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Chinese Beliefs and Practices

May 21, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

This article was written by Samuel Phineas Upham

Chinese beliefs are shaped largely by a fear of foreigners, but there is a deep spiritual current that runs through society as well. China has had a literate population for thousands of years. Perhaps that is at least a partial reason why so many of its practices have withstood the test of time. Here are some of those practices, including a brief history on the origins of those traditions.

Taoism

A central tenet to Taoism is the quest for literal immortality. Taoists search for balance within the natural and abstract laws of the cosmos, which they believe to be held in place through the practice of shamanism. Taoists believe that change must be accepted, not forced. One can only experience and assimilate.

Confucianism

Confucius was a philosopher who lived during the sixth century BCE, which was a period of great political unrest in China. He adhered to tradition, preaching the virtues of order and correct behavior. For Confucius, nothing was more fulfilling than a life full of structure. This philosophy’s notions on hierarchy have also shaped Chinese myth and politics over the years.

Buddhism

Buddhism is deeply ingrained in Chinese culture. It was introduced in the first century CE and has since grown to encompass indigenous and imported faiths. The introduction of Buddhism is even mythologized as part of Emperor Ming’s dreams of a golden flying man. The story goes that he sent off to Afghanistan, where the Buddhist texts were recovered and brought back to China.


Samuel Phineas Upham

About the Author: Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Samuel Phineas Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Samuel Phineas Upham on his Samuel Phineas Upham website.

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