ARC to contribute to International Taoism Forum in China
October 4, 2011:
The International Taoism Forum to be held between October 23 and 25, 2011, will bring together delegates from over 30 countries worldwide to "highlight Taoists' concerns about the present world and their desire to help society solve existing problems with Taoist wisdom," according to Zhang Jiyu, vice president of the China Taoist Association.
The event will be focused on finding ways to integrate Daoist (also spelled as Taoist) philosophy with social reality. Topics to be discussed include attaining happiness, co-operation and returning to the essence. The relationship between Daoism and sustainable development will also be on the agenda and ARC Secretary General Martin Palmer will address the forum on this subject.
A core belief of Daoism is the fundamental importance of balance and harmony between humanity, the world and heaven and the great Daoist sage Laozi has been designated the God of Ecological Protection for China.
One very significant aspect of the Forum is that it is the first Daoist event that has ever been sponsored by the Chinese Government, reflecting a growing recognition of the Daoist community and its influence throughout the country.
Martin Palmer sees this as a very positive development for the care of the Chinese environment: "The role of Daoism in China has always been a strange one. It stands outside the traditional pursuit of wealth, status and power and has always been the yin to the yang of the Confucian power structure.
"Today its message of an alternative way of being - simplicity; respect for nature; humility and striving for a proper balance - is perhaps more important than at any time in China's history as China seeks to find a new balance. The fact that the Government wishes to engage with this ancient alternative tradition is a powerful indication of the fact that China is looking for ways to protect its nature as well as protect its people."
ARC, together with its partner EMF, has been involved in supporting Daoist environmental projects in China for over a decade, including establishing the first Daoist Ecological Temple and the development of a Daoist Long Term Plan to protect the living planet.