Taoism (also called Daoism) is a religious or philosophical tradition of Chinese origin that emphasizes living in harmony with the Tao (also romanized as Dao). The term Tao means "way", "path", or "principle", and can also be found in Chinese philosophies and religions other than Taoism. In Taoism, however, Tao denotes something that is both the source of, and the force behind, everything that exists. Although the Tao itself is not seen as an independent divinity, being more comparable to the Buddhist concepts of dharma and karma, taoism is nonetheless a Polytheistic religion that contains a multitude of gods.
Taoism drew its cosmological notions from the tenets of the School of Yin Yang, and is heavily influenced and informed by the acknowledged oldest text of ancient Chinese classics, the I Ching, which prescribes a system of philosophical thought on the ethics of human behaviours based on articulating cycles of change in the natural and social worlds by means of hexagrams, and includes instructions for divination practice still adhered to by modern-day religious Taoists. Daoism, as Taoism is sometimes referred, diverged sharply from Confucian thoughts by scorning rigid rituals and social classes. The Tao Te Ching, a compact and ambiguous book containing teachings attributed to Laozi (Chinese: pinyin: Laozi; Wade–Giles: Lao Tzu), is widely considered the keystone work of this philosophy. Together with the writings of Zhuangzi, which interprets and adds to the teac . . . more