Great Ideas Tao Te Ching (Penguin Great Ideas)

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9780141043685: Great Ideas Tao Te Ching (Penguin Great Ideas)
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Fundamental to Chinese philosophy and religion, the Tao Te Ching is a simple guidebook for virtue, encouraging peace, understanding and humility. Ranging from political advice to common wisdom, it has also served as an inspiration to artists across the ages and throughout the world. Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are.

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Tao Te Ching, also commonly known as Lao Tzu, is perhaps the most important of Chinese classical texts, with an unparalleled influence on Chinese thought. This bilingual edition consists of two parts. The English text in Part One is a reprint of the earlier translation of the so-called Wang Pi text, first published by Penguin Books in 1963. Part Two is the fresh translation of a text which is a conflation of two manuscripts of the Lao Tzu, dating at the latest from the early Western Han and discovered at Ma Wang Tui in December 1973. The result is a text with a fuller use of particles, free from the scribal errors and editorial tampering of subsequent ages.

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The Tao Te Ching is surely the most terse and economical of the world's great religious texts. In a series of short, profound chapters, it elucidates the idea of the Tao, or the Way--an idea that in its ethical, practical and spiritual dimensions has become essential to the life of China's enormously powerful civilization. In the process of this elucidation, its author Laotzu both clarifies and deepens those central religious mysteries around which our life on earth revolves.

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