Lao Tzu : Tao Te Ching (1998, Shambhala) 4 stars

No other English translation of this greatest of the Chinese classics can match Ursula Le …

Review of Tao Te Ching

5 stars

Firstly, I want to mention that I didn't read this exact copy of the Tao Te Ching; I just found it to be better to leave the review here instead of fragmenting by finding the exact translation with the exact ISBN-number of my copy.

I've had an interest in Taoism for a while now. A thing that's been irritating me with the Western world is materialism and the ruthless obsession with the pursuit of more, bigger, better, instead of acceptance of what exists and of the current moment. The constant chase of consumerist activities used to pain me, and fighting off the temptation of them weren't exactly easy.

Due to this, taosim and taoistic philosophies gave a refreshing view on all of this, on society, and on how I can live my life in a more meaningful way. I finished this book about two months ago, but I still find myself thinking of different phrases and aphorisms from this book today. I'm definitely re-reading this one soon.

Something else than fascinated me when reading the Tao Te Ching is the use of a feminine pronoun. In Chinese, there are no gendered pronouns. The third person singular pronoun is only "ta", meaning that the translator can choose freely which pronoun to use. My translator chose to use a feminie pronoun, something I rarely see in philosophical and religious works. For me as a feminist, this was a really fun and enjoyable experience. One could argue that using a gender neutral pronoun such as "they" would be better, but my copy was translated before this was normalized.

All in all, I find this to be a great work. Reading it has not convinced me to become a taoist or a religious person, but the philosophies are definitely inspiring. I highly recommend everyone I know to read this!