This is a re-read. The first time I read it, not long after purchasing the book (several years by now), I was not at all prepared to be open to the concept of Taoism. I’m better prepared now, but only in that I am open to a new way of being. I’m not sure I could ever fully embrace Taoism; there’s too much Rabbit and Eeyore in me right now. I want to know why too much. While I can appreciate recognizing the Nature of things and using them in a fashion harmonious to their Natures, rather than forcing them into some other purpose, I still take too much pleasure in the prospect of being Clever for doing just that. And, goodness knows what I would do if I didn’t have anything to complain about.
Still, I intend to further my knowledge (oh noes, MOAR Knowledge!) of Taoism with other books, and expand that into a general trend toward learning about other Eastern philosophies. In college I was too wrapped up in my WASPiness to even hear about any other way, much less study it on purpose, and even afterward I couldn’t conceive of living in such a simple manner. Now, I can conceive of other people living in such a manner. I still have trouble with the idea of myself letting go of so much, but at least I can read it and think about it without rolling my eyes. Baby steps, you know?
I like this book. It’s simple, it’s accessible, and it’s a quick, enjoyable read. You get the basics of Taoism with some pleasant, understandable metaphors and examples, without the dry, heavy jargon that a lot of books on the subject of philosophy are plagued by. (Not all, mind you, but many. I would go so far as to say ‘most.’) Really, that’s rather the point of Taoism, isn’t it? Simplicity. Doing, not Thinking. Being, not Striving.
Oy. I have a lot of work to not do. Or, I have a lot to Do. Or…uh…wait. I’m thinking about this too much already. Crap.