Ninety Questions Concerning the Great Tao 道學疑問九十條
1. What is Tao?
Tao exists prior to the presence of Spirit and Earth. Lao Tze, the creator of Taoism, said, “Something complete and shapeless is the existence prior to the creation of Spirit and Earth. Serene! Tranquil! Boundless! Abiding along and unchangeable! Extending over everywhere without risk. It may be styles the “Mother of Universe”. Although the Tao is invisible, yet it creates and dominates all the visible and audible objects. Moreover, the Tao bears no name as Lao Tze said, “I do not know its name, but designate it – the Tao. Arbitrarily forcing a name on it, I call it the Great.” Since the Tao is invisible, it is symbolized by an unbroken circle “O” – a forcibly limited symbol in view of the limitation of the human mind. The unbroken circle “O” represent the Tao in quietness whereas a straight line “-” represents the Tao in motion. When the Tao is in activity, the unbroken circle becomes a straight line. There will be an evolutionary process of differentiation from unity to multiplicity. (The Chinese character “One” (一) is a straight line.) The Tao creates Spirit, Earth, and
As far as man is concerned, the Tao is referred to his Eternal Spirit. Man is endowed with his Eternal Spirit, but he is not aware of it. If he realizes the presence of his Eternal Spirit and preserves it well, he will become a sage. On the contrary, if he does not know how to preserve his Spirit well, he will go to hell after death. Therefore, to realize the presence of the valuable Spirit is much better than read thousands of books.
It is obvious that man owns the five cardinal principles of his moral and intellectual nature, namely, benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom and sincerity. So, he will become a sage if he regulates his affairs by the five constituents of man. To preserve his Eternal Spirit, man must first render his filial respect to his parents and love others. Moreover, he should sacrifice himself in order to benefit other people and should always be polite and humble. Finally, he should be considerate to others and should abide by his words.
Apart from this, if we write the Chinese character “One”, which is a straight line, vertically, it will become a vertical line. If both the straight line and vertical line combine together, a cross + will be formed. Indeed, the Tao is the creator of all things. It is not surprising therefore that Lao Tze said, “Though the Tao is invisible, it creates Spirit and Earth and dominates the rotation of the earth and the moon. And, though the Tao bears no name, yet it gives lives to everything.” In conclusion, before the presence of Spirit and Earth, there is the presence of the Tao. But, the Tao is invisible and inaudible. The Tao creates the universe and the earth and helps everything to grow and prosper. No doubt, all visible and audible objects cannot exist without it.
2. What is the relationship between the Tao and mankind?
The Tao is true. It is the right path of life. If we slip off from the proper path, we must be aware of returning to it at once. The Chinese term for path is “Tao”. Indeed, we should endeavour to tread the path towards self-perfection.
Confucius said, “The righteous man persists to the proper path of life even though he suffers from starvation.” Thus, we realize the importance of the Tao. In order to avoid committing errors, we have to be extremely careful, cautious and apprehensive all the time. As we have learned the Tao, we must never do evil affairs or forget the principles of the Tao. It should be noted that the sages in the past never forget the Tao after learning it. They were very cautious and always guarded themselves against depravity.
Furthermore, if we keep ourselves away from the Tao we shall receive punishment in society and suffer in hell after death. Therefore, the Tao bears a close relationship with man.
3. How many periods could the propagation of the Tao be divided?
The propagation of the Tao could be divided into three periods:-
(a) The “Qing Yang Period” (Green Stage)
In the “Tao Teh Ching” we find the expression ‘Although the Tao is boundless, yet it creates Spirit and Earth.’ This proves that before there were the universe and the earth, there was the existence of the Tao. Fu Hsi, the most ancient personage in Chinese history, devoted himself to meditation of the fundamental meaning of the universe. He devised the Eight Trigrams in order to show the mystery of Spirit and Earth. Form that time onwards, man began to learn the Tao. After that, Tsang Chieh, minister of Huang Ti, invented six scripts. Houses were built and clothes were made. Man become civilized and was no longer a barbarian. In fact, Emperor Yao, Emperor Shun, King Wen and the Duke of Chou taught the Tao to one another. This period is called the “Qing Yang Period.” During this period only the emperors could learn the Tao.
(b) The “Hong Yang Period” (Red Stage)
During the Chou Dynasty, people started to disobey the emperors who could hardly carry out the teachings of the Tao. Therefore, from that time onwards, three religions, namely, Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism spread the Tao.
