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Tao Te Ching: An Illustrated Journey Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Frances Lincoln Ltd; First Trade Paper Edition edition (March 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0711229643
  • ISBN-13: 978-0711229648
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Beautiful and accessible; the English, as 'fluid as melting ice,' is a joy to read throughout." -- -- The New Republic

"Beautiful and accessible; the English, as 'fluid as melting ice,' is a joy to read throughout." -- The New Republic

"Stephen Mitchell's rendition of the Tao Te Ching comes as close to being definitive for our times as any I can imagine. It embodies the virtues its translator credits to the Chinese original: a gemlike lucidity that is radiant with humor, grace, large-heartedness, and deep wisdom." -- Huston Smith, author of The Religions of Man --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Chinese --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

This is by far the best translation of the Tao Te Ching out there.
Christopher Weed
You want to be in a very relaxed space when you read this book, and you can get something new out of it every time you read it.
Peace Village
Buy any version to read but this is a very lovely copy with the illustrations.
kestrel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

86 of 91 people found the following review helpful By tepi on May 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I was a bit bothered by Stephen Mitchell's version at first, but after spending more time with it begin to have second thoughts. It's true that he hasn't given us a literal reading of Lao Tzu's text. He's dropped bits here and there, and seems to have sneaked in a few bits of his own. But hey! Surely a guy who has survived fourteen years of Zen torture, erh... training, has some rights?
In effect what Mitchell has done is to give us a stripped-down and interpreted and simplified version of the Tao Te Ching. This strategy has led to some very real benefits. Most of the obscure parts, parts that even have Chinese scholars scratching their heads, seem to have pretty well gone. What has been left is the essence, and it stands out clearly.
Frankly I don't think you'll miss much of Lao Tzu's message. No important notion seems to have been lost. And Mitchell's language has a wonderful simplicity and directness. Here's an example chosen at random from Chapter 9, with my slash marks to indicate line breaks:
"Chase after money and security / and your heart will never unclench. / Care about people's approval / and you will be their prisoner."
These are important truths. Two of the many in this text that we do well to keep in mind. And "unclench" - the heart as a tight clenched fist - is a very nice touch. Of course, it isn't exactly what Lao Tzu said. But somehow I don't think Old Master Lao would mind. In fact, he'd probably be honored by the paintings too.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 5, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Dear Fellow Readers,
I would give this book an infinity of stars if possible. I have read about 10 translations of this ageless book, but this one is really unique. All translations are great and I recommend you read this book in any translation if you can.
This very short book gives insight into the greatest mysteries of life from a truly humble and enlightened master. Unlike other 'scriptures' (which were modified by power-greedy priests and politicians in their attempt to control the masses) full of dogmas, dos and donts, this Jewel has not been touched by fools.
This is a Spring of Immortal Wisdom and Divine Elixir. This book has in it the core of all religions or spiritual paths - be them Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Taoist or whatever: letting go of all, we are ready to embrace all.
ONENESS with all that is is the ultimate freedom and joy. We are already enlightened, as we have always been. We are the ONE Itself.
Replace Tao with God and you will get one of the most Christian books ever written. Replace Tao with Brahman and you will get one of the most Hindu books ever written.
The simplicity and depth of this book reaches (if not surpasses) the heights of Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads and other ageless books.
I read this book more than 100 times in the last 3 years and each time I feel empowered by it. To live in ONENESS is to live in BLISS.
After reading countless books from all religions, few (if any) reach the depth, simplicity, modesty, wisdom and practicality of this very short book.
This book is so short, in one hour you can read it. But the nectar of wisdom in it will make you wanna read it over and over and embody what is written there... for the ONE is the source of all ecstasy, all peace, and all bliss.
Peace, a human
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Beaulac on July 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I have come to have a fondness and deep appreciation for Mitchell's work and choices of subjects. I bought this translation because of high praise for it hidden in one of Jim Harrison's poems. This version is, perhaps, the most readable of all I have encountered. Many people find it inspiring and that must be why it is such an acclaimed translation. Having dealt with a dozen or so translations and the texts behind them, I do note that Mitchell takes some liberties. His is a very idiomatic translation, which often reads better than word-for-word literalness, the latter often proving too wooden to be enjoyable or clear. And Mitchell might even omit a few phrases or add one here or there. But the spirit is all Lao Tzu. Also, the volume is full of the most exquisite ancient Chinese illustrations, making it the most beautiful of any of my Tao Te Chings.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By John Camillieri (jdc@prodigy.net) on August 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Caution: This review is on the text only as I have not seen the pictures.
I read this book every day. Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching ,(along and in harmony with all the worlds great religious and philosophical texts and teachings) is one of the most truthful,practical and important manuals on existance ever written. I have read 7 tranlations and Mitchell's is the most accesible and beautiful I have ever found. While maintaining its intrinsic poetic grace, Stephen Mitchell allows the wisdom of one of human civilizations greates teachers to permeate your being in a gentle non ridgid way. The book is totally aproachable and its lessons about life and the true nature of reality are a miracle.
Mitchells translation , in a wonderfully simple and sage like style, illuminates the challenging aspects of the human condition while simutaneously explaining how to remain blissfully centered, in the moment and at peace. The martial artist's eye of the huricane. Lao Tzu's insights on the true workings of the universe have never been conveyed in a clearer or more digestible way than in Stephen Mitchells translation. Its power to display the omnipresent current that affects (and is) all life and existance is a marvel of writing. I read it in traffic, I read it in line at the bank, I read it for pleasure, I read it to acknowledge reality, I read it before and after practicing Tai-Chi.
Put into practice the wisdom conveyed by Mitchell will transform your life. You will go through life burning all your fuel while simutaneously relaxing as you become lovingly enveloped in existance. A natural outgrowth of practicing the wisdom in this book is to become more humble, loving, peaceful, self compassionate, forgiving,strong, flexible, virile and supple.
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