Drawn from the work of Lao-tzu's disciple Chuang-tzu and Confucius's grandson Tzussu, The Second Book of the Tao offers Western readers a path into reality that has nothing to do with Taoism or Buddhism or old or new alone, but everything to do with truth. Mitchell has selected the freshest, clearest teachings from these two great students of the Tao and adapted them into versions that reveal the poetry, depth, and humor of the original texts with a thrilling new power. Alongside each adaptation, Mitchell includes his own commentary, at once explicating and complementing the text.
This book is a 21st-century form of ancient wisdom, bringing a new, homemade sequel to the Tao Te Ching into the modern world. Mitchell's renditions are radiantly lucid; they dig out the vision that's hiding beneath the words; they grab the text by the scruff of the neck - by its heart, really - and let its essential meanings fall out. The book introduces us to a cast of vivid characters, most of them humble artisans or servants, who show us what it means to be in harmony with the way things are. Its wisdom provides a psychological and moral acuity as deep as the Tao Te Ching itself.
The Second Book of the Tao is a gift to contemporary readers, granting us access to our own fundamental wisdom. Mitchell's meditations and risky reimagining of the original texts are brilliant and liberating, not least because they keep catching us off-guard, opening up the heavens where before we saw a roof. He makes the ancient teachings at once modern, relevant, and timeless.
©2009 Stephen Mitchell; (P)2009 Penguin Audio
Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.
Of course there was never a Second Book of the Tao... not until now. I was introduced to his fiction writing with Meetings With the Archangel, but Stephen Mitchell is more widely known for his translations and adaptations of ancient classics such as The Tao Te Ching. He is the translator of Rainer Maria Rilke and the book of Job as well as Gilgamesh and the Bhagavad Gita. One would think it difficult to pen one preeminent translation of a text thousands of years old. But Stephen Mitchell has done just that; over and over again.
The Second Book of the Tao consists of adaptations from the work of two ancient Chinese scholars: a Laotzu disciple, Chuang-tzu, and Tzu-ssu, the grandson of Confucius. While I have read several translations of the Tao Te Ching, there is none to compare with that of Stephen Mitchell. There is no other anthology for the “second book” and so Mitchell’s rendition must remain the best also. This book would be an impossible act to follow were it not written by Stephen Mitchell. As one reviewer put it: “It takes you there.”
For those who have listened to or studied 'The Tao', this will bring smiles. Irreverant, yet relevant. From me, there is no greater compliment. I was not sure I wanted to continue my Audiobook subscription. Just to be able to re-listen to this title is worth more than I can say.
I would and have listen to this book again. It is an excellent book and I enjoy the commentary from Stephen Mitchell. This book gets you closer to the ineffable nature of the Tao. I loved Mitchell's translation of the Tao De Ching, but this book offers even more perspectives. There is humor and stories that illustrate what the Tao may be or look like. However, if anyone is familiar with the Tao, then they would know not to even try to know what it is!
This book was written as companion book, or at least that's what Mitchell states.
I believe he has done an excellent job with following-up to the original. Though I listen to the original often, The Second Book of the Tao has an entertainment quality to it.
Yes, I have listen to the Tao De Ching and they are both 5 star ratings.
Yes, in the sense it brought the Tao into clearer focus, if such a thing could be even be done.
I study Aikido and this book is an excellent book about non-doing. It doesn't matter if it is Aikido, Golf, or cooking, the Tao is in all actions. This book will help you understand things are the way they are because they are supposed to be that way. With that, approaching everything without effort is truly liberating.
A delightful delivery of ancient wisdom - yet it's so refreshingly fresh. For anyone interested in Zen or Tao - this book is like drinking nectar.
Both books are fantastic.
I liked the humor and simplicity.
I will definitely listen to it again and again and again.
Stephen has truly accomplished something amazing with this book.
He chose very well which passages to include and gives very thoughtful interpretations between.
I have listened many times and I can't help but smile and think deeply throughout.
As a reviewer already stated, this book will get you there. I have listened to this and Mitchell's translation of the Tao, dozens of times each. This book has made understanding the Tao a little easier. I still find myself laughing out loud while listening to this book. There is so much depth to this book that I cannot be put into words. I purchased this audiobook years ago and each time I listen to it, just like today, I have an a-ha moment of insight. As Mitchell reads his own work, he adds a hidden dimension of intuitive understanding that goes beyond the words. I often found myself "knowing" what was said before my analytical mind could wrap itself around what was said. Nevertheless, whenever I find myself so far from center that I can't meditate or quiet my mind, listening to this audiobook has been a infallible tool in helping me reclaim my center. Just like today, hence the needed review.
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