The Second Book of the Tao

[BOOKS] ⚡ The Second Book of the Tao ✯ Stephen Mitchell – Johndore.co.uk
  • Hardcover
  • 202 pages
  • The Second Book of the Tao
  • Stephen Mitchell
  • English
  • 04 June 2019
  • 1594202036

About the Author: Stephen Mitchell

Stephen Mitchell was educated at Amherst College, the Sorbonne, and Yale University, and de educated through intensive Zen practice He is widely known for his ability to make old classics thrillingly new, to step in where many have tried before and to create versions that are definitive for our time His many books include The Gospel According to Jesus, The Second Book of the Tao, two books of fiction, and a book of poetry.Mitchell s Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke has been called the most beautiful group of poetic translations the twentieth century has produced William Arrowsmith said that his Sonnets to Orpheus instantly makes every other rendering obsolete His Book of Job has been called magnificent His bestselling Tao Te Ching, Bhagavad Gita, and Gilgamesh which are not translations from the original text, but rather poetic interpretations that use existing translations into Western languages as their starting point have also been highly praised by critics, scholars, and common readers Gilgamesh was Editor s Choice of The New York Times Book Review, was selected as the Book Sense 2004 Highlight for Poetry, was a finalist for the first annual Quill Award in poetry His translation of the Iliad was chosen as one of the New Yorker s favorite books of 2011 He is a two time winner of the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award from the Academy of American Poets.His books for young readers include The Wishing Bone, winner of the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award as the best book of poetry for children published in the United States in 2003, and Jesus What He Really Said and Did, which was chosen by the American Library Association s Booklist as one of the top ten religious books for children in 2002.He is also coauthor of two of his wife Byron Katie s bestselling books Loving What Is and A Thousand Names for Joy www.thework.comYou can read extensive excerpts from all his books on his website, www.stephenmitchellbooks.com.


The Second Book of the TaoEnhanced By Stephen Mitchell S Illuminating Commentary, The Next Volume Of The Classic Manual On The Art Of Living The Most Widely Translated Book In World Literature After The Bible, Lao Tzu S Tao Te Ching, Or Book Of The Way, Is The Classic Manual On The Art Of Living Following The Phenomenal Success Of His Own Version Of The Tao Te Ching, Renowned Scholar And Translator Stephen Mitchell Has Composed The Innovative The Second Book Of The Tao 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 Twenty First 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.Listen To A Special Podcast With Stephen Mitchell

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10 thoughts on “The Second Book of the Tao

  1. Will Jeffries says:

    This book is TRULY amazing There are so many wonderful sayings compiled into this treasure trove by Stephen Mitchell I am so glad that he decided to come out with The Second Book of the Tao because it sheds some new light on the Tao te Ching a ling.Some profound insights that I gathered from this book 1 We are close to waking up when we dream that we are dreaming.2 We re all doing the best we can with what we ve been given.3 Become like the ocean though there are waves on its surface, in This book is TRULY amazing There are so many wonderful sayings compiled into this treasure trove by Stephen Mitchell I am so glad that he decided to come out with The Second Book of the Tao because it sheds some new light on the Tao te Ching a ling.Some profound insights that I gathered from this book 1 We are close to waking up when we dream that we are dreaming.2 We re all doing the best we can with what we ve been given.3 Become like the ocean though there are waves on its surface, in its depths there is perfect calm.4 Receive what you have been given and know that it is always enough.5 Walk through life as though you didn t exist.6 Reality happens from the inside out.7 Life becomes very gentle when you understand that you re not living it.Anyways, a good read Enjoy the wisdom.Forinformation on Stephen Mitchell, go to

