Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Second Book of the Tao Paperback – January 5, 2010
|New from||Used from|
The 30 Best Self Help Books
This list reflects books that have saved lives and have sold millions of copies. Learn more on AbeBooks.com
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
About the Author
Stephen Mitchell was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1943, educated at Amherst, the Sorbonne, and Yale, and de-educated through intensive Zen practice. His many books include the bestselling Tao Te Ching, The Gospel According to Jesus, Bhagavad Gita, The Book of Job, Meetings with the Archangel, and Gilgamesh. Mitchell is married to Byron Katie and cowrote two of her bestselling books: Loving What Is and A Thousand Names for Joy.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
In fact, Mitchell acknowledges in the light-hearted introduction that the translations are "loose." Thus, the combination of his adventurous translations with his finely-crafted commentaries give this special volume a clarity that absolutely works. It connects spiritually with a wholeness that I don't think I've ever experienced amongst all the many Eastern wisdom volumes I have read. The fact that it is compact and concise--just 64 poems and commentaries--adds to its power (as well as its convenience.)
Yes, I am someone who already respected the work of Stephen Mitchell (including his exceptional collaboration with his wife Byron Katie, "A Thousand Names for Joy," another favorite of mine). But "The Second Book of the Tao" is, in my opinion, absolutely one of his greatest works. If you love Eastern Wisdom, don't miss this gem.
a short introduction,
pp. 1-130 with even pages of highly "adapted" text & facing page commentary,
pp. 131-82--endnotes on both text & commentary,
pp. 183-200: endnotes on the adaptation (left out/added words).
It's an awkward structure IMHO--one must continually flip back & forth between these 3 parts. I particularly liked his introduction's summary of CT--p. xiii: "simply someone who doesn't linger in any mental construct about reality, someone who lives as effortless action & peace of heart, because he has freed himself from his own beliefs." The text/commentary section's pages are hardly full--padding the number of pages. Further, CT & CY are intermixed, unmarked as to source, out of order, & lack a discernible (to me) logical order.
Though I'd already read Lao Tze (e.g. Tao Te Ching), Chuang Tzu: The Inner Chapters, & Blofeld's Taoism: The Road to Immortality, I had few problems with the loose adaptation of the text except when a bit heavy-handed--e.g. important lines left out. I admired SM's 3rd section which explains the omissions/additions. While SM makes some valuable observations in his commentary (e.g. p. 61: "The Master lives a life of appropriate action because he doesn't believe his own thoughts, there is no barrier between his mind & reality" & p. 81: "Some people have an Atlas complex: they carry the world on their shoulders"), as another reviewer said, he has lowered these exalted teachings to his own level. Much of the somewhat inane commentary/notes demonstrates IMHO a rather superficial understanding & his attempts at humor are often silly. Perhaps he's learning by doing/writing? Still, it's worth reading.
Antithetically, SM has chosen some excellent quotes for his endnotes, notably:
p. 144: Shakespeare, Hamlet II ii--"There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so,"
p. 149: Epictetus "We are disturbed not by what happens to us but by our thoughts about what happens,"
p. 177: William Blake--"He has observed the golden rule Till he's become the golden fool" & delightful:
p. 171: Shunryu Suzuki Roshi --"Everything's perfect, but there's a lot of room for improvement."
Of course, Chuang Tzu's text is awesome (better than CY). My favorite lines (in SM's rendering) are:
p. 96: Let go of all your assumptions & the world will make perfect sense.
p. 82: "Only when you are truly unattached to words or to silence can you express the truth.
p. 192: When I talk about having no feelings, I mean that a man doesn't allow likes or dislikes to get in & do him harm. He just lets things be the way they are & doesn't try to help life along" & his paradoxical/fun:
p. 166: "Where can I find someone who has penetrated beyond words? That's whom I'd like to have a word with." But, Mitchell hasn't done so--there's a great difference between childish & childlike.
For possible further reading: Taoist Healing Imagery &The Tao of Psychology: Synchronicity and Self