Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Complete Idiot Guide To Taoism

The Complete Idiot Guide To Taoism Cover

Book: The Complete Idiot Guide To Taoism by Brandon Toropov

You-re no idiot, of course. You know Taoism is one of the world-s oldest religions, based on simplicity and balance. However, you may not know it has important parallels with modern Western life: health, ecology, even in such pop culture icons as Luke Skywalker and The Beatles.But you don-t have to sit at the feet of a Taoist master to learn how the Taoist tradition has enlightened seekers throughout the centuries! The Complete Idiot-s Guide- to Taoism will show you exactly why Taoist principles appeal to people from every walk of life! In this Complete Idiot-s Guide-, you get:--The history of the Daode Jing, the world-s shortest core religious text, and Laozi, its mysterious author.--The teachings of Zhuangzi, the often-overlooked master sage of Taoism.--An explanation of ying-yang and what it represents.

This book was my introduction to Taoism, and I am deeply grateful to the authors for writing such a splendid guide to the Way. /The Complete Idiot's Guide to Taoism/ starts out by working through the difficulties of defining "Tao" and introducing the reader to the works of Lao-Tzu and Chuang-Tzu, the two sages of Taoism. The book moves on to offer an overview of key Taoist concepts like wu-wei, de, the yin-yang polarity, etc. All of this is done in a relaxed, enjoyable manner, making for a quick and fun read.

This /Idiot's Guide/ also has chapters on Taoist thoughts on nature, skill, and life and death. These chapters illuminate the Taoist perspective on many aspects of life, and do so a lot more effectively than a list of dry, fixed "shall" and "shall not" items would be able to. The book also includes some thought-provoking overviews of the links between Taoism and Christianity, modern physics, popular culture (i.e. The Matrix), and so forth.

This book is not page after page of dogmatic rules on how you should or should not think, or should or should not live. Anyone looking for such things will be disappointed with /The Complete Idiot's Guide to Taoism/, and indeed Taoism itself. The authors went to great lengths to provide a cohesive intro to the history of Taoism, as well as the core ideas that make it a viable philosophy (or religion) to this day. I think the main goal when writing this book was to get the reader to actively *think* about life, and how traditional Taoist perspectives match up with the experiences of daily life.

If you're up to the challenge of genuinely thinking about Taoism, and how it can be applied to all aspects of the world, this book will definitely satisfy you. As the authors say in their introduction, "Think of /The Complete Idiot's Guide to Taoism/ as a flashlight; judge its effectiveness by what it helps you see more clearly as you make your own way along the path."

Find Brandon Toropov's book in amazon.com:
The Complete Idiot Guide To Taoism

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