China and the revival of Taoism | VPRO Documentary
What is Taoism and why did it have a revival in China in the last 30 years? Is Taoism a religion how we know it and how are people in China living Taoism? And speaking of Taoism, what do people mean with the term Tao? Is Taoism and Tao a philosophy or how do we have to understand it as outsiders?
In the fourth episode, Ruben Terlou travels to the mountains and learns more about Taoism.
In the mountain area where the Tao originated are still monks who are looking for the truth and enlightenment. There is a part of China that is hard to understand for our Photographer. When people in China speak of immortality, harmony and the ultimate effortlessness. Some Chinese go into the mountains alone. Others train in kung fu temples for years or sit under a rock. If you study the Tao, your spirit will live forever, they say. But what do they found under a rock and what made them study the Tao?
Ruben Terlou travels to the area where the main Chinese religions originated, including Taoism. There he is trying to find out the value of Tao for young people and meets an old hermit who has been living in a cave for decades. Mao´s Cultural Revolution wiped nearly out all religion, that was 50 or 60 years ago. But over the last 30 years, Taoism has seen a remarkable revival. A fact, that can be seen on the mountain where Master Lao, a giant gold statue of a bearded man, has been placed. Laotze or Master Lao wrote the main book about the Tao, the book “the Tao Te Ching”.
Photographer Terlou tries to understand what Taoism is by doing it. In the Wudang mountains, where the cradle of Taoist martial arts lies, he visits a modern kung fu temple. Surprisingly the center is mainly focused on Western students. The kung fu master demonstrates an ancient Taoist kung fu style that students have to learn it by seeing it once.
Original title: het rechte pad (4/7)
© VPRO January 2018
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