Synopses & Reviews
"No one has done better in conveying Lao Tsu's simple and laconic style of writing, so as to produce an English version almost as suggestive of the many meanings intended. This is a most useful, as well as beautiful, volume—and what it has to say is exactly what the world, in its present state, needs to hear." - Alan Watts
RELIGION/ EASTERN STUDIES
The Tao Te Ching, the esoteric but infinitely practical book written most probably in the sixth century B.C. by Lao Tsu, has been translated more frequently than any work except the Bible. This translation of the Chinese classic, which was first published twenty-five years ago, has sold more copies than any of the others. It offers the essence of each word makes Lao Tsu's teaching immediate and alive.
The philosophy of Lao Tsu is simple: Accept what is in front of you without wanting the situation to be other than it is. Study the natural order of things and work with it rather than against it, for to try to change what is only sets up resistance. Nature provides for all without discrimination—therefore let us present the same face to everyone and treat all men as equals, however they may be have. If we watch carefully, we will see that work proceeds more quickly and easily if we stop looking for results. In the clarity of a still and open mind, truth will be reflected. We will come to appreciate the original meaning of the word "understand," which means "to stand under." We serve whatever or whoever stands before us, without any thought for ourselves. Te—which may be translated as "virtue" or "strength"—lies always in Tao, or "natural law." In other words: Simply be.
Available for the first time in a handy, easy-to-use size, here is the most accessible and authoritative modern English translation of the ancient Chinese classic. This new Vintage edition includes an introduction and notes by the well-known writer and scholar of philosophy and comparative religion, Jacob Needleman.
About the Author
ABOUT THE TRANSLATORS
Gia-fu Feng was born in Shanghai in 1919, was educated in China, and came to the United States in 1947 to study comparative religion. He held a BA from Peking University and an MA from the University of Pennsylvania. He taught at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, and directed Stillpoint Foundation, a Taoist community in Colorado. Gia-fu Feng died in 1985.
Jane English, whose photographs from the integral part of the book, holds a BA from Mount Holyoke College and received her doctorate from the University of Wisconsin in experimental high energy particle physics. In 1985 she found her own publishing business, Earth Heart. Her books and calendars include Different Doorway: Adventures of Caesarean Born, Mount Shasta: Where Heaven and Earth Meet (with Jenny Cole) and the yearly Tao Te Ching Calendar. She was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1942.
Chuang Tsu/ Inner Chapter (1974), a companion volume to Lao Tsu/ Tao Te Ching, is a direct outcome of the successful collaboration between Gia-fu Feng and Jane English on the Tao Te Ching.