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Sacred Narratives

While it lacks a primary and foundational sacred narrative, Taoism has many sacred stories. Among these are narratives describing encounters with spirits and journeys to spirit realms.

Ultimate Reality and Divine Beings

Tao existed "before heaven and earth." From Tao came a primordial matrix of undifferentiated energy, and from this matrix, all of existence, including myriads of Taoist gods, emerged.

Human Nature and the Purpose of Existence

To maintain or recover a natural alignment between humanity and the world, many perform self-cultivation techniques. These are believed to improve one's health, and potentially even lead to immortality. They also promote order and harmony within the community.

Suffering and the Problem of Evil

Taoist ideas about suffering and evil come from a variety of sources and are quite diverse. Many look to Taoist priests to resolve illness or misfortune by communicating on their behalf to the gods.

Afterlife and Salvation

Early Taoism focused on this-worldly goals or on immortality of the physical body. Later, in reaction to Buddhism, Taoism incorporated concepts of heaven, hell, and rebirth.