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Tao Te Ching Paperback – January 1, 1994
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"Mitchell's rendition of the "Tao Te Ching comes as close to being definitive for our time 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, largeheartedness, and deep wisdom."-- Huston Smith, author of "The Religions of Man""Mitchell's great talent is to communicate with the profound simplicity utterly appropriate for this task. The obscure has been made transparent and available."-- "Common Boundary""Beautiful and accessible; the English, as 'fluid as melting ice, ' is a joy to read throughout."-- "The New Republic"
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Chinese --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Let the educated debaters go on with their "Ten thousand things" arguing about translations and meanings. They miss the point. Get this book, make some tea, turn of the incessant rattlings in your brain and the screens in your home and relax to ancient wisdom that has influenced millions of hearts and minds for thousands of years...
I have recently spent a lot of time with Byron Katie's "A thousand names of Joy" -- as she translates this book into her own enlightened version -- I could embody the gift of the Tao much deeper -- I am grateful for this husband and wife team!
A Thousand Names for Joy: Living in Harmony with the Way Things Are
I also bought the CD, as I am on the road a lot and can listen over and over until the deepest essence of the words/vibration sink in. When I hear it I know it is truth... it is just being able to live it always.
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revalation
And the mind's true liberation
As a amateur in Classical Chinese myself, I feel that Mr. Mair's translation is definitely the most accurate in relation to the general mood of the time in China, when many other such classics were being written (Confucius's Analects for example). Many of these classics drew upon the same pool of ideas, and this particular translation shows the mood of that time better than any other I have seen. Most translations tend to interpret words and phrases in a modern light, but Mair's is true to philosophy of the time.
I also like the detailed analysis that Mair does in comparing the Tao with other religions in Asia (in particular Judaism and Hinduism) and how they also drew upon a common pool of ideas prevalent at the time. I believe he makes a very strong case for this.
For those who are not interested in the historical aspect of Taoism, I feel they will still enjoy this book very much because this translation preserves the spiritual mystery of the Tao Te Ching (another aspect most translations lack), and lets the reader interpret the meaning as he/she sees fit.
Anyhow, in closing, a fanstatic translation, that stands above the rest. I strongly recommend this for both scholars and enthusiasts alike.
+ Includes a "best guess" interpretation
+ Includes a word-for-word interpretation matrix... a clever way for a reader to make their own interpretation
+ An interesting introduction chapter that describes the linguistic difference of Western and Eastern languages
- Frankly, none. Superb.
Bottom line: Highly recommended.
My agenda for purchasing this text was to provide my 16 year old, hyper-headstrong, daughter was to offer her an alternative (and stable) perspective to much of the new age type stuff she had delving into. Without command or demand, I handed her the book with a smile. She grabbed it out of my hand, "I'll have this read by the morning!" "This is not intended for speed reading" I replied, as she left to her room. The next morning came and on our way into town she asked, "where did you get that book?" She read a couple of already favorite passages to me with a glowing sense of self as Lao Tzu's truths washed and cleaned her mind for the trivial and left her with a self of direction and peace. An enjoyable read.