Taoism: Ancient and Modern
Taoist philosophy and practice is relatable to modern science and technology; even though Taoism was first recorded over seven thousand years ago. The principles of energy, balance, and positive and negative are used in electricity, machinery, and nuclear processes at the atomic level. However, as similar as Taoism may be to modern science and technology, ancient Taoists cultivated virtue and peace, while our technology seems to take us further from nature.
Modern medical science has made great advances in analyzing cells at the microscopic level, but this perspective makes it harder to see the integration of the body’s systems. Systems within the body work together in ways the Taoists described in the Taoist Canon, first complied around 1600 years ago. Pioneers of academic medicine are only now beginning to see what Taoist sages recorded in the Canon’s ancient scrolls many centuries ago.
The scientific establishment focuses most of its attention on the external world, even as it has advanced tools to look deeper. The Taoist sages turned their attention and awareness inward. They learned the similarities between the body and nature by looking inside. The principles of balancing yin and yang and harmonizing the five elements happen with the organism and continue to extend at each successive level of the macrocosm. Working with external materials and processes can bring peace if peace is inside the practitioner.