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Hua Hu Ching: The Unknown Teachings of Lao Tzu [Paperback]

Brian Walker
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

17 Jun 2002
Provides eighty-one lessons on attaining enlightenment and peace of mind.


Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; 1st HarperCollins Rev. Ed edition (17 Jun 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060692456
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060692452
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 12.2 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 294,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
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I teach the Integral Way of uniting with the great and mysterious Tao. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars more essence of tao 14 May 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This little book has yet more wonderfull wisdom and incite from Lao Tsu, and delightfully simple paintings illustrating the book nearly every other page. Brian Walker has done a wonderfull job with this book. I feel it's unfair to compare it to the Tao Te Ching, because i love that book so much. Yet this book is still a worhty companion to the Tao Te Ching. Another delightfull Lao Tsu work!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 20 Dec 2009
By Jake
Format:Paperback
A great book. The tao flows effortlessly through the space created. Aesthetically and intellectually aligned the truth that is circled is expressed with depth and beauty.

Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler. Albert Einstein
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  37 reviews
45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful reading, though not entirely orthodox. 28 Jun 2001
By tepi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
HUA HU CHING : The Unknown Teachings of Lao Tzu. By Brian Walker. 108 pp. San Francisco : Harper, 1995. ISBN 0060692456 (pbk.)
Anyone who has read Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu will find much that is familiar in this book. They will also find much that is strikingly new and different, so much so that one doubts very much that this book could have been written by Lao Tzu (always supposing that such a person actually existed). The book seems fairly obviously to be the work of much later thinkers, which isn't to say we should dismiss it because of that.
Although certain of its ideas are, in terms of philosophic Taoism, perfectly orthodox, others are highly unorthodox, but ALL are beautifully expressed. Brian Walker has a wonderfully lucid style, and despite the unorthodoxy of certain passages, it seems to me that a book like this can only do good.
It brings to the West a wisdom that many more people would benefit from being exposed to, and for a certain kind of reader it might prove more approachable than even Stephen Mitchell's marvelous reworking and adaptation of the 'Tao Te Ching.'
Although I can understand the objections of the purists, I don't seen any harm being done, particularly if newcomers were to follow it up with a reading of either, or preferably both, the 'Tao Te Ching' and Chuang Tzu.
Chapter 10 immediately caught my attention. Here is the opening with my obliques to indicate line breaks:
"The ego is a monkey catapulting through the jungle : / Totally fascinated by the realm of the senses, / it swings from one desire to the next, / one conflict to the next. / If you threaten it, it actually fears for its life. // Let this monkey go..." (p.13).
It would be difficult to argue against the orthodoxy of this wonderful poem, a poem that describes the human dilemma so well, since Hakuin (1686-1769), one of Japan's greatest Zen Masters, actually painted a picture of such a scene and inscribed the following poem on it:
"The monkey is reaching for the moon in the water / Until death overtakes him he'll never give up. / If he'd let go the branch and disappear in the deep pool / The whole world would shine in dazzling pureness" (Sasaki, 'The Zen Koan,' page 132).
Clearly both of these writers were in total agreement about the nature of the human dilemma, and it would not be too difficult to find many other parallels.
I think Walker has given us a wonderful book, and I doubt very much that its residue of unorthodoxy will bother those readers for whom the book is intended. In fact it seems to me that its brilliant development of certain perfectly orthodox ideas more than makes up for whatever elements of religious Taoism it may contain.
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If it's a forgery it explains a lot 19 Sep 2004
By Anyechka - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I was really excited when I found this book in late 1999, since I loved the Tao Te Ching and Lao-Tzu's simple, beautiful, timeless wisdom. Finding this slim volume of his allegedly long-suppressed additional sayings was like the icing on the cake for me in my love of Taoist philosophy. And the first chapters are really nice, with the types of sentiments you expect from the master, like "To embrace all things means first that one holds no anger or resistance toward any idea or thing, living or dead, formed or formless," "If your willingness to give blessings is limited, so also is your ability to receive them," and (my fave) "The ego is a monkey catapulting through the jungle." As another reviewer pointed out but which I didn't realise at the time, it sure sounds like Lao-Tzu, but it's a bit wordier than most of what he expressed in the Tao Te Ching. Still, it sounds like his voice regardless of how wordy it is. Later on it really gets into things like medicine, the names of ancient masters, angelic intercourse, science, the kinds of stuff that didn't appear at all in the Tao Te Ching. It just wasn't as poetic, though I found the insights into ancient Chinese philosophy and science fascinating. I also don't like how the text is arranged in this edition. My edition of the Tao Te Ching is the only Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English one, where it's arranged like a beautiful freeverse poem. In the Walker edition of the Hua Hu Ching, every line of text is arranged like a line in a book. It doesn't seem nearly as poetic; would it have hurt to break some of the lines up mid-sentence like Feng and English did?

