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The Inner Chapters [Paperback]

Solala Towler
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
Price: 12.57 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Oct 2010
The Chuang Tzu stands alongside the Tao Te Ching as a founding classic of Taoism. The Inner Chapters are the only sustained section of this text widely believed to be the work of Chuang Tzu himself, dating to the 4th century BC. They are full of fantastic tales - of a gigantic fish that becomes a bird; a cook who never sharpens his blade though he butchers numberless oxen; a magical being who lives in the mountains, lives off air and dew and rides on cloud carts pulled by dragons; a student of Confucius who attains the great learning of 'sitting and forgetting'; and much more. Interspersed with these stories is advice and guidance on every aspect of life - including death. While Lao Tzu's writings are short, pithy statements, Chuang Tzu's are voluminous and full of puns, riddles and outright jokes. He challenges the status quo at all times and champions our right to live our own lives in a simple, straightforward fashion, uncorrupted by society's strictures or by desperate attempts at fame and fortune. This is a clear-cut primer for peace of mind and a balanced lifestyle. The stunning photographs, many of which are Solala Towler's own, capture the atmosphere of the peacefulness and tranquillity of ancient China as perceived in Zen, and in contemplation of their beauty and the insightful and inspirational prose, the reader will absorb the eternal message of Zen.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Watkins Publishing LTD (1 Oct 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906787999
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906787998
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 20 x 27.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,114,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Solala Towler calls upon his many years as a student of Taoism, an instructor of qigong, and his travels in China leading tours to the sacred mountains of Taoism, as well as his fifteen years as the editor of the only English language Taoist magazine, The Empty Vessel, to bring a freshness and an open mind and heart to this ancient work of Taoist wisdom.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book of peaceful reading 4 July 2014
By ursula
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was so.sorry when I had finished the book, A beautiful book of peaceful reading.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another classic Taoist text 2 July 2011
By Dr. H. A. Jones TOP 500 REVIEWER
Chuang Tzu, The Inner Chapters, translated by Solala Towler, Watkins Publishing, London, 2010, 192 ff.

Another classic Taoist text
By Howard Jones

Chuang Tzu (or Zhuangzi) is both the title and the author of a classic Taoist text that may have originated as far back as the 4th century BCE. This would make it contemporary with the `Tao Te Ching' of Lao Tzu, but some scholars put Lao Tzu and the school he founded as early as the 6th century BCE.

According to Dr Russell Kirkland, an Associate Professor of Religion at the University of George in the USA, it is more likely that the Chuang Tzu is the work of another much later Taoist, Kuo Hsiang, from the 3rd century CE. The work of 33 chapters has come down to us in three parts. Part 1, The Inner Chapters, comprises7 chapters; Part 2 called The Outer Chapters is the main part of the work consisting of 15 chapters; and the remaining 11 chapters comprise The Mixed Chapters, thought to have been written by various authors.

It is this first part that is presented here in a translation by Solala Towler, a Taoist scholar and author of 12 books on Qigong and the Taoist arts. The text is presented as a succession of stories between sages and their students explaining some of the principles of Taoism. There are also various sections of commentary by Towler. The text is lavishly illustrated by inspiring black-and-white photographs, many taken by Towler himself.

The presentation, both in the text and in its production, reflects the mystical nature of the content. Personally, I find the Taoist message more direct in the Tao Te Ching and I relate less well to this story-telling approach; but this says more about me than about the text.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essence Without Esotericism 4 Jan 2011
By J. Fogg
Many have attempted to translate the inner chapters for the western ear. All have told us that the texts do not directly translate. So many seem to have focused on keeping the texts shrouded in mystery - as though, in a Zen way, if we can interpret them ourselves then we will have achieved enlightenment. In this way the texts have been kept at a distance.

Solala Towler has focussed on making the amazing 'Inner Chapters' accessible and meaningful. Both have been achieved with great success. To say more would be to say too much and detract from the simplicity of this message - 'Thank You Solala'.
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