Book Review: "Tao Te Ching" by Lao Tzu

This is a cool little book of verse.

I love studying eastern religions, so the decision was a no-brainer. And I heard that it stands next to the bible as the most translated book in the world.

The book lays the philosophical foundations for one of the world’s great wisdom traditions, Taoism. Written approximately 2,500 years ago by the legendary sage Lao Tzu, this classic continues to inspire readers today.

The message within this book is one of peace, simplicity, patience, compassion, and tolerance.

The early pages contain the following famous verse: “The way that can be articulately described is not the Unchanging Way. The name that can be said out loud is not the Unchanging name.”

In other words, Tzu says, all your intelligent talk will not lead you to the Way, the truth.

I think this pithy statement rings loud and clear to our contemporary audience so mired by this age of Information in which we live.

One of our greatest stumbling blocks is our tendency to conceptualize and judge everything, and this tendency leads to verbally built concepts that are off base.

Unless you are careful, Tzu says, words will lead you astray. 

Instead, throw the mental baggage overboard and live spontaneously.

What I like most about the book is that it contains original wisdom, sometimes referred to by contemporary scholars as Perennial philosophy—the common core among all religions found only by stripping away institutional accretions of dogma and ritual and focusing on individual experience.