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Tao Te Ching

by Stephen Mitchell

Buy the book: Stephen Mitchell. Tao Te Ching

Release Date: 07 October, 1992

Edition: Paperback


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Buy the book: Stephen Mitchell. Tao Te Ching

Wisdom and Poetry Divinely Intertwined

I have only read one other version of the Tao Te Ching. The other was very pretty and well respected. It also made very little sense, was sexist, and had little if anything to do with my life. Stephen Mitchell, after 14 years of Zen training, has brought this amazing and beautiful work into our times. With non-sexist language and beautifully illustrating examples, he shows the modern westerner how to truly comprehend and embrace this wise and simple philosophy. Mitchell sometimes strays from the literal translation, but always for the better, and never without letting the reader know. His notes in the back are amazingly insightful and include the literal translations of the few parts he's changed. I read from this amazing and beautiful book every day.

From Amazon.com

Mitchell's translation of the Tao Te Ching is definitive.

Next to the Bible, the most translated book in the world is the Tao Te Ching, the ancient Chinese Book of the Way. It lays the philosophical foundations for one of the world's great wisdom traditions, Taoism. Written approximately 2,500 years ago by the legendary sage Lao Tzu, this classic continues to inspire readers today. To translate a work that has been translated so many times before--and so well--may seem almost an act of hubris. But as the English language continues to evolve, it is the duty of the translator to attempt to restate a classic for his or her generation, in a language that they can best understand. Stephen Mitchell, in Tao Te Ching: A New English Version, has done that for our generation. And to him we owe a debt of gratitude. Huston Smith has called this translation "definitive," and he has spoken well. At first, a traditionalist may be startled by, for instance, Mitchell's referring to the master as alternately "he" and "she;" whereas, the original refers to the master as masculine, only, thereby reflecting the truth of things in sixth century B.C. China. But when one remembers that the translator is duty-bound to bring the ideas of the text to his or her contemporaries in a way that will have most meaning for them, then one can see the wisdom of taking such a liberty. And, after all, it is in the spirit of Taoism to adapt to the circumstance. As water sometimes comes to earth in the form of rain, sometimes snow, and sometimes sleet, but always in accord with the season, so this classic comes to us now in a form that is right for our own day. Thus, once again, this time with the help of Stephen Mitchell, the Tao Te Ching speaks to humanity, pointing the way.

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