  2. Shawn Birss says:

    Today I will break my habit of abstaining from rendering a measurable verdict on books considered sacred to say that this one is simply not at all worth reading My reason for stating this so clearly is that, even without having read the original texts, it is baldly clear that this is such a departure from the original Taoist sources as to virtually be a different book altogether Therefore, my criticism ought to be taken as directed toward this adaptation alone, and not the original texts, to w Today I will break my habit of abstaining from rendering a measurable verdict on books considered sacred to say that this one is simply not at all worth reading My reason for stating this so clearly is that, even without having read the original texts, it is baldly clear that this is such a departure from the original Taoist sources as to virtually be a different book altogether Therefore, my criticism ought to be taken as directed toward this adaptation alone, and not the original texts, to which I consider myself to still never have been truly exposed All of my criticisms of Mitchell s adaptation translation of the Tao Te Ching apply here, but for a few differences First, the content is less explicit when it comes to assuming a hierarchy and government, the only improvement I see in this book over the other However, Mitchell has played farfast and loose with this book than he did his first, making my concerns all thatappropriate Where in the case of Tao Te Ching, I wondered at the appropriateness of and need for this New English Version , in this case I have no question This is appropriation The very form of the book is changed from the original Probably in an attempt to match the popularity of his Tao Te Ching, Mitchell again adapts these ancient Chinese texts into English poetry However, while The Tao Te Ching was originally written as poetry, these texts were originally prose Mitchell arbitrarily splits them into sixty four chapters , turns most of them to poetry despite the source, and then makes every single facing page a commentary of his own on his own translation These commentaries are longer than his adaptation in almost every case, and make easy comparisons to Western philosophy and religion, especially Christianity, and to the pop culture of the American Baby Boomer generation That any scholar would think that ancient Chinese philosophy could easily fit these convenient contemporary cultural touchstones in only a few sentences is baffling, and offensive This book trivializes ancient philosophy and religion by forcing them into the mould of the worldview of the world s most entitled population, middle aged white Americans Mitchell comforts the comfortable in a book that has no teeth, one that almost any privileged American could use to discover that without changing a thing, it turns out that they are already enlightened Gross HardcoverPenguin Press, 2009One StarJanuary 14 17, 2018

  3. Sidewalk_Sotol says:

    This is a fun, gender pronoun flopping version of several Daoist Taoist classic poems and stories attributed to the sage Zhuangzi Chuang Tzu and to Confucius grandson, Tzu ssu I can t comment as someone who has read numerous iterations of the Dao de Jing or Tao Te Ching as most older books in English refer to it or of the classics attributed to Zhuangzi I therefore can t compare it other books about the Dao Mitchell admits to playing fast and loose with various English translations of t This is a fun, gender pronoun flopping version of several Daoist Taoist classic poems and stories attributed to the sage Zhuangzi Chuang Tzu and to Confucius grandson, Tzu ssu I can t comment as someone who has read numerous iterations of the Dao de Jing or Tao Te Ching as most older books in English refer to it or of the classics attributed to Zhuangzi I therefore can t compare it other books about the Dao Mitchell admits to playing fast and loose with various English translations of the original text and claims no knowledge of Chinese himself Therefore, this is very much an adaptation in the Daoist vein rather than any attempt at direct translation Then again, according to the Daoism, one can t know the Dao from books or language, anyway The conundrum of spiritual knowledge I gave this book, i believe, because i found it at the right time I ve read short sections of the Tao de Jing before, but it always went way over my head Mitchell s reinterpretation is easy to read and flows well partially because it is Not loyal to the original text Chinese is a very different language than English and rendering poetry faithfully often ruins its original flow And the Dao is all about flow The commentaries can also be amusing in a thoughtful way, which i appreciate

  4. Gary D. says:

    Ignore or embrace the commentary, the commented on is worth reading.

  5. Carolyn says:

    Loved this small but intense book It offered so many things to contemplate and so much to sooth a questioning heart.

  6. jimstoic says:

    This is the first of Mitchell s books since his interpretation of Tao Te Ching A New English Version 1988 that I ve enjoyed as much He offers a Zen take on the writings of Lao tzu s disciple Chuang tzu and Confucius s grandson Tzu ssu The writing is as beautiful and clear as water While Mitchell acknowledges, through his translations, that the Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao that experience cannot be transmitted through writing he comes quite close I have only rarely felt so This is the first of Mitchell s books since his interpretation of Tao Te Ching A New English Version 1988 that I ve enjoyed as much He offers a Zen take on the writings of Lao tzu s disciple Chuang tzu and Confucius s grandson Tzu ssu The writing is as beautiful and clear as water While Mitchell acknowledges, through his translations, that the Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao that experience cannot be transmitted through writing he comes quite close I have only rarely felt so close to enlightenment while reading.He doesn t know it, but Mitchell is my long distance guru I ve benefited from his two Tao related texts as well as from his The Gospel According to Jesus I ve benefited from the works of Byron Katie, his wife, with whom he co wrote Loving What Is and A Thousand Names for Joy And I ve benefited from books he recommended Self Realization Life Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi and Spinoza s Ethics.Mitchell pointed me to the doorway through which I ve found whatever peace and spirituality I now have Which isn t to say that his works are religious They are philosophical, pragmatic, minimalist, pure, and delightful, but not religious.I can t say enough good stuff about this book

