Clement Greenberg This is Greenberg's breakthrough essay fromwritten for the Partisan Review when he was twenty-nine years of age and at the time more involved with literature than with painting. He came, later, to reject much of the essay -- notably the definition of kitsch which he later believed to be ill thought out as, indeed, it is. Later he came to identify the threat to high art as coming from middlebrow taste, which in any event aligns much more closely with the academic than kitsch ever did or could. The essay has an air and assurance of '30s Marxism, with peculiar assumptions such as that only under socialism could the taste of the masses be raised.
Its origin goes back to the time when Chinese civilization began to emerge. Daoist culture has long permeated the everyday life of ordinary Chinese people since it exerted great influences on social customs and national consciousness.
Today, as a major religion in China, there are more than 1, temples and more than 25, Daoist priests of the Quanzhen and the Zhengyi Sect, though the number of ordinary believers is impossible to assess. The highest ideal of a Taoist is to acquire immortality.
To achieve this goal, one must practice Taoism both inside and outside one's physical existence.
Inner practice involves physical and breathing exercises, concentrated contemplation, and the taking of elixirs. Later, this type of practice gradually came down to refining the interior elixirs neidan.
The basic principle of this practice is still to cultivate the self both spiritually and physically. External practice involves doing good deeds and helping others. The functioning of the Tao in a particular existence is called the virtue or the obtainment of Tao.
Tao is also referred to as One, Non-Being since there is really no name for Tao.
Tao is beyond words. Words are part of our world but Tao is not. We can intuit Tao but we cannot describe it. Tao is also the law every existence has to follow. It is the underlying, ordering, structuring force prevailing in everything and every space in the universe. Man is the only known creature that can depart from Tao.
Chinese people usually visited their temples to worship but did not officially join any of those religions. They could go to a Buddhist temple one day, and a Taoist temple next day.
Taoism as a religion showed some striking features in Chinese history: The fundamental belief of Taoist religion is that you do not have to die physically, which is essentially what behind modern medicine and science.
Taoist religion is based on the ancient Taoist philosophy, which was famous for its atheistic view against Mohism and Confucianism during the Axial Age BCE. The birth of Taoist religion in the second and third centuries was associated with a massive uprising of peasants.
One of the major parts of religious practice of Taoism is sex. After Buddhism entered China, the hybridization of Buddhism and Taoism produced a more secular and practical form of Buddhism, Chan or Zen, which is well known in the West.
They only used the word gods occasionally in a casual manner. The Taoist religion that developed later introduced a large number of deities for worshippers, though some of those deities came from folk cults and Chinese traditions.IN WATCHING the flow of events over the past decade or so, it is hard to avoid the feeling that something very fundamental has happened in world history.
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