Lao Tze was the first person to propagate the Great Tao. He had his great book names “Tao Teh Ching” which explained explicitly the basic principles of the Tao. It is indeed a very good book. Lao Tze was admired as if a dragon by Confucius. Confucius who learned from Lao Tze at a time also bore the responsibility of spreading the Great Tao. He spread the Tao by travelling many places in
Mencius continued to spread the teachings Confucius. After that, the Tao was spread from
(C) The “Bai Yang Period” (White Stage)
The period during which we are living how is called the “Bai Yang Period”. It is now the right time for the sage names Jing Gong to spread the Great Tao to rescue all mankind. At this moment, all religions are to be united into one – the Great Tao. Not only do men have the chance to learn the Tao, but all good spirits and ghosts also have the golden opportunity to learn and practice the Tao. As a matter of fact, everyone will become a sage if he/she has great confidence in the Tao and carries out the principles of the Tao whole-heartedly. This period is called the “Bai Yang Period”.
4. What are the main purposes of the Tao?
The purposes of the Tao are to respect God and the sages, to carry out the filial duties, to love our brothers and sisters, to get rid of our bad habits and to discriminate between the right and the wrong. The Tao also teaches us to be kind to out neighbours and to be faithful to our friends. Indeed, the main purpose of the Tao is to bring harmony and brotherhood to all sorts of people throughout the whole world. Furthermore, the establishment of truthfulness towards the Tao is essential. Meniscus said, “Never has there been one who is in possession of complete truthfulness and yet fails to affect others.” Therefore, the attainment of the truthfulness is regarded as the most excellent thing. As a matter of fact, the main objective of the Tao is to rescue all the good people from disasters and misfortune. As we have learned the Tao, we should propagate the Tao in order to benefit mankind.
5. Is there any cycle of birth and death?
Yes, there is. As far as seasons are concerned, there are four seasons in the year, viz, spring, summer, autumn and winter. After winter, there will be spring again. Moreover, we work during daytime and rest when night falls. In the next morning, we shall get up early and start our work again. This is called a cycle.
Furthermore, a very prosperous country may turn to be a very poor one whereas a very poor person may become a rich man. It is evident that we are unable to prevent ourselves from death. After death, we shall become human beings or other animals for the next life. This is the cycle of birth and death. Therefore, if we do not learn the Great Tao, we shall not be able to escape from the birth and death cycle.
6. Can we avoid the Birth-Death cycle?
Yes, we can. It is plain that people who do evil affairs during their lives will become dogs, cats or demons or suffer in hell after death. But, the kind people who accumulate goodness will become human beings again or become gods after death. Unfortunately, they cannot go to Heaven because they do not learn the Great Tao. After learning the Tao, we must improve ourselves in order to go to Heaven after death. As a matter of fact, it is not easy to hear about the Tao. We are able to learn the Tao at this moment simply because the world is now flooded with violence and disasters.
Emperor Sun Zi, who became a monk when he was old said, “Before I was born, I didn’t know who I was. After being born, I don’t know who I am. Being an adult, I know who I am. When I die, I don’t know who I shall be.” Nobody knows where I come from and where I shall go. Why should I live in this world without doing something useful? I prefer to be unborn. Then I will have no worries or sorrows at all.
Therefore, we shall never go to hell if we learn the Tao. Indeed, the Tao enables us to lead a better and meaningful life.
7. Is it easy to learn the Tao?
No, it is not. As a matter of fact, there are many difficulties.
First, it is not easy for us to be human beings. We just imagine that wild animals do not have the opportunity to learn the Tao. Furthermore, our Eternal Spirits exist within our bodies, without our bodies, we cannot preserve our valuable Spirits. In other words, by making use of our bodies, we can preach the Tao, understand the excellence of the Tao and teach others to behave well. We must therefore take good care of ourselves.
Secondly, it is not easy to learn the Great Tao. The Tao is widely propagated nowadays to rescues mankind owing to the fact that the world is now flooded with disasters and violence. Evidently, if the world were not full of natural disaster nowadays, the Tao would not be widely spread. It is therefore a rare opportunity for us to learn the Tao.
Thirdly, it is difficult for us to learn the Tao because there are many kinds of religions nowadays, but there is only one genuine Tao. Without learning the Tao, we shall not be able to save ourselves from disasters.
In conclusion, it is not easy for us to learn the Great Tao.
8. What does it mean by “If people get ONE, they will become sages”?
The Tao is originally quiet. It can be represent by an unbroken circle “O”. When the Tao is in motion, it becomes a straight line -. (The Chinese character “ONE” is a straight line.) The Tao created Spirit, Earth and
Before we were born, our Eternal Spirits are originally pure. After we were born, “ONE” (i.e. our Eternal Spirits) splits into “TWO” (i.e. our Eternal Spirits and our bodies).
