Synopses & Reviews
Chapter OneChinese Philosophy
In A NutshellA mathematician friend of mine recently told me of a mathematician friend of his who everyday takes a nap. Now, I never take naps. But I often fall asleep while reading -- which is very different from deliberately taking a nap I am far more like my dogs Peekaboo, Peekatoo and Trixie than like my mathematician friend once removed. These dogs never take naps; they merely fall asleep. They fall asleep wherever and whenever they choose (which, incidentally is most of the time ). Thus these dogs are true Sages.I think this is all that Chinese philosophy is really about; the rest is mere elaboration If you can learn to fall asleep without taking a nap, then you too will become a Sage. But if you can't, you will find it not as easy as you might think. It takes discipline But discipline in the Eastern, not Western style. Eastern discipline enables you to fall asleep rather than take a nap; Western discipline has you do the reverse. Eastern discipline trains you to allow yourself to sleep when you are sleepy; Western discipline teaches you to force yourself to sleep whether you are sleepy or not. Had I been Laotse, I would have added the following maxim -- which I think is the quintessence of Taoist philosophy: The Sage falls asleep not
because he ought to
Nor even because he wants to
But because he is sleepy.
The Tao Is Silent
Is Raymond Smullyan's beguiling and whimsical guide to the meaning and value of eastern philosophy to westerners.
"To me," Writes Smullyan, "Taoism means a state of inner serenity combined with an intense aesthetic awareness. Neither alone is adequate; a purely passive serenity is kind of dull, and an anxiety-ridden awareness is not very appealing."
This is more than a book on Chinese philosophy. It is a series of ideas inspired by Taoism that treats a wide variety of subjects about life in general. Smullyan sees the Taoist as "one who is not so much in search of something he hasn't, but who is enjoying what he has."
Readers will be charmed and inspired by this witty, sophisticated, yet deeply religious author, whether he is discussing gardening, dogs, the art of napping, or computers who dream that they're human.
Much more than a book on Chinese philosophy, THE TAO IS SILENT is a series of ideas inspired by Taoism that treats a wide variety of subjects about life in general. Readers will be charmed and inspired by this witty, sophisticated, yet deeply religious author, whether he is discussing gardening, dogs, the art of napping, or computers who dream that they're human.
When a little dog appears at a family picnic, the girl and boy play with him all afternoon, and they name him Willy. At day's end they say good-bye. But the dog has won their hearts and stays on their minds.
The following Saturday the family returns to the picnic grounds to look for Willy, but they are not alone -- the dogcatcher is looking for him, too...
Caldecott Medalist Marc Simont's heartwarming tale of a stray dog who finds a home is told with appealing simplicity and grace.
About the Author
Raymond M. Smullyan, an internationally known mathematical logician, is the author of several books including Alice in Puzzle Land, This Book Needs No Title, and Five Thousand B.C. and Other Philosophical Fantasies.