Yiguan Dao, or “The Way of Unity” (一貫道) is one of the philosophies in the Hundred Schools of Thought (the grouping of eastern philosophy and spirituality also referred to as Taoic religion) and it is the fifth largest spiritual philosophy in Taiwan.
It honors the primordial source of all things as the Eternal Venerable Mother, 無極母, the Lantern Mother and in many shrines and temples is represented by flame.
Daoism seeks unity as well, but without personifying the rhythms of the universe, which it calls The Tao. Its nonaction precept “wuwei” (無爲) points at the way water yields to all of nature and encourages the same approach in our daily lives. Rather than exert ourselves against natural cycles of change, we can place our will in harmony with The Tao. This way, we can arrive where we are going by following spiritual currents. This is one of my favorite explanations of manifestation.
Another Daoist precept includes the self-state “ziran” (自然), which is our original nature before being imprinted, shaped, and molded by our built environments. This childlike simplicity is often represented by uncut wood and in Daoism, it is viewed as another state we aim to return to.
Both Yiguan Dao and Daoism shaped the imagery in this parable about a young boy who has just lost his village. By seeking stillness within the Lantern Mother, he can feel with his eyes closed the dancing continue and see the faces that haven’t left him, only changed. This moment right before he opens his eyes again, he has with nonaction transitioned back to a place of self-state where the grief isn’t all of him anymore.
This narrative immediately inspired me to continue exploring the concept of transition and will be followed by my next series on the Wuxing, or Five Phases (五行), which uses Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water to explain cycles from the cosmos down to how our bodies function.
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