Daoism in the Modern World
a. global warming, the energy crisis, or social unrest are problems that China’s leaders have to grapple with in steering the Chinese economy
b. The Chinese Daoist Association is trying to portray itself as the green religion of China
c. The Chinese Daoist Association wants to position Daoism as a source of ecological wisdom that can guide China’s transition to an ecologically sustainable economy
2. Daoism and Ecology
d. Until recently, the main way of assessing the possible contribution of Daoism to the fostering of an ecological consciousness in China was either historical or theoretical.
e. Daoism is founded on the Dao, a spontaneously emerging principle of cosmic creativity. This principle is manifested in the transformative powers of the natural world
f. twenty of the precepts are directly concerned with the preservation of the natural environment, and many others indirectly14. You should not burn [the vegetation] of uncultivated or cultivated fields, nor of mountains and forests.18. You should not wantonly fell trees.19. You should not wantonly pick herbs or flowers.36. You should not throw poisonous substances into lakes, rivers, and seas.47. You should not wantonly dig holes in the ground and thereby destroy the earth.53. You should not dry up wet marshes.79. You should not fish or hunt and thereby harm and kill living beings.95. You should not in winter dig up hibernating animals and insects.97. You should not wantonly climb in trees to look for nests and destroy eggs.98. You should not use cages to trap birds and [other] animals.100. You should not throw dirty things in wells.101. You should not seal off pools and wells. To name a few.
g. the natural environment functions as a kind of sanctuary, in the sense of a sacred space and in the sense of a place of refuge from the human world.
h. The Chinese...