7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
It really depends on a what your looking for., Sept. 12 2002
Having spent my youth in Korea; being both Korean and Chinese with a twist of Japanese (Dad was born there and spent his childhood there); and having spent most of my life in America, I've enjoyed and found this translation of the Tao Te Ching to be enlightening.
I've read other translations of the Tao (Dao). Even with my connections to the East, I've found reading other translations to be extremely difficult--they were all too literal. Stephen Mitchell has captured the essence of the Tao allowing the reader to get a broad, general understanding.
I think that this is a great intro to the Tao. Once reading this translation, move on to more literal translations. The problem with the more literal translations that I've found is that some of the analogies, metaphors, and specific Chinese references (ancient and modern) make it all too unapproachable.
I find it amazing that some occidental reviewers were able to attain such a clear grasp of the more literal translations where I could not (not only am I Asian-American, I have a very strong background in philosophy). Maybe the Tao has truly blessed these individuals with a deeper insight, or maybe they're just pretentious poseurs.
If you've never read the Tao, please start with this one. Once having a foundation, consider moving on to a more literal translation. I can clearly state that even though this may not be a direct translation, this is good stuff, and there's nothing in here that will lead your spiritual quest astray.
It is said, "The Tao te Ching is a book you can read in an hour or a lifetime."
Here's a little handy hint for the game of life folks:
"Start with the good, and then seek the better. Seeking instant perfection will only lead you to frustration."
Keep seeking, Seekers.