Taoist Immortality?

by Nick Andrea

What is all this Taoist Immortality stuff about?

I was looking into the eyes of a six week old infant the other day and I got the sense that here before me was pure consciousness that had taken form as a human being through a coming together of the five fundamental factors (wood, fire, earth, metal, water).

Now, according to Michael Winn (healingtaousa.com), an individual must integrate these  5 factors (he calls them lesser spirits that make up an individual) within him/herself in life to continue creating as an individual after death. Otherwise, they will scatter and get recycled and re-combined to form a new individual. This Taoist view of immortality would suggest that this little guy is charged with the life task of alchemically integrating these elements before he dies through various qigong and meditation practices and that if he doesn’t “he” will be no more, recycled like a Borg drone.

This view seems to contrast with the yogic Vedantic of spirituality in which consciousness is pure already and the goal is to liberate it from these human factors, so it can abide in the oneness of its purity. Here, karma or “action” is what gets in the way, and stillness of mind and even body (like bringing circulation to a near stop) is pursued to facilitate such an awakening.

Clearly, the Taoist model (as Michael Winn presents it) values the individual – the “drop,” so to speak – and the Vedantic model values the undifferentiated – the “ocean.” Which is the more accurate view? I am curious what conclusions other people they draw from these perspectives


About NickAndrea19

My goal has always been and continues to be the liberation of minds, my own and what influence I may have on others, to perceive the extraordinary beauty all around us. To this end, I write, play music, and design websites. Don't hesitate to contact me for more information about any of these activities. :)
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2 Responses to Taoist Immortality?

  1. Bill Walz says:

    Immortality is a craving of the ego, the element of mind created by conditions and subject to conditions – and very mortal. Immortality is the Universe happening endlessly in infinite points in time and space, focused by the lens of consciousness in material form, a human being. Immortality is. Our realization of what is requires we dis-identify with that which wants immortality. Taoism, like almost all spiritual streams, has been co-opted by ego that wants special powers and knowledge, immortality and super-humanness, Remember – “the Tao that can be named is not the Tao.”

  2. Lori D says:

    Hmm, I hadn’t heard that Taoist perspective before. Very interesting. Thank you for sharing it.

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