Taoism: The Dualistic Relationship Between Humankind And Nature

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Throughout history, it is evident that as the globe advances into the technological and industrial age, the disconnect between humans and nature grows exponentially. The popular western view of the natural world is that it is to be dominated and utilized for the benefit of man. This way of thinking has led to serious environmental destruction across the planet; ecologists and environmentalists alike seek to change this. I wouldn 't have thought twice about the dualistic relationship between humankind and nature, but after learning about various world views in this class, I realize that humanity is part of nature and we must have a harmonious relationship with the Earth and all of the biotic communities within, in order to have a sustainable civilization. There are two main conflicting views on nature that have been around throughout human history, one is very old and one is quite young. The newer one sees man as the dominator and ruler, and the much older one …show more content…
The primary goal of Taoism is to be in harmony with nature, and a Taoist sees life as the most valuable thing and seeks to prolong it with meditation and exercise. Taoism stresses the need for a peaceful harmonious environment as a very important requirement for a happy life. The word Tao cannot be defined because it is the origin of all, but it can be thought of metaphorically as the “way” or "way of things". The way of things includes all the natural systems of the Earth that happen without effort and are harmonious. The goal of the Tao is to reach Wu-Wei, a state of non-action or behaving in a natural way (like water flowing down a hill); being able to go with the flow instead of pushing the river. This means to live life in a modest way, and to not struggle for material profit. Taoism presents a way of ecological thinking that eliminates the dualism found in society between nature and

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