Our Eternal Spirits lose “ONE”. The fact is that our Spirits correspond to the Chien trigram ☰ before we were born. But, after we were born, the central line of the Chien trigram ☰ splits into two. Thus, it transforms into Li trigram ☲. The Li trigram ☲ symbolizes departure. In other words, our Spirits depart from the places where they should be and scatter to the noses, ears, mouths and eyes. Consequently, we become greedy and ambitious.
On the other hand, our bodies also lose “ONE”. Our bodies originally correspond to the Kun trigram ☷. But, after we were born, the Kun trigram ☷transforms into the
Therefore, as we have learnt the Tao, we must first of all purify our Eternal Spirits. (“ONE” is referred to our Spirits). On the one hand, we must get ride of our wrong desires, passions and depravity. On the other hand, we should carry out the five constituents of man, namely, Benevolence, Righteousness, Propriety, Wisdom and Sincerity. If we regulate our affairs by these five cardinal principals all day long, we shall become sages.
It is plan that “ONE” is important. In the absence of the Tao (which is represented by “ONE”), the earth and other planets will not revolve round the sun properly. Similarly, without the Tao there will be earthquakes, cyclone, typhoons and disasters all over the world. Finally, if man loses his conscience his Spirit he will go to hell after death.
9. Why is there criticism against the Great Tao?
The reason why some people criticize the Tao is that they do not understand how valuable the Great Tao is. In fact, the Tao is true. If the Tao were not criticizes by the ignorant people, the Tao would not be widely propagated to all of us.
Moreover, blasphemy and criticism are good for us because we are able to repent our sins. Confucius, for example, was rebuked by many ignorant people when he was going everywhere to spread the Great Tao in past days. He said, “A man feels no regret even though he may be unknown. It is only a sage who is able to live in this way.” Despite all these criticism during his lifetime, Confucius is now worshipped by everyone of us. Undoubtedly, criticism against the Tao does no harm to the Great Tao at all. On the contrary, it helps propagate the Tao.
10. Why are there still pain and sufferings since we already have learnt the Tao?
It is true that we still experience pain and sufferings even though we have learnt the Great Tao. The reason is that without pain and sufferings we could not strengthen our character or express our great confidence in the Tao.
It is interesting to note that although Confucius at a time suffered from hunger, yet he was contented and happy. He still persisted to the principles of the Great Tao even though he was on the verge of starvation. Indeed, Confucius erected a very good example for us. Mencius said, “If one takes up a great responsibility, one will first have to undergo all kinds of sufferings” Therefore, pain and sufferings are good for us as our capacity for responsible humanitarian work will be developed and strengthened in this way. Our patience can also be tested only when there are pain and sufferings.
11. Explanation of the Great Tao
The Tao is the great creative principle to which all things owe their origin. It pervades the whole universe. Furthermore, it brings about a harmonious order of things within the cosmos. It causes all things to grow and develop to the fullest extent of their utility. Without the Tao, the planets will stop their rotation and everything will cease to grow. We call the Tao the “Mother of the Universe” We also all it God who is the noblest of all.
Furthermore, the Tao endows each one of us with the Eternal Spirit, which is the true self of man. Though the Tao is invisible and inaudible, yet it really exists. For example, we see the earth, the sun and the moon. But, there must be a creator! It is the Tao that created all this. We also know that the earth and the other planets rotate whereas man and other creatures live. But, who dominated all this? No doubt, it is the Tao that dominates everything. We also know that scientists can invent and discover things. But, who teaches them the technique? It is the Tao that endows the scientists with the technique. Furthermore, clouds become rain when they are confronted with cold air and electricity can produce thunder. Indeed, it is the Tao that makes all this possible. Moreover, there are sound, light and electricity. But, why are there sound and light? It is the Tao that created all this.
We also know that a rainbow is a phenomenon. But, who makes this possible? Indeed, the Tao makes it possible. No doubt, we cannot deny the presence of the Tao. Let us take two more examples. We do believe that there is electricity even though it is invisible. Moreover, we are convinced that we have ancestors even though we have never seen them before. So, we ought to believe in the Tao through we cannot see or hear it. Unfortunately, some people only believe what they see and begin to doubt the invisible things. Though they all have their own Spirits, yet they do not believe in them. As a result, they indulge themselves in sex, wine, and gambling all day long and lead luxurious lives. It is a pity that they do not even think of purifying their minds. It is not surprising therefore that they will go to hell after death.
