Born in the sea
Born in the coral flowers:
The faint rainbow

Yoshiko Yoshino

Taoism as a Rainbow

I got this question in the mail.

I am interested in texts or scripts. Are there any sacred books, classics, or traditions (including oral traditions) that are very important or at least prevalent in Taoism?
Coming from a catholic school obviously I am used to the edible and scripts, trying to find this in other religions/world views. Is that true of Taoism as well?

A few books can be considered to be universally sacred: for instance the Tao Te Ching. Also depending on which sect of Taoism you hail from, you will have a set of books related to that sect. In addition, you have many lineages in Taoism, which maintain their own secret books and teachings.

However, you have to be careful on the term sacred, as Taoism doesn’t maintain a western view of what this means. The books are not sacred, nor are the words. The explanation will need me to meander a bit now to illustrate what this means to a Taoist.

Taoism as a rainbow… isn’t defined by scripts or books…

Rather it’s 6 billion+ personal choices on how to explore the larger reality.

Books and such are merely starter kits for those beginning to look. However, you don’t need a book to find your way as a Taoist.

Additionally, Taoism has very deep roots as an oral tradition. Taoism stresses personal teachers, in part, to help to keep the practice dynamic and changing to conditions of the times.

Additionally, Taoist practice teaches one to listen to the world. From a Taoist perspective to be an oral tradition, also means to “Listen” to nature , to listen to the world around us…

Additionally, in reflection, a person needs to learn to listen internally to how their own mind, body and spirit speaks up.

Additionally, much of Taoist practice isn’t spoken or found in the definition of any word as it’s embraced from the joy of experience, of traveling life…

Taoism is written within the music of your heart.
Something words only pale at in tenor to capture.

Many people seem to “need” a book to tell them their heartbeats nowadays.

Instead, Taoist Hermits and monks will go out into the caves to sit for 30 years to merge into the “Additional” truths.

Many in “Western” culture seem to “need” to die, need proof, need certification, to go to heaven, or at least that is what a book tells them. Is that wrong from a Taoist perspective? No, it’s just another way of looking at the world.

So the Westerners tend to use “sacred book” often as a method to overrule personal truth, to re-define reality to words. For a Taoist this is both alien and misdirected. Reality is a rainbow of perceptions and truth: teachings and books are a small representation of a larger truth. To say a book is “sacred” from a western perspective, implicates the book contains larger truths than what is already around one: implicates when given a choice between personal viewpoints and what is in the “sacred” book, the book takes precedence over the personal viewpoints… This is a dangerous road to travel and causes more personal and interpersonal conflicts than I care to review. So Taoism generally views “Sacred” lightly and places it in perspective of the larger universe.

To a Taoist, we are in heaven here and now,

The wisdom of the teachings of life:

are within the living….

All this forms a truth far larger than anything written by man. It’s just a question of learning of how to read: beyond the words.

Taoism is far older than what western “teachings” can document…

To a Taoist, it is what it is, All the history merely perspective to add additional insights to our current journey.

Western paper documentation is paper blowing into the winds of time. As prayer flags into the winds, sending out our wishes of what we would wish to be. Yet too often meaningless when only being used to validate ego. Papers and books will pass, yet the Tao is eternal, in that the teaching of its ways: are also eternal…

The only medium which can document such an eternal ideal… is life itself.

As life itself is also eternal.

Words are just filler to help pass the time.

The Tao Te Ching is a great book, but still a book. It will last a few thousand more years and then to pass into time. Yet Taoists and Taoism will go on.

Taoism was around long long before the Tao Te Ching and will be around long after the Tao Te Ching.

But if you are looking for classics, the Tao Te Ching is a great place to start!

Peace in your journey of exploration

A Moment of Zen is to let go into the rainbow.
Where does it lead?


For the individual trained in any meditation,
Release is into awareness

A rainbow “releases” within the eye of the beholder.
To be taken into our mind

Rooting into our very essence. If we take it truly in.

We build our own rainbows out of all the decay that slowly passes on in life.

Discover our actions re-create any rainbow we hold within our nature.

Reaching the Light

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