James Miller Quotes

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Best 9 Quotes by James Miller

Daoism Quotes

“Daoism is fundamentally a religion that has to do with the whole of one’s body.”


“Daoists never accepted that the heart was the most important seat of our nature. Instead they took the view that human nature is to be understood as the vitality that flows throughout the body and that could be cultivated in a variety of ways from simple physical exercise, to subtle forms of meditation, to elaborate communal rituals. ”


“If a Daoist were to come across the story of how the god of the Bible breathed life into Adam, he or she would say that the divine creator was transferring qi energy to him.

In Daoism, however, qi is not bestowed by some almighty creator, but is simply the natural operation of the universe, the basic pattern of expansion and contraction, the rhythm of the Dao.”


“It is important for students of Daoism to realize that what they call Daoism has something to do with who they are, and where they are located within the world as well as the content of Daoism if, indeed, we are able to isolate what that content might be.”


“So what is Daoism? Is it a Chinese religion, a lineage of transmission, or a universal path that has nothing essentially Chinese to it?

It is not really the business of scholars to tell people who claim to be Daoist whether or not they in fact count as Daoists.”


“The question of the Way (in Chinese ‘Dao’) is the single most important question that shaped Chinese religious civilization. It is important to appreciate how different this question is from the questions that have shaped Western civilization, namely the questions generated in classical Greek philosophy and Semitic religion.

The questions that arose in Greek philosophy, such as ‘What is truth?’ or ‘What is goodness?’ suggest that wisdom consists in understanding fundamental abstract categories or first principles, which can then be applied to specific situations. From these abstract categories emerged the great Western disciplines of logic, metaphysics, law and science.

The questions that arose in Semitic religions, such as ‘How may I obey the will of the creator?’ led to a religious life centred on the relationship between one god and a community of believers founded upon commandments and ethical precepts.

When approaching Daoism, it is important to understand that Daoism is shaped neither by the categories of logical philosophy nor by the categories of belief in a monotheistic god who created the world out of nothing.”


“The starting point for the Daoist view of the body is qi (pronounced ‘chee’). Qi is often translated as ‘vital energy’, ‘breath’, or ‘pneuma’ and it is quite literally the stuff of life.”


“Two common synonyms for religion are ‘faith’ and ‘belief’. Both these words suggest that religion is about the intangible and unknowable aspects of life: whether there is a god; what happens after we die; whether there is any ultimate justice.”


“When the qi or breath is flowing in and out then we have life; when the qi or breath stops moving then we have death. Flexibility and movement are thus key to maintaining life.”


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