12. The cultivation of Tao can be manifested in 3 methods what are they?
The first method is the Great Tao. If we learn the Great Tao and carry out the principles of the Tao whole heartedly, we shall become sages. After learning the Tao, we are able to understand that we all have our Eternal Spirits and know how to preserve them well. Confucius said, “If I have the chance to learn the Great Tao in the morning, I shall be very happy even though I die in the evening.” The Great Tao is therefore the most superior method with immediate result.
The second method is not superior as the Great Tao. The followers of this method only practise meditation as a form of personal training for calming the mind and physical endurance which are able to pave the way for future higher spiritual evolution. This results in a slower effect.
The third method is the last superior consisting mainly of charitable deeds and setting free of birds and fishes. But, we must bear in mind that setting fish free is of little effect. It is done on humanitarian ground. At any rate, these people will reborn as rich men after leading comfortable and luxurious lives after death as they have done good deeds, However, they are unable to escape from the birth-death cycle because they only reap what they sow. The deeds are however insufficient to be awarded a heavenly place.
13. How to progress after learning the Tao?
After learning the Tao, we must, on the one hand, have good conduct and repent our sins. On the other hand, we should benefit the world by propagating the Tao. If we do so, we shall progress in the Tao. Furthermore, there are other ways of making progress. The method is to spread the Tao is order that all the good people will have the opportunity to learn the Tao. We must also publish good books concerning the Tao so that they will be circulated throughout the world. Furthermore, we must study books such as the “Four Books” and the “Tao Teh Ching”. Moreover, we must put the doctrines of Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism into practice. We should also try our best to help the poor and the handicapped in order to relieve their sufferings. Furthermore, we must advise the adults to love their sons and daughters and advise the children to fulfil their filial duties. We should advise the husband and wife to be harmonious to each other. We ought to spread the virtues of truthfulness, sincerity and honesty as well.
Last but not least, we should advise others to get rid of their bad habits. What we have to bear in mind is that we should not boast of what we have done, nor should we lose our temper even if other people do not take our advice. Indeed, these are the methods of making progress in the Tao.
14. Why the Tao called the “Great Tao”?
The Tao is called the Great Tao because the Tao not only saves mankind from disasters, but it also saves the gods and the ghosts as well. Eventually, man, good Spirits and ghosts will be able to go the Heaven if they learn the Tao. Indeed, the Tao saves all Eternal Spirits.
15. How do the good Spirits learn the Tao?
People who do a lot of good work to benefit mankind will become gods after death. But, they cannot go to Heaven as they do not learn the Great Tao. Evidently, it is rather difficult for the gods to learn the Tao. They must first of all look for appropriate people who will bring them to learn the Tao in order to go to Heaven.
16. In what way can we make our deceased parents learn the Great Tao so that they can go to Heaven?
When our parents are alive, we should fulfil our filial duties. But, if they are dead, we should try our best to help them to go to Heaven in order to enjoy eternal happiness. If we practise the Tao persistently, propagate the Great Tao and abstain from meat and wine forever, we shall be able to help our deceased parents go to Heaven.
17. What is mean by the “Golden Cock crows three times”?
“The Golden Cock” represents the west. The west however corresponds to white colour. During this “Bai Yang Period” (the Chinese character “Bai” means white), man is saved by Maitreya Buddha. The phrase “Three Times” indicated that this is now the third time for the Great Tao to be propagated to all mankind. (The Qing Yang Period was the first period whereas the Hong Yang Period was the second. The Bai Yang is the third). No doubt, the whole expression of “The Golden Cock crows three times” Means that while the world is flooded with natural disasters and violence nowadays, the Great Tao is propagated far and wide to save everyone.
18. What is doomsday?
From the time when Sky and Earth were created up to the time when they are to be destroyed, there are altogether twelve periods. The length of time for each period is ten thousand and eight hundred years. It is interesting to note that Sky and Earth were created in the first and the second periods respectively. Man however was created in the third period. From the first to the sixth period everything in the universe develops gradually. But, after the seventh period all things are subject to gradual destruction. Finally, man will be destroyed in the ninth period whereas Sky and Earth will be under complete destruction in the tenth and the eleventh periods respectively. The twelfth period is doomsday.
