confucianism and daoism
To K’ung Fu-tse (kung FOOdsuh) [Confucius], life seemed rather sour. He believed that the present was out of step with the past, and that the government of man on earth was out of harmony with the Way of Heaven, the government of the universe. Therefore, he emphasized reverence for the Ancestors, as well as for the ancient rituals and ceremonies in which the emperor, as the Son of Heaven, acted as intermediary between limitless heaven and limited earth. Under Confucianism, the use of precisely measured court music, prescribed steps, actions, and phrases all added up to an extremely complex system of rituals, each used for a particular purpose at a particular time. A saying was recorded about K’ung Fu-tse: “If the mat was not straight, the Master would not sit.” This ought to give an indication of the extent to which things were carried out under Confucianism.
Confucianism and Taoism are both ancient Chinese styles of living. Confucianism believes in setting good examples for others to follow, primarily in 5 key relationships: ruler and subject, wife and husband, older and younger sibling, friend and friend, and father and son. Taoism (a.k.a., Daoism) focuses on living harmoniously; this is where the concept of yin and yang originates.
Confucianism entrenched itself in Chinese history and culture, becoming what sociologist Robert Bellah called a civil religion whereby “the sense of religious identity and common moral understanding is at the foundation of a society’s central institutions.”  Like Hinduism, Confucianism was part of the social fabric and way of life; to Confucians, everyday life was the arena of religion. Some religious scholars consider Confucianism more of a social system than a religion because it focuses on sharing wisdom about moral practices but doesn’t involve any type of specific worship; nor does it have formal holy objects.
Watch this video to learn about Laozi (also written Lao Tzu or Lao-Tze), the founder of Daoism, and the teachings in the Tao Te Ching.
The basic ideas and doctrines of philosophical Daoism are set forth in the Daodejing (“Classic of the Way to Power”)—a work traditionally attributed to Laozi but probably composed after his lifetime by many hands—and in the Zhuangzi (“Master Zhuang”) by the 4th–3rd-century-BCE Daoist philosopher of the same name. The philosophical concept from which the tradition takes its name, dao, is broad and multifaceted, as indicated by the many interrelated meanings of the term, including “path,” “road,” “way,” “speech,” and “method.” Accordingly, the concept has various interpretations and plays various roles within Daoist philosophy. In its most profound interpretation, the Cosmic Dao, or the Way of the Cosmos, it is the immanent and transcendent “source” of the universe (Daodejing), spontaneously and incessantly generating the “ten thousand things” (a metaphor for the world) and giving rise, in its constant fluctuation, to the complementary forces of yinyang, which make up all aspects and phenomena of life. The Cosmic Dao is “imperceptible” and “indiscernible,” in the sense of being indeterminate or not any particular thing; it is the void that latently contains all forms, entities, and forces of particular phenomena. Another important interpretation of dao is that of the particular “way” of a thing or group of things, including individuals (e.g., sages and rulers) and humanity as a whole.
Daoist philosophy characteristically contrasts the Cosmic Dao in its naturalness, spontaneity, and eternal rhythmic fluctuation with the artificiality, constraint, and stasis of human society and culture. Humanity will flourish only to the extent that the human way (rendao) is attuned to or harmonized with the Cosmic Dao, in part through the wise rule of sage-kings who practice wuwei, or the virtue of taking no action that is not in accord with nature.
In that case, whereas Confucians stated that individuals should conform to social norms, Daoism became popular by emphasising the independence of individuals. Instead of social conventions, hierarchical organisation, and government rule, people should live their lives simply, spontaneously, and in harmony with nature. In the Dao De Jing, many passages use the term “self-so” (ziran, 自然) to describe a self that simply is, without any intention to be so. To live in a way that conforms to the Dao, human beings need to refrain from planning, striving, and purposeful action, returning to an animal-like responsiveness of acting without plans or effort (Eno, 2010). The best way to do this is through selflessness, which means to “exhibit the plainness of undyed cloth; embrace the uncarved block. Be little self-regarding and make your desires few.” (passage 19). By getting rid of social regulation and desires for status, beauty, and wealth, more room is made for simply being: existing in a detached tranquillity that joins the harmonious rhythms of Nature and the Dao.
Each day I examine myself upon three points. In planning for others, have I been loyal? In company with friends, have I been trustworthy? And have I practiced what has been passed on to me?
4. Affluence in bio-diversity
It was in the presence of these two great ancient trees that the International Confucian Ecological Alliance (ICEA) was inaugurated. It marked the first time a specific Confucian organisational response has emerged to the environmental issues confronting not just China, but (as ICEA’s title says) the whole world.