for every Chinese individual to
examine if he or she has any notion of the country and the people. "Every Chinese individual"
includes all leaders in the party and the country, plus every citizen of
The insight of "Tao succours naturally" and the policy of
"reform and open", are the indispensable lifeline of mankind's
religions. The lifeline of the Taoist
religion is also the lifeline of the Chinese civilization; not only would it
induce a cleansing effect on the greediness of the Chinese people, it would
also reinforce the spirit of "with no venture to exploit, and thus
nothing could not be achieved", and this would assure to animate the zephyr
of an honourable and ethical inner self.
Actually, every religion could be the ultimate religion of the
mankind; but the centre of the question is whether it could utilise the
approaches of be accountable to history, be liveable with practice, be viable
within science, be accommodative to all, to fathom the gods and all spiritual
identities correctly and to establish a proper view on life and to coalesce
and harmonize Deng Xiao Ping's conception on
'reform and open'. From there, all
religions would become the religion of "Tao succours naturally",
hence they would be able to proclaim their arguments with righteousness and
rationale. All religion would be all
of the same kind, coexist peacefully in an communicative and amiable manner,
and be classified collectively as "Taoism", hence "living
through ages together harmoniously without any disgruntlement to each
The Taoist religion must follow "those eminent individuals who
learn about the Tao would practise it diligently". Adhering the principle and teachings of
Tao Te Ching, so as to utilize the benefit of
having the right time, the right place, and the right people, flying high as
free as a bird, and with its panoramic view, severing from politics and in
allegiance with societies, by welcoming "the regal breeze from the
east", to educate zealously the descendants of the Yellow Emperor. They must also recognise wholeheartedly
that "the name changes in dynasties" is a calamitous sign that
"the country in parts for long would be in union, and in union for long
would be in part again". Once
and for all to prevent history repeating itself, to select the word "
Tao Te Ching is the lord of all streams, and Taoism is the mankind's ultimate
religion. The two would persist
eternally with heaven and earth, and shine luminously together with the sun
and moon, and share commonly with all mankind.
The date of the 15th day of the second month on the Taoist calendar,
the birthday of the outstanding and impeccable Lao-Tzu; would be transformed
from an understated humming and into a roaring thunder, so as to become the
future Christmas of all mankind, with joyful celebration for all, and
jubilant singings in unison! All
mankind would be like "stepping in the wonderland, and enjoying the peaceful
“If Tao and Te could be fostered within every roof in the country, calamity and misery would be ridded from the domain of mankind.”
The author and the translator would like to thank Gordon Chan, May
Chan and Henry Chan for proof reading the text.
* The original
text was published in Chinese on 6th Jan 2000.
Dynasty (221BC-AD220),2 Tang Dynasty (AD618-907)
3 The Yellow Emperor also known as Huang Di (~ 2700BC) 4 Chow Dynasty (1027-221BC) 5 Eastern Han (AD25-200)