Tao Te Ching Paperback – Mar 9 2000
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"Beautiful and accessible; the English, as 'fluid as melting ice,' is a joy to read throughout." -- -- The New Republic
About the Author
Stephen Mitchell attended Amherst, the University of Paris, and Yale. His many books include The Book of Job, Tao Te Ching, Parables and Portraits, The Gospel According to Jesus, A Book of Psalms, Ahead of All Parting: The Selected Poetry and Prose of Rainer Maria Rilke, and Genesis. Byron Katie, author of Loving What Is and an inspirational speaker.
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Top Customer Reviews
In certain times of ancient Chinese history, TAO TE CHING was reserved for emperors and rulers, while commoners were instructed to study Confucius and Mencius. This is because Lao Tzu's spiritual scripture is liberating and best suited for people ready to unlearn what they learned, let go of their egos and emptied their minds from the world of experience for the being of higher innocence. Thus Lao Tzu teaches truth through words of paradox:
All streams flow to the sea
because it is lower than they are.
Humility gives it its power. (66)
In 81 brief chapters that contains a mere 5000 Chinese words, Tao Te Ching "looks at the basic predicament of being alive and gives advice that imparts balance and perspective, a serene and generous spirit (Book cover). Mr.Read more ›
Mitchell's version of the Tao Te Ching is very, even extremely, modern. Perhaps to the point of being "politically correct." However, he does have a way with words and this is a very readable version of the Tao. To show how modern it is, let's take an example and compare his version of the beginning of chapter 46 with two other versions:
"When a country is in harmony with the Tao,
the factories make trucks and tractors.
When a country goes counter to the Tao,
warheads are stockpiled outside the cities."
- Victor Mair
"When the Way prevails under heaven,
swift horses are relegated to fertilizing fields.
When the Way does not prevail under heaven,
war-horses breed in the suburbs."
- Addiss & Lombardo
"With TAO under heaven
Stray horses fertilze the fields.
Without TAO under heaven,
Warhorses are bred at the frontier."
Obviously, there were no factories, trucks, tractors, or warheads in ancient China. So, Mitchell is providing a modern interpretation of the Tao Te Ching, while Mair as well as Addiss & Lombardo are closer to a literal translation (which is not possible however, because the Chinese language and the English language are so completely different from one another.)
None of this is to find fault with Stephen Mitchell. This is just to say that his book cannot be definitive, because it is less literal and not really a translation.Read more ›
For any person from any religion this is a great read, not to try and steer a person from their path but to offer other options of looking at the world to better understand it and yourself. Because from what I have found the more options a person has to view the world from, the far easier it is get through it with less stress, and more success!
Most recent customer reviews
Product performed exactly as advertised. I strongly recommend it to anyone looking for a good translation.Published 11 months ago by Brian
A lucid, illuminating translation that I have read and re-read.Published 16 months ago by Robrt Livingstone
If you like Stephen Mitchell's translation of the Tao Te Ching, this is an excellent buy. I find Mitchell's translation to be simple and yet very eloquent. Read morePublished on Jan. 4 2014 by Ryan
the cover is different on the edition i got and it is a prettier cover than the original. but the book inside is still full of the same insight and wisdom.Published on Dec 13 2013 by byron
...this should be required reading for all
so simple so 'true" a wonderful translation. i bought several and keep giving them away to others...... Read more
a very good version I practice the teachinhs and share with inmates in two institutions - it is a very valuable asset for me in my volunteer work as well as in my personal lif I... Read morePublished on June 27 2013 by jack martin
An excellent read - wonderfully concise, pure and 'simplistic'. Great interpretations of the ancient sayings, wonderfully written. A great daily meditation guide.Published on Oct. 11 2011 by Paul in Ottawa
Tao Te Ching: A New English Version I admire the translations of poetry by Stephen Mitchell, particularly his work with the poetry of Rilke, but I do find this translation just a... Read morePublished on Jan. 6 2010 by Johnny Darkness
My copy of the Daodejing is a wood-block print edition from China in traditional characters, thus, I don't really bother with buying new English Translations, especialy ones... Read morePublished on May 28 2004 by Austin M. Kramer
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