tao, the Way – the basic Chinese belief in an order and harmony in nature. This grand concept originated in remote times, from observation of the heavens and of nature – the rising and setting of the sun, moon, and stars, the cycle of day and night, and the rotation of the seasons – suggesting the existence of laws of nature, a sort of divine legislation that regulated the pattern in the heavens and on earth. It is worth noting that the original purpose of ritual was to order the life of the community in harmony with the forces of nature (tao) on which subsistence and well-being depended.

Mai-mai Sze


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