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Word Count: 2,233
Taoism and Buddhism are the two great philosophical and religious traditionsthat originated in China Taoism began the sixth century BCE Buddhism came toChina from India around the second century of the Common Era These tworeligions have shaped Chinese life and thought for nearly twenty-five hundredyears One dominant concept in Taoism and Buddhism is the belief in some formof reincarnation The idea that life does not end when one dies is an integralpart of these religions and the culture of the Chinese people Reincarnationslife after death and beliefs are not standardized Each religion has adifferent way of applying this concept to its beliefs This paper will discussthe reincarnation concepts as they apply to Taoism and Buddhism and thenprovide a comparison of both The goal in Taoism is to achieve Tao to find the Way Tao is theultimate reality a presence that existed before the universe was formed andwhich continues to guide the world and everything in it Tao is sometimesidentified as the Mother or the source of all things The sourceis not a god or a supreme being as Taoism is not monotheistic The focus isnot to worship one god but instead to come into harmony with Tao Tao is theessence of everything that is right and complications exist only becausepeople choose to complicate their own lives Desire ambition fame andselfishness are seen as hindrances to a harmonious life One can only achieveTao if he rids himself of all desires By shunning every earthly distractionthe Taoist is able to concentrate on the self The longer the persons lifethe more saintly the person is presumed to become Eventually the hope is tobecome immortal to achieve Tao to reach the deeper life This is the afterlife for a Taoist to be in harmony with the universe and to have achievedTao The origin of the word Tao can explain the relationship between life andthe Taoism concept of life and death The Chinese character for Tao is acombination
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