How exactly did Taoism spread? When did it all started?
It is difficult to say when Taoism originally began, largely due to a lack of records and that it seems that the belief system is an amalgam of a number of different belief systems.
Records of Taoism within China can be found from as early as the 4th century BC, although it is certain that some aspects, particularly those focused on the importance of nature, existed before this date. The figure of Laozi is attributed to aiding in the spreading of Taoist ideals, but even his existence is difficult to prove for modern historians.
Taoism spread like many religions of the time through missionary work, preachers, and different followers relocating to different regions. Although it was never as popular as many other belief systems within the region, especially Confucianism, it was still a vitally important system for Chinese culture and political ideology.
Today it is still seen as an important ideology within Chinese society and is one of five belief systems that is permitted to be worshiped within the country.