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Taoism: The Road to Immortality Paperback – August 8, 2000

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"...Taoism encompasses exalted mystical aspirations and practical self-cultivation. Blofeld's book comprehensively devotes space to both aspects and also gives an overview of Taoism's origins and growth through the ages. The author's first-hand descriptions of Taoist hermitages and recluses in China add a charming dimension and deepen our understanding of a complex tradition."— Library Journal

About the Author

John Blofeld (1913–1987) was a world-renowned scholar and writer who devoted his life to the study of Eastern religion, especially Taoism and Buddhism.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala (August 8, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570625891
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570625893
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #797,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By cvairag VINE VOICE on July 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
While I must agree with Lao-tzu that the Tao in words is not the real Tao, I hardly believe one could find a better introduction to Taoism, in all, than we have here. This book is a treasure, a gift, meant to be savored, and read with the care and sensitivity which thankfully produced it. As noted, Blofeld is a wonderful writer, a sedulous scholar, a first-hand observer, and a gifted story-teller.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Rufous Tinamou on January 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book presents a beautiful view of the Taoist landscape. There is more original writing than translation of other sources in this book and Blofeld writes very well. It is almost as though he were of the very tradition of Taoist alchemy to which he alludes - culling, refining and transmuting materials of the Tao to produce a pill or an elixir it may do us well to sample.
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By jwild on April 10, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author explains the main points of Taoism in a thorough and easy to understand way. The main points of Taoism each has it's own section so the reader is not confused with overlapping of information. This book on Taoism is more inclusive than most introductory books on Taoism.
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By Amazon Customer on May 17, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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12 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Bonam Pak on September 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
Obviously written in 1976, this book had been published originally in 1978. I have read the print of 2000. If you have ordered this version, make sure you haven't got a misprint: In my book, the last chapter is missing, instead the end of another book was included. Accordingly, this review is based on the first 9 chapters only.

I do not know the next best thing about Taoism. I am interested in mysticism in all branches of religion, as mysticism is virtually identical, no matter where you look. The title suggested mystic content, and indeed, it gets included. Yet, not as extensively as I had hoped. Of course, there are other reasons to read this book. Obviously, the author himself wasn't that much interested in mysticism or intended his book to be more general about Taoism, i.e. for a broader readership. Besides somewhat more blunt words of mysticism in the beginning and the end, in between, you have to know mysticism already to catch some hints. I am not even sure, the author meant these as hints or wether he wrote them "accidentally", while describing Taoism. (Occasionally, he writes that he isn't sure himself wether he interpreted everything as intended by the Tao masters.) These "mystic hints" include indirect references to the non-existence of the separation of genders, no dualism, but oneness, no individual existence and no death.

Yet, when he writes about immortality, he takes that issue rather "literally", in the sense of longevity, with some Tao masters supposedly having lived some 130-160 years. Mystics know, of course that this is NOT meant with immortality. Additionally, on first glance such a life as advertized appears to be rather dull. Imagine 160 years of no sex, no spices in your food, no emotions, no tear running laughter, etc.
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