• Restores the feminine essence of the Tao Te Ching as well as the simplicity and poetic undertones of the chapters
• Offers commentary for each of the 81 chapters and key Chinese characters to reveal their profound wisdom
• Translated from ancient silk and bamboo slip manuscripts, the oldest known copies of the Tao Te Ching
• Paper with French flaps
In this book, Rosemarie Anderson shares her discoveries of the Divine Feminine Tao alongside her original translation of the Tao Te Ching. Working from ancient silk and bamboo slip manuscripts, the oldest known copies of the Tao Te Ching, the author slowly translated all 81 chapters over the course of two years, allowing each section to reveal its intimate poetic and spiritual nature. To her surprise, she discovered that the Tao was unmistakably feminine, consistently referred to as “mother,” “virgin,” and the “womb” of creation.
Anderson explains how the Tao is a feminine force, the Dark Womb of Creation, the Immortal Void renewing life again and again in ordinary times and in times of crisis. She offers commentary for each of the 81 chapters to help reveal their profound wisdom. The author also restores the chapters’ simplicity and musical undertones, explaining how, in the original Chinese manuscripts, the text is poetic and rhymed because the Tao Te Ching was often recited or sung--yet most English translations are written in scholarly prose with long sentences and complex syntax. She shows how the great Tao’s message of wei wu wei--“act without acting” and “do without doing”--offers a path of peace and well-being for ourselves and for our relationships with others and the earth, a path that arises from spontaneous action that seeks no gain for the self.
Capturing the original feminine nature of this ancient text, Anderson’s translation sheds new light on the esoteric wisdom contained within the Tao Te Ching and on the mystical feminine essence of the Tao.
Anderson (Celtic Oracles), professor emerita of psychology at Sofia University, translates and delivers a fresh take on the Tao Te Ching, keeping an eye on the feminine characteristics of the text. A classical Chinese text outlining the philosophical tenets of Taoism, the Tao Te Ching, Anderson writes, features 81 linked poems that explain how to "act without acting" and "do without doing." Anderson argues this concept of wei wu wei (or "action that is non-action") is inherently feminine, "portrayed as the mother,' virgin,' and womb of creation' " and driven by "tenderness and selflessness." Some of Anderson's evidence is persuasive such as the many metaphors of the womb and mentions of the Tao creating life and justify her approach of using female pronouns to identify the Tao throughout. But others seem less plausible; for example, her assertion that "the capacity to forgive and let go of grievances and excess opinions about the way things and others ought to be" is inherently feminine will strike many as questionable. While Anderson keeps her own commentary deliberately short and foregrounds the translation, the relative dearth of citations or in-depth discussion will frustrate more scholarly readers. Despite this, Anderson's attention to detail and creative interpretations will open this ancient text to a new audience