7 Dimensions of Religion The religion that I’ve picked is Taoism and I’m going to talk about 7 dimensions of Taoism. Practical and Ritual Dimension In Taoism, the practical will held on every month 1st and 15th (Chinese calendar). According to the traditional every family shall wake up early morning and pray to the god by using incense stick and candle. They can bless their wish to the god when they are praying. Normally the practices will use fruits as their oblation.
The practices will take 1 hour or 2 hours but the prayers can leave after they had pray to the god, just waiting for their oblation to make sure that had received by the god. In Taoism the ritual will happens on some important days like Chinese New Year, Qing Ming and Hungry Ghost festival. The ritual for this three festivals have some similar part, first of all, food may be set out as an oblation or sacrifice to the spirits of the deceased or the gods.
Example like Chinese New Year, the food is sacrifice to the god and Qing Ming the food will be sacrifice to our ancestor and Hungry ghost festival is definitely to the ghost and also our ancestor that out from the hell. In this festivals, another type of sacrifice involves the burning of Joss paper and Hell Bank Notes, on the assumption that images thus consumed by the fire will reappear, not as a mere image, but as the actual item in the spirit world, making them available for revered ancestors and departed loved ones.
The Hungry Ghost Festival of Chinese Taoism is also the Ullambana Festival of Buddhism. Commonly called “Ghost Festival” or “Mid-July Festival”, it falls on the fifteenth of every lunar July. There is a mythic that people believe lunar July is a month that all the ghosts will come out from the hell, something like Western culture’s Halloween. It is believed that the gates of hell are open, releasing hungry ghosts to the earth to search for food and see their family. So people light up lanterns on roadsides or put lanterns in the river and provide shoes for the convenience of the ghosts.
And they pray for their ancestors to bless later generations. Doctrinal and Philosophical Dimension Spiritual, one of the important term in Taoism. “Taoists believe that human is a microcosm for the universe. The body ties directly into the Chinese five elements. The five organs correlate with the five elements, the five directions and the seasons. Like the Hermetic maxim of “as above, so below”, Taoism posits that human beings may gain knowledge of the universe by understanding himself.
In Taoism, various rituals, exercises, and substances are said to positively affect one’s physical and mental health. They are also intended to align one’s spiritually with cosmic forces, or enable ecstatic spiritual journeys. These concepts are basic to Taoism in its elite forms. Internal alchemy and various spiritual practices are used by some Taoists to improve health and extend life, theoretically even to the point of physical immortality. ” (Taoism,Doctrinal and Philosophical , n. a, n. d)
Ethical and Legal Dimension Taoists believes that man after death will go to hell to receive the punishment for your sins. So that, what you did now will affect your next life. So Taoists is encourage doing charity and helps the people that needed to payback what the sins you have did before. Social and Institutional Dimension During the festival, Taoist will go to temple to pray and get bless from the god, example like, the God Birth. Taoist will buy fruit and joss paper as the oblation. Material Dimension
Taoism’s temple most of all will build with many sculpture, example like Dragon and Kylin (Mythical Chinese animal) know as by Chinese unicorn. In front of the temple, there is a censer placed there for people to pierce the incense stick after they pray to the god. Inside the temple, the god statue will placed at the center of the temple. Different temple will place different kind of god statue depend which god’s temple is that. Reference: Taoism Doctrinal and Philosophical, (n. a,n. d) Retrieved on 6/9/2012 from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Taoism