We here at Daoism.org are interested in promoting a variety of Daoism that differs significantly from mainstream Taoism. We hope that by using the less-common spelling we can help differentiate Daoism from “mainstream” Taoism, promoting a variety which we believe is the original, simpler incarnation envisaged by its creator, Lao Tzu.
When Western scholars first tried to analyze Daoism and its historical lineage, they became convinced that it started out as a merely philosophical tradition which they referred to as “Philosophical Taoism,” but over centuries became complicated by superstitions and techniques for achieving immortality. They referred to this latter, divergent path as “Religious Taoism.”
Today, most scholars doubt that there ever was a Philosophical Taoism, contending that the superstitious practices had always been a part of the Taoist tradition. Whether or not this is true, we take the minority view that, based on the content of the foundation text, The Tao Te Ching, Daoism started off as uniquely rational and down-to-earth and then became heavily modified in the centuries which followed. The same thing happened with most other major religious traditions — Buddhism and Christianity being obvious examples.
Regardless of what actually happened 2500 years ago, this site is a place for followers of Philosophical Taoism — Daoism — to meet and learn and share.