Taoism's relation to Confucianism--the dominating influence behind the system of social norms, upheld by the central government, maintained by the local officers, supported by the literati, and transmitted through education--has been complex. Classical Confucianism focuses on the social aspects of human life. Taoism is by no means uninterested in these issues, but its views are based on different grounds. Despite this, and with exceptions with respect to Neo-Confucianism, the contrast between Taoism and Confucianism has not primarily involved their philosophical views (the respective claims in this respect were known and quietly acknowledged by both), but their religious aspects. As Anna Seidel has noted (1997, pp. 39-41), although Taoism is the higher form of Chinese native religion, it has always occupied a position subordinate to the imperial--that is, official--cults. For the Confucian officers, the Taoist priests represented spiritual powers over which they had no control. Replacing the state ceremonies to Heaven and Earth, or to paragons of Confucian virtue, with rituals performed by Taoist priests and addressed to the divine personifications of the Dao, would be equivalent to granting Taoism an official role in the administration of the empire. For this reason, the Confucian officer and literatus did not hesitate to acknowledge Taoism only in its philosophical, mystical, or literary aspects, and even to regard it as equal to common religion.