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Taoism: The Parting of the Way

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  38 ratings  ·  5 reviews
This book offers a comprehensive discussion of Taoism, one of the world's major religions, as well as a study of the Tao te ching, the best known Taoist text, Lao-Tzu as a Taoist prototype.
Paperback, 208 pages
Published June 1st 1971 by Beacon Press (first published January 1st 1957)
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Bob Nichols
In the first chapter, Holmes discusses the problem of interpreting Lao Tsu and Tao Te Ching: whether the writing was a compilation of numerous writers over an extended period of time that reflected differing perspectives, or whether Lao Tzu even existed at all. This is the most interesting part of the book (Holmes also writes about the four primary schools of Taoism that subsequently emerged, three of which focused on how to achieve life after death, and how Taoism eventually merged with element ...more
Jan 18, 2012 Jeff rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jeff by: Ursula Le Guin
Shelves: 2012, non-fiction
Only 3 stars cuz i expected more exegesis of the Tao Te Ching. I know that i wanted more of it. I NEED more. Alas, at least half of this book is history, not philosophy, not metaphysics, not religion. So if you really want a Sinologist's history of Taoism, you're sure to enjoy this more than i did.

I picked it up because i knew i'd need help with the Tao and the edition i read was Ursula Le Guin's amalgamation in which she says, "If you want to know more about Taoism, or would like some help and
As a follower of the Tao, I was thrilled to see this book on the library shelf of my yoga studio. Having read various translations of the Tao te Ching, I appreciated Welch's interpretation of its main ideas: that wu-wei is inaction, that inaction is nonaggression, and so forth. That being said, this would also be an ideal book for someone who is first learning about the Tao.

In addition to exploring Taoist philosophy, the book includes the legend of the author Lao-Tzu (old man) and posits who he
The best introductory books are thorough and approachable. If you had to read only one book on Taoism, this would be the one I'd recommend. While most books stop with Lao Tzu and the Tao Te Ching, this one continues into Chaung Tzu, Lieh Tzu, andsome of the lesser known sages, as well as alchemy and folk traditions.
Adrienne Stapleton
I love the beginning chapters, particularly the discussions of the Tao, Wu-Wei, and Mu. I have returned to this book repeatedly to reread and think about the nature of Tao, the Absolute Tao, and Wu-Wei.
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