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3.9 out of 5 stars
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3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 15 June 2014
Just to let any potential Kindle purchasers know that this has not been properly formatted for the Kindle. Lines break in unnatural places, which spoils the flow of the prose, and there are occasional large gaps between consecutive words for no apparent reason.
This does make it quite hard to read. I think I'll stick with my old paperback translation by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English.
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Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, trans. Ralph Alan Dale, Watkins (London), 2002, 312 ff.

A translation of the Tao Te Ching
By Howard Jones

Of the seven versions I have on my bookshelves of the Tao Te Ching this is my favourite, both for the wonderful black-and-white illustrations by John Cleare and, most importantly of course, for the quality of the translation by Ralph Alan Dale. For those who can read Chinese, the original texts are also given for each of the 81 verses.

As I have said in my other reviews of this text, which version appeals to you as reader will differ from one to another. One reviewer criticizes the translation of the Tao as 'the Great Integrity'. Well, one might just as well criticize the translation of Tao as 'the Way'. The Tao is truly indescribable and indefinable, like God or Infinite Spirit. It is the spirit of the translation that is most significant.

The message of the main eastern mystical philosophies is essentially the same: to accept what life has to offer; to look always for the best in any person and life situation, even those that present difficulties, challenges and unhappiness in the short term; to take time out from our pressured life-styles for quiet reflection and meditation; to be always aware that there is an overriding spirituality that interacts with us in every moment of our being, a spirituality that we enhance or undermine by our thoughts and actions. This is the overall message of the Tao.

A certain degree of interpretation is inevitable in any translation, but for readers seeking a more expansive text than just a straightforward translation of the Tao and one that you might find relates more directly to everyday life in the west, there are commendable interpretations by Byron Katie and by Wayne Dyer available. Personally, I prefer the straight translation that I can meditate on and interpret in a way most relevant to my own life.

Dr Howard A. Jones is the author of The Thoughtful Guide to God (2006) and The Tao of Holism (2008), both published by O Books of Winchester, U.K.; and The World as Spirit published by Fairhill Publishing, Whitland, West Wales, 2011.

A Thousand Names For Joy: How To Live In Harmony With The Way Things Are
Change Your Thoughts - Change Your Life: Living The Wisdom Of The Tao
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on 9 October 2013
A truly beautifully written book with some of the finest words to quote I have ever read. I am so thankful to the people who translated it because they have kept the translation true to the Chinese version of the original and not westernised it as is the case with many books. Thank you to Kindle for stocking this, I am so happy to have it in my collection.
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on 19 November 2006
This is a lovely book to own. The photographs by John Cleare are stunning and it would be worth buying the book for these alone. The text consists of an introduction and preface which provides the reader with a good grounding in the theory and principles of Taosim, followed by the verses. The latter part of the book provides an explanation of the verses in fairly plain English. Most of the verses are relevant for modern living and would provide an excellent basis for a moral and ethical code for individuals who find religion is not relevant for them. Equally, for the religious person the verses will probably be just as insightful. Cheap it aint but it is worth every penny and this book would, I am sure, provide a reassuring and thought provoking presence in anyone's life.
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on 5 January 2005
I thought that this would be a lovely version of Tao Te Ching, but was disappointed when I read it. Translating 'Tao' as the 'Great Integrity' takes away from the substance of what Lao Tzu was trying to say and narrows the reader's capacity to understand and feel his messages. Taoism isn't an academic or intellectual pursuit, it is something that is directly experienced as a way of life; some of Lao Tzu's verses can even take you into a Tao-like zone when read, however not in this version. Other versions/translations of the Tao Te Ching seem to be more effective than this book particularly because they have kept 'Tao' as 'Tao'. To try and define Tao as Great Integrity is to deny what Taoism is - Tao can't be named (see verse 1 of any translation which basically says how to name it means you haven't 'got it'). The pictures in this book are wonderful but sadly the aforementioned translation plus the sentiment to make the verses more poetic/linguistic detracts from the substance of Lao Tzu's messages and makes for a disappointing read.
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on 27 November 2009
This is a very nice interpretation of the Tao Te Ching and well presented and illustrated.I am very glad that I bought it and enjoyed the ideas that it contains. It is a very beautiful publication but what prevented me from giving it a five star rating is that it actually falls apart. It is quite simply badly made. When so much trouble has been gone to to make a book that is quite lovely in every other respect, to have economised on such an essential feature as durability seems quite absurd.
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on 7 March 2005
Having spent an hour in the bookshop reading different versions of the Tao Te Ching I chose this one for it's beauty and poetic translation. I am reading two versions of the Tao but think that this one is perfect for the average western reader because it captures the essence of the original script but in an easy to read and profoundly moving manner. I can see why many would wish to read the Tao in as close a translation as possible (And there are many books out there that do so) but this version conveys the meaning clearly to people without an academic or scholastic background. I have just brought another copy of this for a family member and I think it makes an excellent introduction to this fascinating school of philosophy.
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on 12 March 2013
Beware! This Kindle edition is not the translation and commentary by Ralph Alan Dale. Using 'Check Inside' you can see clearly that the first verse in the Kindle version doesn't have the same wording as the first verse of the Ralph Alan Dale version.
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on 23 January 2006
Unlike like the reviewer who gave this only two stars I think this is a very good version of the Tao Te Ching particularly for the western mind. Calling it the Great Integrity does it no harm at all. I have read several versions of the Tao Te Ching and this is by far the best as an introduction. I daresay if you approach it from a purist point of view it may well fall short of the mark but after all any sacred text is open to interpretation of the individual reader.To try and limit it is to deny the wisdom it has to offer.Unfortunately fundamentalism will always creep in when anything new comes onto the scene. If you want a good version buy this one I have recommended it to my friends.It is well worth the money, if you buy one Tao Te Ching but this one, I have no regrets.
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on 5 March 2015
Crowley embraces the cryptic qualities of the Tao thus allowing the ideas to creep into the readers subconscious uncensored. The rest is silence.
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