Music/Book Reviews

Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu, Stephen Mitchell Translation (Review)

This, by far, is my favorite book of all time. No matter what is happening, I can turn to this book and somehow life makes sense. Of course it was origionally written by Lao Tzu but the translation makes all the difference in how his message will penetrate your mind, and Mitchell’s is widely acclaimed as the best.

Before embarking on the translation, Mitchell was a monk for seven years. He then looked at all the translations ever done and paired with precision the message from each verse. You can read, in this version, his commentary on all of the passages and his description of the process. It’s worth it to read every juicy section of this translation if you fall in love with the text, because you will find yourself assured. You will find that your feelings were right; the book indeed is a work of the heart and a skilled mind.

I’m not going to pull verses, you can look them up on google. Instead, I just encourage you to get a copy and sit down with it asap, on a flight or on the beach or something. Reading it is an experience itself. It’s a chance to go deep inside of yourself and find treasure.

It’s one of the few books that reminds you very clearly that words have a frequency and an energy. They enter the mind and cause this vibrational reaction of associations and imaginations. In this case, the verses are like drops in a pool. The feeling, over many verses, brings you into the center of a gently-rippling circle of experience, moving out, further and further.

The message here is to find the center and return to it whenever you can. What goes up, comes down. In sadness is happiness, in happiness, sadness. Embrace everything. Okay, I’m off it–read this book!

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One thought on “Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu, Stephen Mitchell Translation (Review)

  1. Pingback: Breaking Up is a Holy Shit Storm–Invest in Umbrellas! «

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