Monday Morning Tai Chi Training Tip # 402

Tai Chi and Religion

Tai Chi Chuan is a martial art, not a religion. Using a Martial Art means that one or more people or groups can’t agree, and one person or group attempts to impose its view on others through the use of force, while the other person or group wants to keep that from happening.

I certainly see a correlation in our present political/religious interactions to hard style martial arts. To me, it is so sad. In order to make yourself right, you have to make the other wrong. Tai Chi as a martial art has no moves where the Tai Chi practitioner strikes out first or uses excessive force.

I had this idea several years ago that the three main spiritual philosophies of China that helped to make Tai Chi what it is today – Daoism , Confucianism, Buddhism – can be compared to our current politics. You are probably shaking your head, wondering where I am going with this. Think about this for a moment.

Daoism (Lao Tzu – 6th century B.C.) came first. It is a natural, kind of laid back philosophy. Live with nature, go with the flow. Attempt to view the present and not to impose one’s own ideas on others. I compare Daoists to the liberal Democrats.

The Confucians, (Confucius – 557- 479 B.C.) on the other hand, worked hard on bringing order to all aspects of life and society. They believed in right and wrong, law and order, males as the head of the family. I compare the Confucians to the conservative Republicans.

The third group strikes a sort of middle ground. This is the Buddhists– (Buddha – 563-460 B.C.) Most of their focus is on gaining self realization and using this power to help others. In politics I compare the Buddhists to the Independents.

Most people tend to think of these philosophies as “Religions”. I disagree, as all three don’t have a super-natural being, or God, as the creator and controller of life and the Universe. We control our own life, and are instructed on how to do this through the example of these philosophies, that are based on the teachings of the wise people who have gone before. So do your very best to make this existence better for all. Maybe you’ll come up with a way to solve some of the major issues facing us right now.