Man is now living in the “Eighth Period”. In other words, he has been living in this world for about sixty thousand years. Furthermore, the propagation of the Tao can be divided into three periods, namely, Qing Yang Period, the Hong Yang Period and the Bai Yang Period. The Qing Yang Period is referred to the time of Fu His. The most ancient personage of Chinese history. The Hong Yang Period started from the Chou Dynasty. Finally, the Bai Yang Period began from the Eighth Period. During this Bai Yang Period the Tai is widely propagated to save all good people. But, the bad people will suffer from natural disasters. It is evident that many people indulge in sex and wine and lead luxurious lives nowadays. They do not realize that they have their valuable Spirits, nor do they know where their Spirits come from and where they will go after death. They simply do whatever they like and act contrary to the Tao. Consequently, there are much violence and disasters all the world over. This is called “doomsday”. To prevent the coming of “doomsday”, we must practice the Tao with devotion and single-mindedness. We must realize that Heaven is our permanent home.
19. Why is it that some people fall into illness all the time while other rarely get sick?
Many people fall into illness because they do not take good care of themselves. But, some people often suffer from illness, for they did evil affairs in the past. Very often we shall get sick if we eat too much. But, we shall be ill too if we are too greedy and always indulge in sex and wine. Obviously, if we are contented, we shall be happy all the time. Therefore, we should be contented even though we are poor. Furthermore, if we abstain from wine and meat, we shall not get sick easily. It is interesting to note that in
20. What is the basic requisite after having learnt the Tao?
Firm belief is a requisite for making progress in the Tao. For example, when we ask for good fortune, it may not be accurate because we do not believe in it. Therefore, we should have faith and confidence in the Tao.
Moreover, there are many similarities between the universe and man. Firstly, there are the sun and the moon in the universe while man has two eyes. Secondly, there are five elements, viz, the Element of Metal, the Element of Wood, the Element of Water, the Element of Fire and the Element of Earth. As far as man is concerned, there are five streams of life-force directed to vivify the five main organs – the heart, the lungs, the kidneys, the liver and the spleen. Thirdly, our breath corresponds to the Yang and the Yin forces of the universe. Fourthly, the four cardinal virtues of man, namely, benevolence, righteousness, propriety and wisdom correspond to the four attributes of ‘Cian’ – ‘Yuan’, ‘Hen’, Hang, ‘Li’ and ‘Zen’. No doubt, man is similar to the universe in many ways. Therefore, if we preserve our Eternal Spirits well, we shall become sages.
21. Which is the simplest way to improve in the Tao?
The principle of Confucianism is to preserve our Eternal Spirits well. Indeed, this is the simplest way to improve in the Tao. Mencius said that we must benefit other people by propagating the Tao because others will be saved from disasters if they learn the Tao. Mencius also declared that we must be humble and polite to others. If we do so, others will also respect and love us. Moreover, as we have learned the Tao, we must never forget the Tao, by stick to the Great Tao under any circumstances.
22. When we learn the Tao, we know that there is an “easy” way to practice it. But, there is also the “more difficult” way. Can you explain these two methods of practicing the Tao?
The “easy” way is that our minds are easily allured by other things. For example, when we see a beautiful diamond, we are tempted by it. Similarly, when we hear some sweet music, we would like to listen to it. We shall not be able to preserve our Spirits if we adopt the “easy” way. However, the “more difficult” way is that we should resist temptation and get rid of our wrong desires, passion and depravity. Mencius said, “The method of practicing the Tao is very simple. We should get rid of our wrong desires in order to preserve our Eternal Spirit well.” Indeed, we ought to practice this method in order to good progress in the Tao.
23. Is it true that we can help our deceased parents to go to Heaven?
Yes, it is. At first, God laid down the rule that only man could learn the Tao whereas the deceased people could not. However, since the sages asked God for permission, both man and his deceased ancestors were eventually allowed to learn the Great Tao.
Needless to say, when our parents are alive, we must render our filial respect to them. If our parents are dead, we should try our best to help them to get out of hell. In order to help our parents enjoy happiness in Heaven, we must learn the Tao and propagate it to the best of our abilities. At any rate, if all members of our families learn the Tao, we shall be able to help our deceased parents to go to Heaven.
24. How do we know that our deceased parents reach Heaven?
As soon as our parents go to Heaven, they will enjoy eternal happiness there. They however will come back after one hundred days telling us how they get out of hell and reach Heaven. If our deceased parents have something to instruct us, they will be able to do so at that moment. This shows that our deceased parents have already gone to Heaven.
