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Tao Te Ching : Annotated & Explained: Annotated and Explained (SkyLight Illuminations) by [Lin, Derek, Lao Tzu]
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Tao Te Ching : Annotated & Explained: Annotated and Explained (SkyLight Illuminations) Kindle Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Length: 208 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

"Hits the mark! A native speaker of both Chinese and English, Lin adeptly bridges the gap between translation and interpretation ... applying [2,500-year-old teachings] to our modern world. Don't miss this book if you want ancient knowledge that can change life for the better today." Edward Monaghan, UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center

A magnificent presentation of arguably the most perfect and complete spiritual teaching ever published, the Tao Te Ching. An absolute must in any home library, no matter what tradition one follows. Rabbi David A. Cooper, author of God is a Verb

Lin s unique rendering captures the spiritual wisdom, poetic grace and immense practicality of this classic text. Will illuminate your way regardless of the path you follow. Philip Goldberg, author of Roadsigns: On the Spiritual Path Living at the Heart of Paradox"

"Hits the mark! A native speaker of both Chinese and English, Lin adeptly bridges the gap between translation and interpretation ... applying [2,500-year-old teachings] to our modern world. Don't miss this book if you want ancient knowledge that can change life for the better today." Edward Monaghan, UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center

A magnificent presentation of arguably the most perfect and complete spiritual teaching ever published, the Tao Te Ching. An absolute must in any home library, no matter what tradition one follows. Rabbi David A. Cooper, author of God is a Verb

Lin s unique rendering captures the spiritual wisdom, poetic grace and immense practicality of this classic text. Will illuminate your way regardless of the path you follow. Philip Goldberg, author of Roadsigns: On the Spiritual Path Living at the Heart of Paradox"

Synopsis

Reportedly written by a sage named Lao Tzu over 2,500 years ago, the "Tao Te Ching" is one of the most succinct - and yet among the most profound - spiritual texts ever written. Short enough to read in an afternoon, subtle enough to study for a lifetime, the "Tao Te Ching" distills into razor-sharp poetry centuries of spiritual inquiry into the Tao - the "Way" of the natural world around us that reveals the ultimate organising principle of the universe. Derek Lin's insightful commentary, along with his new translation from the original Chinese - a translation that sets a whole new standard for accuracy - will inspire your spiritual journey and enrich your everyday life. It highlights the "Tao Te Ching's" insights on simplicity, balance, and learning from the paradoxical truths you can see all around you: finding strength through flexibility (because bamboo bends, it is tough to break); achieving goals by transcending obstacles (water simply flows around rocks on its way to the sea); and, believing that small changes bring powerful results (a sapling, in time, grows into a towering tree).

Now you can experience the wisdom and power of Lao Tzu's words even if you have no previous knowledge of the "Tao Te Ching". "SkyLight Illuminations" provides insightful yet unobtrusive commentary that describes helpful historical background, explains the "Tao Te Ching's" poetic imagery, and elucidates the ancient Taoist wisdom that will speak to your life today and energize your spiritual quest.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 619 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: SkyLight Paths Publishing; 1 edition (22 Oct. 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004EPYPXK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #387,763 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Lin's translation is natural, even lyrical, but the main strength of this book, at least for the serious student, is in his stanza by stanza commentary. The layout, with the commentary on the left (even numbered) pages and the text on the right (odd numbered) pages, makes for easy reading and study.

Lin's introduction gives a bit of the history of the Tao while exploring its accessibility and purpose. In "A Note on the Translation" he recounts some of the difficulties and presents his theory about how the "Lao Tzu" should be rendered into modern English. One of his methods was to

"Start from scratch and create an entirely original work. I could not use existing translations as references because they were not sufficiently accurate." (p. xxiii)

Lin adds "Existing translations tended to present interpretations as translations." (p. xxiv)

Of course any translation would be an interpretation to some extent. Lin calls our attention to this distinction:

"A literal translation (also known as formal equivalence) is the nearest linguistic equivalent between the source and the target language, while an interpretation (also known as dynamic equivalence) consists of amplifications and clarifications..." (p. xxiv)

He believes that he has kept his interpretations in the commentary. However whenever choices are made between ambiguous alternatives--and Lin and others all admit that the ancient Chinese they are translating from is full of them--that choice involves an interpretation. Furthermore because the Tao Te Ching is a treatise written in poetic language--actually it can be considered a long poem--interpretation is unavoidable.

We should keep in mind that a real poem is a non-linear extra-denotative expression.
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Each chapter contains a thoughtful explanation of the thinking behind the words. This book makes more sense than other versions I have read which leave the reader to interpret some odd sounding phrases, possibly because the 'translator' is first having to interpret the Chinese symbols with the aid of a dictionary and no working knowledge of Chinese. I don't speak Chinese but I am aware of the possibility of things being lost in translation between the two languages.
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We here in the west have differing cultural application of the Tao, it is refreshing to see a translation which not only is easily accessible to westerners but holds to and celebrates the ancient cultural ties Taoism still has to Chinese and specifically for I-Kuan-Tao Taiwan today.

A translation which does not hold poetry above meaning, but as many accurate translations (see Dr J Wu) has a poetry of its own which is more beneficial for being simple, pretty though poetical interpretatiosn are, they are like a glass of cola in the dessert, nice enough but not as beneficial as pure simple nourishing water.

Also useful in this translation is far more than being a simple translation from Chinese to English Derek Lin has provided insights and teachings to help understanding of the chapters of the Tao te ching. This is helpful for both begginers and those of us with a few years of Tao cultivation, reassessing the teachings and finding new meaning is art of what happenings on the Path of Tao.

A real labour of love, from someone i have counted as my friend for many years and has helped me to find my feet on the way, he has a good heart and this comes across in his work.

Becca
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I have another translation of the Tao Te Ching which I couldn't understand. The excellent commentary in this one delivers and I compared the two to get a broader understanding. Read just a few pages at a time so you can fully absorb the meaning that is packed into so few words. It is one of those books where understanding increases with each reading, and returning to it from time to time is wise.
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