Daoism is a mainstream Eastern philosophy that consists of several teachings that are widely recognized throughout the world. The main teaching in Daoism is the need for human beings to achieve a balance in their lives. The aspect of balance in Daoism is highlighted by the Yin and Yang philosophies. In addition, the concept or the force of Dao is a central premise in Daoism. According to Dao, human beings should discard all their outside inhibitions until they can achieve a state of non-interference. Unlike most religions, Daoism does not originate from a single source or person. One of the chief concepts of Daoism is the need to follow a way of nature as opposed to following a social or societal order. This concept is also the main difference between Daoism and Confucianism.
We will write a custom Essay on Confucianism and Daoism Comparison specifically for you
301 certified writers online
In Zhuang Zi’s message, he refers to images that are drawn from nature, such as the frog in a well, the summer insect, oceans, riverbanks, and mountains. Daoism is the ‘way of nature,’ and this religion considers naturalism to be a source of refuge for all men. Therefore, the frog that is in a well is in a confined state and lacks the benefits of naturalism. Naturalism, as propagated by Daoism, is the ability to be in harmony with nature.
In addition, Daoism teaches that nature should neither be exploited nor be abused. According to Daoism, it is easier to become friends with nature as opposed to conquering it. The frog that is in a well is confined in a state that denies it from achieving any other knowledge except the one that is inside its habitat. Consequently, human beings should embrace the freedom that is accorded to them by nature. Unlike the frog that is at the bottom of the well, human beings can be able to visit the ocean and understand it. According to Daoism, a man should have the ability to be naturally self-sufficient. Therefore, like the summer insect that is not affected by winter, a man should not subject himself to influences that are beyond his existence. Nature and naturalism should enable a Dao-man to be free from the influences of social realms and wealth.
Zhuang Zi’s passage can serve as a critique of ‘Confucianism’ ideas because it promotes the importance of nature in religion while downplaying the role of social order. In this passage, Daoism calls for the pursuit of knowledge in accordance with nature and not the actions of human beings. Furthermore, the absence of the human element in Daoism contributes to a better understanding. On the other hand, Confucianism teaches that humanism is the core of understanding. Therefore, integrity is to be displayed in the course of social order. According to the passage by Zi, a person can only find spiritual integrity by leaving his/her social confines and venturing into nature. On the contrary, Confucianism teaches that the key to garnering understanding lies in an individual’s relationship with his/her community, kingdom, state, or family.
In addition, according to Confucianism, the main purpose of integrity is to foster social harmony and unity. This premise is challenged by Daoism through the argument that attaining integrity and understanding benefits the individual and not the society. For instance, in Zi’s passage, the writer teaches about using nature to gain understanding. On the other hand, Confucianism teaches that nature is to be possessed. Daoism also proposes that there is no need to complicate life by using complex debates when seeking knowledge. Furthermore, the pursuit of knowledge prevails even in the absence of complexities.