Saturday, October 21, 2017

A Good Second Book

     Lately I've been re-reading an old friend, The Second Book of the Tao By Stephen Mitchell.  Mr. Mitchell also translated the Tao Te Ching, which is how I became familiar with his work.  While he readily admits that he does not read or speak Chinese, he promotes the idea that his translations are in keeping with the spirit of Taoism.

     I really liked his first book, the Tao Te Ching.  The Second Book of Tao is also good, with the translations coming across as witty and instructive.  But I think it may be hindered in the fact that Mitchell also included some parables and poems from the Zen Buddhist tradition.  To my mind, Taoism and Buddhism do have some subtle differences.  Also, his comments, while helpful in some instances, sometimes come across as a little erudite.  Maybe it's me.  Still, it's a worthwhile book, especially if you are interested in learning more about the Taoist tradition.

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