Ancient Wisdom I: The Mythical Tale of the Scholar Chu Shui Hu is a fable of Chinese calligraphy, philosophy and wisdom brought to brilliant life for a Western audience. Scholar Chu Shui Hu embarks on a spiritual journey, using calligraphy as his path of metamorphosis, for his mentor has charged him to find "the greatest secret of Chinese life." Each page spread of Ancient Wisdom I shows a Chinese calligraphic character on the left, with its definition offered in a sidebar, and a short passage of prose illuminating the scholar's struggle on the right. Highly recommended for students of Eastern philosophy and Chinese wisdom, Ancient Wisdom I is a unique and inspiring book.
This book should have been available during the U.S.-Chinese spy plane incident. Anyone who reads it will come away with a better understanding of what makes China tick. The introduction by Ms. Liu is very helpful, and the text makes clear just how important words are to this ancient culture. Our Western vocabulary is solid as a rock by comparison with China's "pictograms," or "characters," which are a combination of abstractions. When we "apologized" for our spy plane and the loss of a Chinese pilot, it was seen by Americans as an expedient. But to the Chinese the concept of "apology" has many levels of meaning, one of which includes a complex view of justice. "Ancient Wisdom" distills words as spirits and calligraphy as the noblest form communication. Best of all, the book is fun to read, and the art is presented as a story within a story--a double treat. I'd recommend it for Sinophiles and ordinary readers curious to know more about the psyche of world's most populous nation.