Tao Te Ching..meaning Book of The Way, or book of the Word. One of the best books ever written. Certainly , the book that has had the most profound positive influence on my life.
If you are like me, you may be wondering should I get this particular version, and how does it compare with other versions like the Mitchell, English and Star version.
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 distinguishing trait of Dyer's version is that there is a short affirmation opposite each verse, a lesson to be derived.
Some of these are good, and still leave room for you to come up with your own ideas. In fact, that is an inspiring way to go through the tao, and I must make a point of going through my other versions and writing out my thoughts on each chapter. So, thank you, Mr Dyer. I also like the layout with the graphics. They add a little atmosphere to each verse.
So, my personal favorite version is the Stephen Mitchell version. The Tao is wise, paradoxical, counterinituitive, puzzling, fascinating, mysterious, inspiring, amazing and true. These 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.
The Jane English version, has a 25th Anniversary Edition which is a large size book, coffee table version, with symbols, and graphics, and a regular size version.
One of the Jonathan Star versions has Chinese symbols at the back, with multiple meanings of each symbol.
This is a great idea, which allows you to come up with your own version of the Tao, and would really open up your thinking on the Tao.
If you are like me, then as you read you discover the wisdom
like a raw jewel which you shape into a glittering diamond. That is the brilliance of the book.
The Tao is always present within you.
You can use it any way you want.
81 chapters, 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.
A different version might substitute the word beautiful for eloquent.
You can feel comfortable buying the Wayne Dyer version, or any of these other versions.
I also recommend The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, which is another classic book of wisdom, and The Dhammapada featuring the succinct teachings of the Buddha.
I hope you find this review helpful.