Saturday, 6 October 2012

The Way of Life – Lao Tzu

The Bookshop Guru

Book Review “The Way of Life – Lao Tzu” by R.B. Blakney

Sometimes it is better to listen and learn, then to speak. I found this book in a thrift shop in America on a recent holiday and I believe is still available in print. I have chosen to write a review because the book teaches us how we should live according to the “WAY” defined by Lao Tzu and called “ Tao Te` Ching” which means “ the book of the Way and Its Virtue.”

The Tao is often referred to as “the way” an ancient way of life and philosophy. The Tao or Dao comes from China and has been kept alive by the followers of this philosophy over the many years since it was first recorded by word of mouth, and later written down for future generations.

There are 81 poems translated and below is one which I hope reflects the “the Way” as Lao Tzu may have intended to encompass the meaning of the “WAY” and I hope you will see the meaning as I do.

To take all you want
Is never as good
As to stop when you should.
Scheme and be sharp
And you’ll not keep it long.
One never can guard
His home when it’s full
Of jade and fine gold:
Wealth, power and pride
Bequeath their own doom.
When fame and success
Come to you, then retire.
This is the ordained Way.

Pg61 No 9 poem “The Way of Life – Lao Tzu” by R.B. Blakney

The book is rich in its translation of the original Tao Te Ching and gives the reader plenty of opportunity to grasp what was originally said by Lao Tzu. I found the book easy to read and more importantly enjoyed reading the poems which are the essence of the writings and philosophy of Taoism. You may want to call it a religion or a doctrine, but I much prefer to listen and read the poems and from there apply what is said to today’s way of life.

Taoism is second only to the philosophy of Confucianism which is also a way to live with harmony with oneself and the world around you. I understand Confucianism as a form of wisdom and Taoism as a means of living with nature not against it. The two distinct philosophies as opposed to religions are a means to know thy self and to follow a way of life and not a doctrine which is what religion dictates. Christ does not mention religion because it has no basis in fact or truth, and the truth never lies. And religion is man-made and God does not need doctrine and “ Jesus saith unto him, I am the way… .”
Whatever you want to believe this book will open your eyes if you can listen to the words of the poems as the “Way” is a means of finding our journey through life where we seek to find happiness, wealth and long life. The Tao Te Ching is fundamentally a kind of sanctuary by submitting to its proposal the so called “Way” you will find its virtue will set you free.

As Matthew said, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14)

To paraphrase from the book – a student may increase his knowledge daily, but the “Way” is not like that. The Way” will teach you to forgo selfish impulse or desire until thy will is undistracted and at rest with the “Way.”

Are you listening,  what are you dreaming?

As Jesus said, “belief is everything.”

In my latest book “It’s Never Too Late” read how dreams do come true, but be careful what you wish for. Understand the secret of greed and you will attain one of the secrets of prosperity. The book will also take you on a journey and explores love, money, luck, and much more.


Hey, Chuck. Did you bring any spending money? Viva la vida loca.

Conducting Survey into Precognitive Choices

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 Read my latest book "It's Never Too Late" by Anthony Fox,  published by Chipmunka Publishing