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54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the ONE book my wife kept nearby while she was dying
When my wife Sandy was diagnosed with terminal cancer, this is the ONE book she kept nearby at home and in the hospital. She found great comfort in it words and wisdom.
When she died I picked it up and began to read. Several passages fell right open (8 & 16). These were the passages that she must have been reading the most. So I read those passages at her...
Published on 3 Nov 1998

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This is not the Tao Te Ching
Sweetly written. Purely subjective, PERSONAL, POLITICIZED, interpretation of a revered, and ancient work of wisdom. If you know nothing of Taoism, you'll like this. If you wish to hear the voices of the ancient Chinese masters, you won't find them here.
Published on 25 Jan 1998


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54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the ONE book my wife kept nearby while she was dying, 3 Nov 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Tao Te Ching (Paperback)
When my wife Sandy was diagnosed with terminal cancer, this is the ONE book she kept nearby at home and in the hospital. She found great comfort in it words and wisdom.
When she died I picked it up and began to read. Several passages fell right open (8 & 16). These were the passages that she must have been reading the most. So I read those passages at her funeral. I'm still reading this book and finding something new with each reading. Even if a passage may not make sense on the first or second reading, it may become clear by the fifth or sixth. Or maybe it will take years.
Sandy was a poet and teacher who studied many translations of the Tao, but this was her favorite. It may not be the most literal translation, but it surely is the most poetic. If this translation was good enough for her, then it's good enough for me.
In fact, this book is so good, I've given away at least 8 copies in the two months since her death. This book has helped me deal with and survive the most difficult time in my life. I'm much wiser and more open having read this book. My friends to whom I've given copies agree and are sharing it with their friends.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A poetic interpretation of a timeless classic, 5 Mar 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Tao Te Ching (Paperback)
Mitchell's work is not for purists of textual criticism or hermeneutics. Literal translations of ancient documents tend to be dry and awkward. Mitchell's loose paraphrase and notes are refreshing and agreeable. The spirit of this work is both heartfelt and delightful. It is a joy to read.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book captures the spirit of Tao and leads the way, 21 Nov 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Tao Te Ching (Paperback)
to the very heart of the Way. When a person sets up a premise for a creation, in my opinion he may truly only be evaluated on how closely he has come to his mission. I have 4 versions of the Tao te Ching. Mitchell uses his ability to craft a piece of work using the Tao te Ching as his guideline. He makes it clear from the get go what his intentions are. Many have missed the point to criticize the work on the pros and cons of it's translation. The merit of the work is in the effectiveness of bringing a person to the Way in the simplest strokes. His gift is to bring the work alive in a way that touches the emotions as well as the mind. He inspires us because of his ability to reach us and bring us closer to our true nature. In many translations the direct or closest literal translation does not meet the western individual where we can A) understand it and B) assimilate it into our daily lives. His work reaches those places. Perhaps as a literal translation of the original it does not hold up to scrutiny, and those critics can have that one and walk proudly into the sunset saying, "Well I was RIGHT about that one." The Tao is not about being right, it's about who and what we are. The Tao is a spiritual philosophy meant to be integrated into daily life, not a quest for some clinical academic pontification of words and ideas. The Tao is a living breathing way of awareness and conduct and it cannot be contained in even the most brilliant of translations. The very first lines of the first poem tells you that (in anyone's translation). If a piece of art, writing or performance touches you to the core of your being then all criticism is really obsolete. Stephen Mitchell's book is a work of amazing beauty, whatever it lacks in artistry and cultural complexity, and for me it lacks none, it makes up for in it's honest and direct route to the spirit. Anyone would be making a great mistake not to have this "interpolation" in their collection of the Tao te Ching
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS BOOK IS GREAT AND EASY TO UNDERSTAND., 20 Dec 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Tao Te Ching (Paperback)
I am 14 years old and I am new to Taoism. I have read this book and it has given me a new philosophy on life. I have read other interpretations and translations of the Tao te Ching and this is easiest to understand. That is especially good for young people like me. I understand the way life works and the Way itself much better. I hope to be a taoist all my life and be very experienced and knowledgable. I am also interested in I-Ching, Tarot, runecraft (runes), and symbolism.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book can resonate with your spiritual heart., 22 Dec 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Tao Te Ching (Paperback)
Whether this is an academically accurate interpretation of Taoism I don't know. I know that this book speaks to me. Mitchell time and again is able to write a phrase that stimulates something in me that I can't put into words. His notes are as much part of the translation as the regular text. I made a photocopy of them, reduced them and pasted them on the page of text they referred to. I can't recommed his book to highly.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be, 12 April 2008
The Tao has always been one of my favourites. Never to be flipped through like a novel but a page at a time and some inner contemplation. A quiet place indoors or outdoors with a bit of sunshine and nature at your feet [no motorway sounds]. I, like some other purchasers, have given this book to many as a gift and some of these in turn have imitated and passed on the gift therein. I like this flowing translation and have read a couple of others - some of whom like to stick closer to the literal translation. The deviation from the literal to this edition is carried out with the hand and mind of a master who exhibits a true understanding of the way.

I always wanted a hardcover copy of this book and purchased this one. Sorry but I do have one problem with this and that is - the paper quality and the book binding does let it down but - hey if this is the only criticism I have then yippee. If you think about it maybe printing onto recycled paper is the ONLY way to go with this masterpiece! Enjoy over and over and over and drive yourself crazy when you mislay your copy or lose friends by lending and not getting it back ! If they are indeed a true friend buy them their own copy ! They'll love you forever !

Highly recommended !
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book changed my life., 28 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Tao Te Ching (Paperback)
Between the pages of are rare treasures indeed. The original text of the Tao could never be translated directly to English without sacrificing it's inherent simplicity; Mitchell accomplishes this impossible task with ease. While other translations of this work appeal to the high intellect -- and as such have different merit -- this one speaks (quite simply) to the soul.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, 27 Dec 2012
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Good for dipping into for a short piece that prompts new thoughts. I look forward to reading it in brief spells from time to time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This is not the Tao Te Ching, 25 Jan 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Tao Te Ching (Paperback)
Sweetly written. Purely subjective, PERSONAL, POLITICIZED, interpretation of a revered, and ancient work of wisdom. If you know nothing of Taoism, you'll like this. If you wish to hear the voices of the ancient Chinese masters, you won't find them here.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A flawed, but modern translation, 10 Aug 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Tao Te Ching (Paperback)
The Tao Te Ching isn't easy to translate, and despite the praise some people have made of this book, it's really not that spectacular. The translation seems to be so-so, and though it tries to be modern and thus relevant, some of the attempts to be modern fall flat and untrue. The commentary at the end is virtually useless and far too "Western."
However, this is a useful "e-z-read" Tao Te Ching if you have read other versions and thus know where the author got fanciful. The spirit of the original does shine through, but only if you know where to look.
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Tao Te Ching
Tao Te Ching by Stephen Mitchell (Paperback - 31 Oct 1988)
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