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The Tao of Star Wars [Paperback]

John M Porter
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 11.99
Price: 11.32 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

31 Jan 2003
The Tao Te Ching, after the Bible, is the most translated book in the world. Its reputed author, Lao Tzu, lived about 2600 years ago. Faced with a corrupt, competitive, egocentric society, which had lost its way (sound familiar), he left society riding upon an ox. He felt that society had lost the Tao and that was the cause of the decline of the civilization. Humans have always had an insatiable hunger for spiritual guidance and recently westerners have had a rekindled interest in the Tao. Perhaps it is because we see the same problems today that Lao Tzu saw in his day. The "Star Wars" series contains, for some, a philosophical basis. "The Tao of Star Wars" uses the motifs from the "Star Wars" series to explain the basic tenets of Taoism. Although some of these concepts are relatively familiar, such as acceptance, patience and simplicity, their nuances as they apply to Taoism are invigorated utilizing the "Star Wars" motifs. Other tenets, such as wu wei, yin-yang and p'u, may be completely foreign to the western mind and deep philosophical explanations are not practical for application to daily living. Since following the Tao is walking a living path in harmony with the way the world is sensible definitions are needed. These Taoist concepts have life breathed into them by the "Star Wars" themes. This will allow the reader to apply these concepts to one's life as the essence of the Tao is to experience life in the present moment.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Humanics Ltd (31 Jan 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0893343854
  • ISBN-13: 978-0893343859
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 16.1 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 911,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ancient and useful wisdom in a modern archetype! 11 April 2003
By A Customer
Whether you were to read the first few pages in order or randomly open the book and begin to read, you would quickly realize that you were not simply reading but you were embarking on an adventure. The words and imagery flow. It, as someone who is familiar with the Tao would immediately see, takes on the essence of simpicity. For Star Wars enthusiasts, the common thread of Yoda and the Masters teaching and using the "Force" would give you an instant connection with the timeless wisdom it speaks. This book is truly unique and extremely readable. Take the adventure...
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4.0 out of 5 stars First Pooh, now Yoda's take on the Tao 19 Sep 2003
By Joanna Daneman VINE VOICE
In the U.K., there were enough people to write in "Jedi" as their religion to have it included on the official census form. So, you Jedists, we know you are out there. Here's a book that ought to appeal to you, especially if you are particularly fond of Yoda. Porter merges quotes and incidents from the "Star Wars" series to highlight the basic concepts of Taoism, such as patience, acceptance, and simplicity,
If you liked "The Tao of Pooh" or have a friend who is into Star Wars, this would make a charming hostess gift or birthday present.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational Introduction to the Tao Te Ching 7 Dec 2004
By Rebecca of Amazon - Published on
The Tao is a path...the only logical act is to travel it. ~John M. Porter, M.D. (Professor of Clinical Surgery in Arizona)

John M. Porter has been studying the Tao and believes following the Tao is like "walking a living path." I loved how he takes The Star Wars series and explains how it is connected to the basic tenets of Taoism. He shows how Taoist roots touch every aspect of life from feng shui to qu gong or I Ching.

If you are new to The Tao Te Ching, it will be interesting to read the translated portions from Stephen Mitchell's translation. If you are a Star Wars fan, then you will enjoy a wealth of quotes. The author's comments are interspaced between quotes from the movie and The Tao Te Ching. You may also find the Chinese characters to be interesting. There are drawings throughout.

The Chapters Include:

Taoism - an overview and an explanation as to why the Tao is highly personal. There is a brief summary of the concepts to follow in each additional chapter.

The Force as the Tao - Quotes from George Lucas and the connection between his movies and Joseph Campbell's teachings.

Each additional chapter takes one quality and explores how it shows up in the movies:


Patience - This chapter was of special interest to me since I once prayed for patience and since then have been thrown into the patience journey. (You sometimes get what you pray for...) In this chapter he shows how Luke needs patience. He then quotes "Patient with both friends and enemies, you accord with the way things are" from chapter 67 of The Tao Te Ching. Then he gives these quotes:

Yoda: (signing) Will he finish what he begins?