Finding out this book is in all likelihood a forgery which was originally designed to create bad blood between both Buddhists and Taoists actually explains a lot. I probably still would have bought it if I had known, but I wouldn't have been as likely to. Whoever wrote it, there are some great, beautiful, lovely, poetic insights, but I'll always turn to the Tao Te Ching first when I want some Taoist inspiration.
56 of 74 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars New Age makeover of a destructive forgery 19 May 2003
By Jon Zuck - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I starting reading this when I got home, and something seemed off. Turns out that they laugh about this book on Taoist discussion boards. Hua Hu Ching was a forgery in the 8th century CE. The intent was to convert western Chinese Buddhists to Taoism by presenting Lao Tzu as teaching Buddhist thought in China before Buddha's Enlightenment. The earlier chapters have a rather Buddhist feel, which turns into a "Religious Taoist" feel in the later chapters with discussions on magic, Feng Shui, "angelic" sex, and the need to worship the 64 I Ching hexagrams!

It was responsible for some tremendous bad blood between Buddhists and Taoists, and was eventually ordered destroyed by an emperor in the 14th century. Apparently, at least a handful of Taoists believe in it and have kept it alive via oral tradition.

The first several chapters are beautiful, insightful, and poetic, though a bit wordy for Lao Tzu. for instance, "Division is contrary to the nature of the Tao. / Foregoing antagonism and separation, one enters into the harmonious oneness of all things." (3)

However, after Chapter 50, things go rapidly downhill, I mean falling-off-a-cliff downhill, with bizarre New-Age flavored droppings such as "Because yin and yang are not complete within us as individuals, we pair up to integrate them and bring forth new life./ Although most people spend their entire lives following this biological impulse, it is only a tiny portion of our beings as well. / If we remain obsessed with seeds and eggs, we are married to the fertile reproductive valley of the Mysterious Mother but not to her immeasurable heart and all-knowing mind." (65) Sounds just like Lao Tzu, right?

Or how about this? "In ancient times, various holistic sciences were developed by hightly evolved beings to enable their own evolution and that of others...The student who ignores them hinders the development of all beings." (54)

I wish I had researched this one before I bought it. I'd like to have my money back! Interested in wisdom from Taoism? Read the Tao Te Ching, and Chuang Tzu. Interested in Buddhist scripture? Read the Dhammapada, The Way of the Bodhisattva, and other sutras. Avoid this junk, which was banned for its dishonesty.
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Walker does it again. 28 Sep 1996
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Very few "western" philosophers can truly do justice to the teachings of Lao-Tzu. Because of the problems of translating ancient Chinese to current English and the inability for most people to understand the basic concepts Lao-Tzu was attempting to get across, it is most difficult to give the works of the old master the translations they deserve. Walker, however, does a masterful job in this respect, as he did in The Tao Te Ching of Lao Tzu. I firmly recomend both books for individuals both beginning to delve into Taoism and seasoned in the philosopy. This translation is definitely the best to date
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oral teachings of the Tao 19 April 2001
By David Quigley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Although, maybe not the original words of Lao-Tzu, they surely do ring clear to more understanding of the Tao. The tao is something that is not easy to become one with, but this book does a wonderful job helping those who are searching come closer to the Tao. Highly recommended to anyone who liked Tao Te Ching.
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