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4.2 out of 5 stars23
4.2 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 13 June 2010
I keep a collection of small books in various jacket pockets & find them very useful for when I'm bored or in need of spiritual input. This particular version of the Tao Te Ching IS one of those small (11cm x 7cm) books that fits in your pocket & yet can be brought out as a quick read/ refresher.

And, having read a few translations, I've found this to be one of the clearest & most eloquent. The meaning is always understandable & the pithy richness of Taoist thought comes across so powerfully, that it only takes 1 or 2 verses for feelings of joy, enlightenment & inner peace to start coursing over you.

The one downside is that there is no commentary or index. If you are just starting out on your Taoist journey, then I'd recommend Wayne Dyer's Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao first, and then have this as a top-up for Lunch breaks & times when you have a minute or two to spare.

Needless to say, my version is filled with underlining & notes, as I always find the clear expression of concepts so wise, profound & insightful that I dare not trust my Swiss-Cheese memory with losing them!

Anyway, if you're looking for an excellent pocket version of the Tao Te Ching, then this comes thoroughly recommended. If you're looking for a different interpretation & space isn't an issue, then I've found this version: Tao Te Ching equally powerful.

And whatever happens, I wish you luck on your journey towards spiritual enlightenment.
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on 28 April 1999
Why read a version of the Tao Teh Ching translated by some American who thought Taoism was something "exotic" when you can have this one--written by an earthy man born and raised in Ningpo? As Wu once said of himself, "I was initiated early into the mysteries of paradox."
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on 25 June 2011
The oldest extant versions of the Tao Teh Ching (Daodejing) are the Guodian (300BCE), and the Mawangui (168BCE). These maybe added to a number of not so old versions known after the scholars who commentated upon the text, dating to he Han Dynasty (206-BCE-220CE), which culminated in an authoritative edition written by the Han-Wei scholar Wang Bi (226-249). John Wu (1899-1986) presents in this volume, the full 81 chapters of the Chinese text of the Wang Bi version, together with a complete rendering into English.

The paperback (1989) Shambhala edition contains 165 numbered pages, and contains 3 sections:

1) Foreword.
2) Editor's Notes.
3) Tao Teh Ching (81 chapters).

The Chinese text is from the Lao Chieh Lao edition compiled by Ts'ai T'ing Kan, and printed privately in 1922. By and large, Wu keeps to Wang Bi's original reading, but in the editorial notes compiled by Paul KT Sih, there are listed 7 changes, were Wu has departed from the original. These are very minor alterations usually based upon the collective scholarship of Chinese commentators over the last two thousand years - which involves correcting the odd Chinese ideogram here and there. The over-all meaning is not diminished as a result, but rather enhanced.

The Tao Teh Ching is a Taoist (Daoist) text written by the sage Laozi. It is a text that advocates the perception and following of the Way (Tao) of nature, so that human behaviour becomes non-competitive and at one with nature's cycles. The 81 chapters are actually two books placed together:

1) Tao Ching - Chapters 1-37.
2) Teh Ching - Chapters 38-81.

That is the 'Way Classic', and the 'Virtue Classic'. It is likely that at some point in the distant past, two different Taoist texts were compiled into one book, sharing a combined title. Tao Teh Ching translates as Way of Virtue Classic. Wu presents a stark and direct English translation that captures the simplicity of the Chinese original, free of over-complication and digress. A timeless translation classic.
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on 25 April 2009
Such an important book, probably one of the most important ever written. Each page yields a poetic and simple spoonful of philosophy for the consciousness. Quite simply wonderful, but not to be taken lightly.
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on 9 July 2010
This is a really handy little pocket book. Each chapter is between 1 and 2 pages long and I use it to "dip in to" when I have a quiet 5 mins at work. being trully pocket sized, it can go anywhere with you. My only problem is that I left it on my desk and it usually gets loaned out so if I want it, I have to go and find it! Luckily, I also have "365 tao" by Deng Ming-Dao.
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on 10 February 2013
It is not clear from the order page that this is a pocket version. The cover is identical to the full size version, which I also have.
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on 16 June 2015
I bought the large paperback version back in the late 1990s (?) which was the 'Dragon Edition' with lovely blue and gold dragon print endpapers so different from the pocket version or this newer hardback version.

The best part of this book is that it is a bilingual edition with the Classical Chinese text on the left page and the English on the right. If you already know Chinese (and maybe, have some knowledge of Classical Chinese) this this is very useful in forming your own translations as well as compare it to Wu's translation. That said, Wu's translation is perhaps not the best out there so if you really want to comprehend the text better than there are better translations out there that maybe closer to the spirit of the original.

Note that the small pocket paperback edition does not have the Classical Chinese text.
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on 28 April 2015
Pocket edition. It said pocket in big enough letters in the description but I still missed it. This is actually a very cute size, and if it had been a miniature of the full size edition I would have given it 5 stars and bought some new reading glasses. This has sadly only the translated verses, and not the Chinese on the facing pages that the larger version has. Its not my favourite translation for which I recommend the Richard Wilhelm edition (which is only slightly larger in the Arkana version that I have).
Nice white paper, glossy cover, easily accessible translation, fit in a child's pocket, looks cute.
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on 22 June 2014
I read a lot and this book always pops up so I decided to get a nice neat pocket size version. I can't speak highly of it enough. Its said to be one of the wises books ever written and I don't disagree.

I read a single parable everyday for a week then I move onto the next one (11 weeks down 70 more to go lol).

I wouldn't considered it to be a religion but more of a philosophy on Nature.

DO NOT LEAVE THE PLANET WITHOUT HAVING READ and/or STUDIED THIS BOOK!!! Thanks ;)
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on 8 October 2011
I placed this order from my mobile phone, for my dad. I couldn't see that it was actually a tiny version of the book, just to warn anyone else ordering it.
I have the real one- on loan from my friend, same picture on the cover, but it is a full size book. Chinese on one page and english on the other throughout the book. this one here is just a tiny book with just the english.
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