Then the author shows how patience and perseverance work together to yield good results. Thinking of "patience in action" was a new concept for me.

Uncarved Block
Wu Wei
Life Experience
Present Moment Living

Yoda the Sage Master - I loved the "Traits of a Master" in the Yoda chapter. These can be wonderful goals for anyone seeking to live a more spiritual existence.

John M. Porter is a natural teacher who knows how to take examples and fill them out into life teachings. This book made me want to go rent the entire Star Wars series and it is a must-have for Star War fans. I found this book to be a peaceful, healing read and I can highly recommend it to you.

~The Rebecca Review
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IMHO - The clearest, most useful introduction to the Tao! 4 Sep 2003
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I can't say enough about this book. After reading many books on Lao Tzu and the Tao Te Ching, I have found this to be the clearest, most concise, and most useful yet! I have read and re-read this book many times now and continue to get new insights each time I read it. If you are even the slightest fan of Star Wars, and are looking to flow with the Tao, this book is, IMHO, for you! I found the Tao of Star Wars more edifying, and with less rambling, than what I found in the Tao of Pooh.
Chapter titles are: Taoism - An Overview, The Force as the Tao, Acceptance, Patience, Uncarved Block, Wu Wei, Simplicity, Humility, Life Experience, Present Moment Living, and Yoda the Sage Master.
I would also recommend getting a copy (you can find it online for free) of Stephen Mitchell's translation of the Tao Te Ching since most of the quotes in the Tao of Star Wars are quoted from it.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SUPERB BOOK FOR UNDERSTANDING TAOISM 2 Mar 2004
By A Customer - Published on
There are many "Tao of" books on the market today. Most, if not all of them deviate from the essence of Taoism. That is not that case in this book. This book is excellent, both for beginners seeking to learn the Tao, as well as for those with experience who may need to be renewed in the Tao. The Star Wars analogies make it an enjoyable read. I recommend this book highly to all.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Small book with Excellent content 19 April 2003
By D. Stooksbury - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a delightful read. Effectively uses quotes from the Tao Te Ching and blends them with quotes from the Star Wars trilogy, plus the Phantom Menace. Very readable book. I'm surprised the auther didn't use a bigger distributor. The book cover is ridiculus looking, but the content excellent.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A short and superficial book 10 Feb 2014
By James T. Adams - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
From the high number of 5 star reviews, I expected a great deal from this book and was disappointed. The book itself is quite short at 114 pages, and contains a large number of illustrations which do not add to the content. If condensed down to just text, the books might have been something less than 50 pages.

As regards content, the author provides quotes from the Tao Te Ching and references to the Star Wars films that he feels illustrate the themes of the Tao Te Ching. While there are eastern mystical influences in Star Wars (George Lucas and others have spoken publicly of this) the title of this book suggests Taoism as the major philosophical inspiration for the films which I don't believe is supported by watching the films. Lucas himself says that he was influenced by multiple sources, and a balanced treatment of the mystical influences of Star Wars should discuss Zen Buddhism, Shinto, Hinduism, and Christianity in equal proportion to Taoism.

In my opinion, Star Wars itself seems like a poor place to begin if you want to discuss Taoism. A book like The Tao of Pooh does a much better job of expressing the spirit of Taoism, not to mention reading the source material directly in the Tao Te Ching and Chuang Tzu which are intended to convey the ideas of Taoism directly and in parable form. Star Wars is certainly greatly influenced by Samurai films, and so can't help but carry shades of the philosophy that underpin those films. But the reliance on The Force as a plot device, which is so critical in Star Wars, has nothing to do with Taoism. The characters of Star Wars (both good and bad) spend most of their time and energy involved in epic conflicts and struggles, which directly contradicts the spirit of Taoism.

While discussing the influence of Taoism and other religious and mystical sources on Star Wars is an enjoyable activity, in my humble opinion, this book is too expensive and poorly supported to be worth reading.
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