Most helpful positive review
104 of 106 people found the following review helpful
on 26 April 2009
Tao Te Ching..meaning Book of The Way, or book of the Word. One of the best books ever written. Or, if you read the author's insights in the preface, Book of the Way-ne Dye-r (adder of color and light) : )
If you are like most people, you may be wondering should I get this particular version, and how does it compare with other versions or his earlier book.
No matter how great a writer you think Wayne Dyer is, he did not write the Tao, yet his rendition is consistent with the best versions I have read. The difference between this and his earlier book, Living the wisdom of the Tao, being the short essays of several pages, offering insights on each verse.
Stephen Mitchell's version has worked best for me, and it has no essays. The Tao concepts bypass ego based thinking, and the idea of doing things by not striving is allowing a higher more authentic way of thinking to inform your being and your action.
One Jonathan Star version has Chinese symbols at the back, with multiple meanings of each symbol. This allows you to come up with your own version of the Tao, and would really open up your thinking on the Tao.
The Tao is always present within you.
You can use it any way you want.
81 verses all less than one page. Like any great mystery, the Tao is there to be experienced and not necessarily understood. Here is a selection from verse 81 to illustrate the difference between different versions.
True words aren't eloquent;
Eloquent words aren't true;
Wise men don't need to prove their point;
Men who need to prove their point aren't wise.
Here is what Dyer writes.
True words are not beautiful;
Beautiful words are not true;
Good men do not argue;
Men who argue are not good.
Notice a difference in meaning?
I bought this for my sister, because she loves Wayne Dyer's books. I recommend reading each verse several times and consider it line by line, see what meaning you get, put it aside and compare with Wayne's opinion later. The more you focus on the verses, and getting your own insights, the more you will get out of it.
According to the author, this book arose from a year of meditation. I suspect if he wrote a new edition five years from now, his quality of insight would be even more profound because it's an ongoing process. Many of his insights differed from my own, some better, others not so much.
For example Verse 44 to me seems to be about values, knowing what's important, not being attached to your identity and finding contentment within. He writes about Living by Knowing When to Stop. His verse words here differ significantly from the Mitchell version. That's why, if the Tao moves you I recommend you read more than one version.
I also recommend The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, a classic book of wisdom, The Dhammapada featuring the succinct teachings of the Buddha, and The Way of Chuang Tzu by Thomas Merton, which is more Tao.
I hope you find this review helpful.