  7. AuthorsOnTourLive! says:

    We met Stephen Mitchell when he visited the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver You can listen to his talk about The Second Book of the Tao here this podcast Bestselling author and translator Stephen Mitchell reads from and discusses his new book The Second Book of the Tao The most widely translated book in world literature after the Bible, Lao tzu s Tao Te Ching, or Book of the Way, is the classic manual on the art of living Following the We met Stephen Mitchell when he visited the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver You can listen to his talk about The Second Book of the Tao here this podcast Bestselling author and translator Stephen Mitchell reads from and discusses his new book The Second Book of the Tao The most widely translated book in world literature after the Bible, Lao tzu s Tao Te Ching, or Book of the Way, is the classic manual on the art of living Following the phenomenal success of his own version of the Tao Te Ching, Mitchell has composed this innovative new book drawn from the work of Lao tzu s disciple Chuang tzu and Confucius s grandson Tzu ssu He 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

  8. Scot says:

    It would be easy to be skeptical to think that anyone could follow up on Lao Tzu s masterpiece with a gem of their own but The Second Book of the Tao manages to do just that Taking secondary passages by taoist masters in the era following the Tao Te Ching, we get a further glimpse into the workings of The Way and each passage is followed by the author s commentary The passages are both fun and insightful and so many resonated with me Oddly enough, the author s commentary may have been even It would be easy to be skeptical to think that anyone could follow up on Lao Tzu s masterpiece with a gem of their own but The Second Book of the Tao manages to do just that Taking secondary passages by taoist masters in the era following the Tao Te Ching, we get a further glimpse into the workings of The Way and each passage is followed by the author s commentary The passages are both fun and insightful and so many resonated with me Oddly enough, the author s commentary may have been even better as he digs in and takes the ancient wisdom and paints in a language for the modern era When all is said and done we will be walking along the path and no matter what we see, think or do there is only the way So simple yet so profound I highly recommend this for anyone on a spiritual journey of their own

  9. Jennifer says:

    Not as thought provoking as I thought it was going to be, but I did discover some nuggets I ll quote in the book I m currently writing I absolutely adore Byron Katie and Mitchell is her husband My favorite book by Katie is A Thousand Names for Joy, the book Mitchell wrote based on Katie s reflections on the Tao In this Second Book of the Tao, he has a lot of Katie s insights from the Thousand Names for Joy The Tao translations arehmm How do I describe them He doesn t speak or write Chin Not as thought provoking as I thought it was going to be, but I did discover some nuggets I ll quote in the book I m currently writing I absolutely adore Byron Katie and Mitchell is her husband My favorite book by Katie is A Thousand Names for Joy, the book Mitchell wrote based on Katie s reflections on the Tao In this Second Book of the Tao, he has a lot of Katie s insights from the Thousand Names for Joy The Tao translations arehmm How do I describe them He doesn t speak or write Chinese, so he just kind of re translates verrrrrry loosely what his translators gave him Then he comments on that loose translation Katie can be pretty out there for most folks, but Mitchell makes her look almost pedestrian Still, I can tell he had fun doing this book, and I love that the book gives the world another chance to experience Byron Katie s wisdom

  10. Mars Smith says:

    The book is split in half the left side is the translated version of the Tao Te Ching while the right side is the author s commentary.Pro The commentary can be helpful to someone who has never read the original version Con For those who have read the original, the commentary may become annoying after awhile I personally didn t get anything out of this book I liked the first book by this author slightly better.Who should read this People who believe in Taoism, like free verse poems, and or The book is split in half the left side is the translated version of the Tao Te Ching while the right side is the author s commentary.Pro The commentary can be helpful to someone who has never read the original version Con For those who have read the original, the commentary may become annoying after awhile I personally didn t get anything out of this book I liked the first book by this author slightly better.Who should read this People who believe in Taoism, like free verse poems, and or enjoy reading commentaries should read this If you didn t care for the first book by this author, then I don t think you will like the second