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This book contains commentaries and analysis of Lao Tzu's classic - the Tao Te Ching. Tao Te Ching translates as "The Way to Heaven."
An accessible & simple introduction
Stanley deploys a fresh style to tackling Taoism. Some of the word definitions may seem simple and unnecessary but if you take time to read each this can slow you down quite nicely to the contemplative level that benefits such wisdom. The walk through commentary is good if you are new to such philosophy.
The interpretation is superficial which can be good, yet can at times miss the point. For example, in Chapter 8, where Lao Tzu addresses the transcendance of ego (compassion) the author struggles to detect this or see the benefit. And there are much deeper messages beyond that of balance and moderation, such as detachment and the abondonment of origins, that are not picked up on. The middle path - as that term is used in relations of Taoism such as Zen Buddhism, does not mean balance in the western modern sense but more directly addresses the non-affirming negative phenomenon of emptiness: this being the no-thing that neither is nor isn’t. So in the Tao Te Ching where it refers to “raising but not owning” - (your children) - this is not such much moderation as deep wisdom born of meditating at the vast and potential void space. Here, at emptiness, we come to know detachment, karma and our past and future lives.
the tao the ching for the 21st century
Interesting to know this guy has his own opinions about everything and doesn’t always agree with the teachings of the tao the ching….he obviously knows better given his great experience and unfathomably deep inate wisdom