25. Where do our deceased parents stay when they reach Heaven?
When our deceased parents reach Heaven, they will confine themselves to a room where they will be able to purify themselves. After one hundred days, God will adjust their positions according to their merits. However, their positions depend on their good behaviour during their lifetime. Plainly, if we try our best to propagate the Tao, our deceased parents will also be able to get high positions in Heaven.
Though everyone can become a sage, yet it depends on his work he has achieved during his lifetime. No doubt, if he practices the Tao with his sincere heart, he will be able to become a sage.
26. Is it necessary to be a vegetarian after we have learnt the Tao?
Yes, it is necessary for us to be a vegetarian after learning the Great Tao. The fact is that our Eternal Spirits are originally good. The “onion family” namely garlic, shallots, leeks and chives, poultry and sea-food will certainly damage our Eternal Spirits if we consume them. Furthermore, the “onion family” will affect the five streams of life-force which are directed to vivify the five main organs of our bodies, namely, the liver, the heart, the spleen, the kidneys and the lungs. As a result, we should abstain from meat as our objective of learning the Tao is to preserve our Spirits as well as the five streams of life-force in our bodies. In addition, as God loves all creatures, we should also love all animals and should not eat them. So, we must abstain from meat. If we wish to be a vegetarian, we should start eating vegetables two or three days in a month and eating as little meat as possible. Finally, we shall be able to become a vegetarian.
27. What are the advantages of learning the Great Tao?
If we learn the Tao with devotion and single-mindedness, we shall be able to get rid our sins and save ourselves from disasters during our lifetime. Furthermore, we shall be able to go to Heaven after death in order to enjoy eternal happiness. Therefore, we should not forget the Tao but must improve in order to achieve success.
28. Is there any evidence to prove that the Tao is genuine?
Yes, there is. In fact, there are many proofs to show that we shall able to save our-selves from danger and misfortune if we learnt the Tao. Moreover, our Spirits will go to Heaven in order to enjoy eternal happiness after death. It is interesting to note that the deceased people having learnt the Tao will come back to tell us that their Spirits are in Heaven. Furthermore, if we are dead, our faces will look as if we are alive. In winter, our corpses will not become cold and stiff. And in summer, there will be no bad smell. The fact is that our Eternal Spirits will be safe and will go to Heaven after death. Therefore, the Great Tao is genuine.
29. Is that right if we do not progress after having learnt the Tao?
We should progress after learning the Tao. We ought to realize that the main purposes of learning the Tao are to prevent ourselves from misfortune and to go to Heaven after death. Therefore, if we want to prevent ourselves from disasters, we must first understand why there are disasters all over the world. It is because man commits sins. He kills, steals, robs, commits adultery and cheats other people. Consequently, there are much violence and disasters nowadays. As a result, since we have learnt the Great Tao, we should repent our sin, get rid of our bad habits and guard ourselves against depravity. We should stick to the Tao even if we are in an adverse position. Furthermore, we ought to advance in virtue through loyalty and sincerity. Finally, we must propagate the Tao and put the principles of the Tao into practice. On the contrary, if we do not behave ourselves, we shall still have sins and there will be even more disasters in the world. Needless to say, we shall not be able to save ourselves from danger or go to Heaven after death if we do not repent our sins. We should therefore repent and improve ourselves after having learnt the Tao.
30. How can we advise other people if they do not get rid of their bad habits after having learnt the Tao?
We must get rid of our own bad habits before we advise others to get rid of their bad habits. When we give good advice to others, we should explain the bad influence of these bad habits to them or we may give them our advice directly or indirectly. At any rate, our aim is to make them correct their bad habits as soon as possible.
31. Do these three religions, namely, Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism bear the same principles?
All these religions have the same objective to teach people to be good and purify their Eternal Spirits. Indeed, they all propagate the principles of the Great Tao. Obviously, the principles of Taoism are to preserve our Spirits well in order to go to the Heaven after death. Moreover, the doctrines of Buddhism direct us to get rid of our wrong desires and ambition, whereas the principles of Confucianism are to get rid of our pride and selfishness. In conclusion, our thoughts and our behaviour should be in accordance with the Tao. Though the methods of the teachings of these three religions are various, yet their main principles are one and same... In fact, all these religions remind us of purifying our Eternal Spirits in order to be sages.
32. There are different doctrines of the three religions, which is more important?
Since the main principles of these three religions, namely, Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism are one and same, we should not pay attention to the doctrines of one religion only but disregard the doctrines of the other two religions. As a matter of fact, the doctrines of all these religions are equally important.
First, we talk about Buddhism. Buddha was the creator of Buddhism. He was the son of an emperor in