My Copy: 9781593082567 (image by bookdepository.com)
I admit, this is one of the more approachable religious/philosophical texts that I’ve tried to read. I think part of that is the intro and the translation. That said, much of it is not that hard to grasp, and some other parts are like “whaaa?”
Tao Te Ching has a disputed original authorship, and is associated with Taoism, one of the three classic religions in China (with Buddhism and Confucianism). Its more famous for bringing us the concept of yin and yang, a balance of forces in the world and a sense of harmony.
One thing about this harmony, which is indicated in the text, are the changing pronouns. This religious text is rather female-friendly, or at least acknowledging the “softer” powers as feminine and having a definite place. That’s not the vibe I tend to get from other religious texts (so far). So the pronouns switch between “she” and “he” depending on the item being discussed in each poetically formed chapter.
It does make me want to learn more, I’ll say that…even if some bits of it are a little confusing and I feel a few more references would be useful
Tao Te Ching is not a lengthy read, but don’t let it fool you into thinking it’s ridiculously easy. Like I said, plenty of “whaaa?” moments to get through if you’re totally new to Taoism. Worth keeping for further study and comparison later.