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Christ the Eternal Tao Paperback – March, 2004
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The book is a very thorough presentation of the history of the development of human understanding of God and the fulfillment of this understanding which came with the incarnation of Christ. The 2nd portion of the book is a fascinating, calming journey of poetry in which some of Lao Tzu's ideas are echoed or answered by some of the words of Christ. The similarities are striking!
This book helps one see how gently and faithfully God has revealed Himself through history bit by bit -- as much as we could handle at the given time. It respects both traditional Chinese thought and Christ as the 2nd person in the Triune God. This book even explains how the Trinity is an essential aspect of Divinity. I have been very blessed in my spirit from reading this book. I am about 2/3rds of the way through and am enjoying every word. It's a deep, rich book which can calm your heart and feed your soul. Something not to read too quickly. Savor it. Let it soak in.
I am concurrently reading the biography of Fr. Seraphim Rose: FATHER SERAPHIM ROSE, His Life and Works, also by Hieromonk Damascene. I'd also highly recommend that book. Fr. Rose's extensive study of Chinese philosophy is at the root of this current text.Read more ›
Damascene's meditation on the Logos/Tao/Way is followed by a description of Eastern Christian monastic practices and how they fulfil the requirements of a life that follows the Way of Christ. He gives a fine overview of the path of purification, illumination and glorification, particularly focussing on the discipline of Watchfulness and the Jesus Prayer. His description of those who have experience a vision of the Uncreated Light is particularly moving, and the history of Chinese Christianity is interesting as well.
Those who are locked into promoting the 'East-West' divide or particularly dualistic ways of interpreting either Christianity or Eastern philosophies will probably not enjoy this book. For me, it has helped me to see more of the value of the Eastern mode of thought and practice, as well as strengthening my faith in Christ and my determination to follow his Way.
That said, I have very much appreciated Damascene's, Christ The Eternal Tao. His handling of the Enneads (Taoist poems) is beautifully and creatively done. His introduction lays out the possibility that Lao Tzu might have been on to something way larger than he knew at the time, and that by reading back into his writings the information we have from the Gospels and Life of Christ that "something" becomes clearer. I like the fact that Damascene presents these thoughts in a way that affirms this only as a possibility and not a certainty. Damascene draws his readers into his own curiosity as to whether it might be possible, not that Lao Tzu was a prophet, but that what he saw and wrote about foreshadowed the fuller, more complete picture available in the Gospels. I found the book to be an enjoyable and refreshing read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I think the following scripture reference agrees that the essence of the Cosmic Christ is NOT named. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Amazon Customer
Great book, this is my fourth book as friends keep taking previous copies.Published 3 months ago by Guirguis
The translation of the Tao Te Ching is so far wide of any other translation I've read; it reads more like the thoughts of an orthodox theologian than those of an ancient Chinese... Read morePublished 3 months ago by no name
great book author is very knowledgeable but it can be very mystical no fire and brimstone no hating read it a bit at a time and learn how Christ and The Tao are the way of GodPublished 13 months ago by ric freeman
A brilliant theological masterpiece. I am not an Eastern Orthodox Christian, but have Masters of Divinity Degree and have read hundreds of theological books. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Manfred Alkhas
Great reading. I wish I had friends who I could talk to about the subject? LOL ... but that's why there are books, right?Published 15 months ago by D. Johnson
This book by Hieromonk Damascene has to be one of the most unique books I have ever read. I was expecting a lot from this and much more was delivered. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Sidney Munster