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The Essence of Tao Paperback – October 2, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Xlibris Corporation (October 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1441526676
  • ISBN-13: 978-1441526670
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,935,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Taoism is codified in the Tao Te Ching, which was written in the sixth century B.C. by the ancient sage Lao Tzu. Despite being history's second-most translated book after the Bible, its eighty-one poems have often been interpreted with confusing, contradictory, and sometimes blatantly incorrect explanations. The Essence of Tao removes the mystery surrounding this important philosophy and religion by reordering the core poems of the Tao Te Ching into a logical framework based on Taoism's nine core principles and then explaining these principles in easy-to-understand language. Grand Master Anatole uses ancient and formerly "secret keys" to help unlock Lao Tzu's mysteries, including Taoism's famous paradoxes. The Essence of Tao will help the reader get a clear view of reality in order to create a content existence.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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It has opened my mind and brought me insight to the Way.
Tara Gibbs-tokarski
Mr. Anatole captures and explores some of these tough issues with frank, direct advice on how to get through these sometimes very difficult circumstances.
Tiger
I recommend this book to anyone interested in Taoism, or simply in philosophy applicable to our daily life.
Justo A. Fernandez

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Peter M. Lafarge on January 26, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book to be a welcome medicine for what's been ailing me. For many years I've been very interested in Taoism, but, up until now, have been unable to find a translation of the Tao Te Ching that actually makes sense. With the "The Essense of Tao", Grand Master Anatole is able to communicate with crystal clarity the principles of Tao. He avoids the exotic trappings that many other authors use to disguise their lack of understanding of the Tao Te Ching and the context in which it was written. Because of his depth of understanding, Grand Master Anatole is able to transform this ancient and esoteric subject into simple modern terms and examples. Not only does he breakdown and explain the poetry of the Tao Te Ching, line by line, but he has reorganized the order of the chapters to build a more logical progression of thought for our Western mind. The Tao Te Ching was written thousands of years ago; written in such a sophisticated language that only an elite fraction of the Asian world could understand it. Grand Master Anatole has made it accesible to those of us who crave clarity. "The Essence of Tao" will challange you to look at yourself and all that is around you and ask yourself the most important question- "Why"? Why am I pursuing a path that doesn't make me content? This book is very direct in making it's point. It is not PC or warm and fuzzy. But, if you are searching for answers in this world of confusion that your religious leaders, politicians and television celebrities can't provide, then this book may be worth your time. If you find this book intriguing you may also want to check out his companion book "The Truth About Tao".
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By nemo on January 16, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read both The Truth of Tao and The Essence of Tao. I've found both to be written fairly clearly (how much is my inability to understand versus the quality of writing, so can I judge clarity of writing when I'm not sure I have clarity of thought). They seemingly are books with two different goals.

"Truth" is a holistic application and discussion of Taoism and related disciplines through the eyes of a Taoist priest to daily life in the US. "Essence" is interpretations from a Taoist master/priest of what he thinks are the chapters from the Tao Te Ching that are representative of the philosophy. Yes some are redundant Frankly, that doesn't surprise me-excellence in any field is through redundant practice(my laser eye surgeon said he practiced on 500 pig eyes before attempting to do so on humans-thank God!)

I've seen many translations (I've been a part-time translator, albeit not Chinese, for 30 years) so the peculiarities of language and variations in translations have always interested me. All these translations differ, some significantly...Feng & English as cited in another review, but which one? Their 1972 or 1989 edition? Mitchell? Mair? Henricks? Lin? Caras? the Ma Wang Tui text? Who is right? They're all somewhat different. Were any of them Taoist masters or priests? Caras was a Buddhist monk.

What good does a "translation" do me, if I don't know what the poetry means, that is, I don't have an expert to interpret it for me? Let me tell you, I've been looking at the Tao Te Ching since college, and what I THOUGHT some things meant, versus what Anatole's interpretations explain, were diametrically opposed.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tiger on January 28, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been an avid fan of Chinese philosophy and Oriental Religion for many years. I have a fairly extensive library, have been to many weekend seminars and even studied some Theology in College. What I liked most about the book was its frankness. The world, our environment, the Government, the workplace, family life are all very hard!! Mr. Anatole captures and explores some of these tough issues with frank, direct advice on how to get through these sometimes very difficult circumstances. I have seen many interpretations of the Tao Te Ching that frankly were very confusing and had conflicting messages on many levels and I even questioned its practical use. I think the fact that the book has a slant to American society and real life issues in this country is what made it so interesting and thought provoking. Mr. Anatole's interpretations and message is a tough one, but very consistent throughout the whole discourse. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Oriental Philosophy and Religion, the study of American Society and especially Taoism in particular.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Habeck on February 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I find it myself re-reading it constantly. Well written and crystal clear without new-age vagueness. Of all Taoist discussions I have look at, this book had the biggest impact by far. An absolute gem!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Justo A. Fernandez on January 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
I politely disagree with mister A Truthseeker. I have read mister Anatole book, and the last thing I would call it is abstract. Quite the contrary the book is written in plain English so the reader can actually meditate in what is written, and not in wasting time in looking up words that are written solely to stroke the erudition ego of the writer. "Exegesis" ... Really ... give me a break, correct word but one that is hardly overhead in day to day conversation. The other point"superficial", only if you do not consider that principles that will teach you how to deal with everyday life stresses and circumstances helpful. I read one interpretation of the Tao Te Ching previously to mister Anatole version. The only usefulness I got out that one is that I could be at social soirées, and be able to say " Oh yes I read it too isn't wonderful". After reading mister Anatole version I was very impressed that a book written so long ago is still very relevant to today's life. Also "redundant", I guess mister A Truhseeker is wiser than most of us, and does need to see philosophical points from different angles to better fully understand them. I recommend this book to anyone interested in Taoism, or simply in philosophy applicable to our daily life.
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