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Title : The Essence of Tao: An Illuminating Insight into This Traditional Chinese Philosophy
Author :
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ISBN : 9780572030537
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 240 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Essence of Tao: An Illuminating Insight into This Traditional Chinese Philosophy Reviews

  • Brian Moriarty
    2019-02-20 03:28

    Tao is a subject that I knew little about. This book gives a overview of the origins of Tao, the meaning of Tao, ancient Tao scriptures, Tao's influence on Chinese culture and how to practice Tao.In the first chapter the author explains how the early practitioners described Tao as the source of everything and that words can't really describe Tao. Behind all the workings of nature there exists an Ultimate Reality which in it's essence is unfathomable and unknowable. The author then spends two chapters on the difference between Tao and Taoism. Taoism as a set of beliefs which enable people to live successfully, simply and sustainably with nature. Taoism has had a huge influence on Chinese life in the last few thousand years. She then expands into different aspects of Tao such as Yin Yang, I Ching, the Five Elements, Tai Chi, Feng Shui, Chinese alchemy and views on immortality.Near the end of the book she gives an excellent explanation of the most important idea of Tao, that is "wu wei". Wu wei is non-action or emptiness, being reflective rather than pro-active. It doesn't mean inaction but adopting the idea that striving is unnecessary and just allow the matter to unfold. She says "When this is cultivated someone becomes aware of the constraints, requirements and outcomes of the various situations in which he finds himself and thus, in doing so, is able to tailor his activity accordingly and can decide what should be the appropriate action, or if any is needed".There are quotes provided at the end of each chapter from famous authors and philosophers on Tao, which are really nice to read.I thought everything was very well explained and I got a very good understanding of what Tao is from this book. Tao is a beautiful way of living!

  • Dennison Berwick
    2019-02-14 01:01

    You've probably heard the word "Tao" (or "Dao") or seen it written on a t-shirt. And if you've ever wondering what it really means and what the concept from China is all about, here is an excellent introductory book.The book isn't trying to sell the ideas or convert anyone. This is a straightforward explanation of the key ideas, important quotations from Lao Tse and Chung Tse and an explanation of some of the beliefs and rituals.Beside the idea of tao, the most important concept is probably that of wu wei, which Ball explains as "non-action". "Wu wei does not mean inaction (doing nothing), but rather a chosen course of deliberately not doing anything - allowing the matter to unfold".This is something which, until very recently, was very alien to Westerners. And even today it's not how the vast majority of Westerns like to act. We just love to get in there to fix things and have little patience with allowing nature to take its course. As Ball explains, in order to be capable of non-action, we need to be balanced within ourselves and not acting our of malice or ego. This in itself can take work - meditation, tai chi and other exercises and practices all with the purpose of learning who we are and allowing the natural energy of the Universe to flow through us. This is not for the faint of heart or the lazy. But, as Ball explains, commiting to this course of learning, practice and non-action is probably the most important decision we can make for ourselves and one that, in the fullness of time, benefits all.For more reviews, essays and stories, please visit my website:Serendipities of a Writer's life

  • Owain
    2019-01-27 02:17

    This book was moderately interesting. There were a few relevant chapters but I had to skip most of the latter part of the book as it degenerated into religion and superstition. The author does well to maintain the distinction between Taoism, the philosophy, and Taoism, the religion, but I feel as though more could have been done to segregate the two halves entirely. The strange thing about Taoism is that it seems to have started in a purely philosophical vein with the writings of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu but somehow acquired a load of seemingly unrelated mystical bullshit that has everything to do with stereotypical hippy bullshit magic crystal and 'energy' and nothing to do with genuine schools of thought.

  • Anita
    2019-02-01 04:29

    This book has a couple of good sections on the philosophy of Taoism for a beginner. It also contains a huge amount of information on Taoism as a religion in various sects. There is material on medicine, meditation, and martial art forms. My interest in understanding what Tao is and the history of the philosophy. I found there was a lot to wade through, but there was also enough of what I was looking for. I enjoyed the "Thoughts and Ideas" section at the end of each chapter. The first 3 chapters and the last 2 chapters were what I wanted and the rest was sandwiched in between. I was happy to see the book end where it began in the nice circular fashion which seems to be the way of Tao.

  • Alan
    2019-02-02 03:14

    Fantastic introduction to Taoism for the western reader.

  • J Leif
    2019-02-10 03:25


  • Jean
    2019-02-20 04:20

    Loved it!!! Very concise yet very informative. It is a good introductory to the study of Taoism. It really help me get into my studies of Kotodamas.