By Tao Te Ching
This short little book presents a series of poetic and reflective philosophical arguments and speculations on the nature and purpose of government, society and life. It is a classic of Chinese philosophy. I read the 1985 translation by D. C. Lau. The text itself is preceded by an excellent explanatory essay which is essential if the reader is to understand the key terms and their meaning through the text. Indeed, as someone well versed in Western philosophy and its adjoining concepts, reading this classic of Eastern philosophy was a sometimes confusing and maddening process:
The arguments are not always presented in a logical order or even in sections which correspond to common themes. And yet, as a total work, contemplating the conclusions discussed by the Tao Te Ching was a profoundly challenging, worthy and gratifying experience.
Reviewed by Mr Tristan Hill