Tao Te Ching

  • by Lao Tzu
  • Narrated by Arthur Grey
  • 1 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Tao Te Ching is a classic of Chinese literature and one of the foundation texts of Taoism, a Chinese religious philosophy. It is also known as the Daodejing, Dao De Jing, Daode Jing, or simply as the Laozi. Tao Te Ching is the Romanization of the title, which dates back to the late 19th century (AD), when English transliterations first appeared. The date of original publication is still unknown, but the oldest part can be traced back to the latter portion of the fourth century BC. However, modern experts believe it was written or put together after the Zhuangzi, the other seminal text of Daoism, which was published in the third century BC.
There are several different translations of the title, but the most common is as follows: Dao or Tao means "way", but is most often used to mean "the way", as in the fundamental force driving the universe. De has several meanings, including, perhaps most relevantly, "virtue". Jing in this context means something like "canon" or "great book". So, the full title can be understood to mean "The Book of the Way of Virtue".
The book comprises 81 chapters today, but there is evidence that chapter division was a later development for the book. If this is the case, then the original text had a much more free-flowing style. As it stands now, the book is poetic in form, with allowances for broad interpretation of the text. It is written with an interesting rhetorical style: it features bold, declarative statements that are immediately confronted with statements that seem to contradict them. Some experts believe that the purpose of this style is to get the listener thinking to reconcile these contradictions.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Superb Narration- Narrator does a fine job

What did you love best about Tao Te Ching?

The message is this short piece is priceless

What did you like best about this story?

The narrator had the perfect voice for this piece.

Which character – as performed by Arthur Grey – was your favorite?

The delivery of the message was excellent!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I'd say overall, the philosophical takeaway in this piece is worth the purchase!

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- Amazon Customer

Stumbles into awkward couplets, but does the job

What do I mean, "does the job"? Listening to this lifts me rapidly out of my customary looping stress-marbled daily frame of mind, into a different plane and experience. At that stage it FEELS different to be me, unburdened, de-stressed, in thought content but also in breathing, in my physical self also. (I suppose this is what people drink or meditate to do, but I prefer this.) The narrator has a splendid English voice and cadence, and the translation is mostly elegant. The swerve into sporadic little rhyming couplets is thus a little odd, but acceptable. The tao te ching is the most read book by me in a life of reading lots of books, and I'm not disappointed this time out. I try always to have some version of this at my fingertips.
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- Phil O.

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-02-2017
  • Publisher: Tranquil Audio