09 March 2017

Daoism Explained by Hans-Georg Moeller

I have just this minute finished reading this book and would like to recommend it  in this blog's ongoing book thread.

Despite the name, it is definitely not a primer for the beginner, (unless you are new to Taoism but an old hand with either Western or Buddhist philosophy.) However, if you are familiar with the parables and stories from the Chuang-Tzu and the verses of the Tao Te Ching, then you'll find lots of food for thought: reversals, deepenings and wonderful commentaries from later Taoists which I have not found elsewhere. 

I shall reread this in a couple of weeks and make a few more notes, sharing anything that subsequently makes any useful sense... For now post-its will suffice. It was a relief to read Moeller's clear presentation of Taoism's obvious non-humanism, and also the similarities and differences with Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism. His long chapter on the significance of the wheel with its empty hub as a symbol of Tao is excellent. Likewise, the section on the epitome of Taoist behaviour 'you' in Chinese: a sort of spontaneous rambling without a destination in one's natural habitat, was a joy. If you're interested, search online or in The Chuang Tzu for 'the happy fish'.

Wishing you all a peaceful weekend full of 'you-ing'.

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