The theory of Tao Jia is the philosophy that leads
the body and the mind, and that leads countries and armies.
At the beginning of the Han dynasty, the theory
of the Yellow Emperor joined Lao Tse's Tao Jia, being then called
"Huang Lao Zhi Tao" (Huang = Yellow Emperor) (Lao = Lao Tse) (Gi
Tao = Do Tao).
Huang Lao Zhi Tao was the main line of thought
that guided the Han dynasty, and it was also very important for
the politics of the time.
During the times of the Han dynasty, Emperor Han
Wu Di used only Confucius' philosophy to rule, leaving aside Lao
This attitude had serious consequences, for the
philosophers who were aides to the rulers and were members of Lao
Tse's family were replaced by philosophers of Confucius' family,
and many of them had no other choice but to become hermits.
Lao Tse's theories were used to help in politics,
and when the philosophers saw themselves no longer useful for the
government and became hermits, they began using these theories to
achieve longevity, practicing what is now called Qi Gong, previously
known as Tao Yin
In that time, many philosophers became hermits
and moved to the mountains. They influenced many people with their
philosophies, but they did not form religious associations.
At the end of Han dynasty, Zhang Ling was the first
to found Wu Dou Mi Tao. He used as sacred book of Taoism the book
Lao Tse Wu Qian Wen. He was the first to say that Lao Tse was the
founder of the Taoist religion and he called him Tai Shang Lao Jing.
At the same time, there was a philosopher called
Zhang Jiao. He founded Tai Ping Tao, and he also said that Lao Tse
was the founder of his religion.
The result of that was the flourishing of Taoism
throughout China. Thus the religion of Taoism came into being.
Later, during Tan Dynasty, the emperors claimed
to be descendants of Lao Tse, for they had the same surname.
In human history, politics, philosophy, and religion
were always interlocked, but they also always created conflict.
The Taoism we know today is that of Taoist religion,
not the Taoist philosophy, just as the Lao Tse we know is the one
described by the religion, and not the philosopher.
.To define in how many factions the Taoist religion
is divided, one must analyze their content. Once that's done, one
can say it's divided in two factions: a symbolist one and one that
The symbolist faction has six families:
1- Zheng Yi Family: its founder was Zheng
Ling great-grandson. The principle of its training was eating the
2- Shang Qing Family: its founder was Wei
Hua Cun. Its training was fasting and massages.
3- Ling Pao Family: its founder was Ge Xuan.
Its training was the same of Shang Qing family.
4- Qing Wei Family: it was founded during
the Tan dynasty and was very popular in China until the YUan dynasty.
Its training consisted of developing Dan Tian in a very peculiar
way that only that family knew. That was the first Taoist family
to settle at Wu Dang mountains.
5- Shen Xiao Famly: its founder was Wang
Wen Qing. Its training system was feeling the universe. This system
was largely practiced by the lower classes.
6- Jing Ming Family: its founder was Xu
Xung. They were the one who began joining Lao Tse's and Confucius'
The faction that seeks longevity has seven families:
1- Southern Family: its founder was Zhang
Bo Duan. They trained the art of sex to improve their energy and
prolong their life.
2- Northern Family: its founder was Wang
Chong Yang and he has seven great disciples who formed the seven
1) Qiu Chu Ji - Long Men family
2) Ma Yu -Yu Shan family
3) Tan Chu Duan -Nan Wu family
4) Liu Chu Xuan -Sui Shan family
5) Wang Chu Yi -Yi Shan family
6) Hao Da Tong -Hua Shan family
7) Sun Bu Ar -Qing Jing family
These seven masters were the first to join Taoism
Their main training was Nei Dan, which is very
important for the Taoist Qi Gong. (We will explain what is Nei Dan
in another article)
3- Center Family: its founder was Li Tao
Chun. Its training also consisted in developing Nei Dan.
4- Western Family: its founder was Li Xi
Yue. He was a disciple of Zhang San Feng and Lü Dong Bin. Its training
consisted of practicing sex to obtain energy and achieve longevity.
5- Eastern Family: its founder was Lu Xi Xing.
Its training consisted in developing Nei Dan as well.
6- Lao Hua Shan Family - its founder was Chen Chuan.
7- Zhang San Feng Family - its founder was Zhang
Sang Feng himself. Its main training was developing Nei Dan, but
its philosophy was more profound.
The Taoist religion is very different from other
religions. Its goal is self-knowledge and the search for longevity,
and not worshiping and making offerings to the gods
Taoism is the theory and practice of many people
who seek self-knowledge, and who have connected themselves with
the universe and nature. It managed to survive through oral tradition
for thousands of years, leaving us teachings and the result of enriching