One amazing thing you discover with the Tao (after reading 2 or 3 versions) is that each version is different. A subtle change in how a charactor is translated can utterly change its meaning & whole verses that once had one slant can have a radically different meaning with a different translator.
In the Bible you will find this when you compare a paraphrase like the The Message with literal translations like New International Version (NIV), but the differences are often only slight & the meaning is only a little different. As the Tao is translated from a completely different language to English, it can vary wildly with its translations. Couple this with the fact that it can often be more profound in its teachings, so the differences between versions will often the reader amazed.
So it is that even the first verse ('Tao called Tao is not Tao') is wildly different in meaning to the paraphrased 'The Name that can be named is not the eternal name'. And, looking through this version, I found many differences in meaning to the paraphrased versions I've been reading. For Instance, Verse 15: '...Because they do not wish to be full, they can fade away without further effort' (compared with: '...Not seeking fulfillment, they are not swayed by desire for change.') Verse 50: '...The tiger's claws find nothing to flay, Weapons find nothing to pierce. Why is this? They have no mortal spot' (compared with: '...This is the fulfilled person of the the Tao who leaves no space in life for premature death.')
Some of these translations are better, some more awkward, but often they are enlightening & new. If it can be described, it is like this version has a far stronger Chinese flavor than the other versions & seems more true to what Lao Tzu intended.
Added to this, this particular edition is filled with Chinese symbols next to the verses. Like the strangeness of the text itself, these have the effect of taking your mind back to the time when Lao Tzu wrote the text & of making you feel some of the 'mysterious powers' that Confucius claimed he had.
So, if you've read just one version of the Tao Te Ching, then I would recommend this one as a way of completely & radically altering your perspective on the meaning of Lao Tzu's words. That said, I would not recommend it for beginners (just as I wouldn't recommend the King James Bible to first-time Bible readers). If you have just read Million Little Pieces or have just started on your Taoist Odyssey, then I recommend this pocket version: Tao Te Ching & this: Change Your Thoughts - Change Your Life to get you started.
Once you're on the path though, then get this version & prepare to have your mind stretched in ways you can't even begin to imagine...
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