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The books collected in this volume represent the first time since the mid-nineteenth century that the four seminal masterworks of ancient Chinese thought have been translated as a unified series by a single translator. Hinton's award-winning experience translating a wide range of ancient Chinese poets makes these books sing in English as never before. But these new versions are not only inviting and immensely readable, they also apply much-needed consistency to key philosophical terms in these texts, lending structural links and philosophical rigor heretofore unavailable in English. Breathing new life into these originary classics, Hinton's new translations will stand as the definitive texts for our era. Perhaps the most broadly influential spiritual text in human history, Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching is the source of Taoist philosophy, which eventually developed into Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism. Equally influential in the social sphere, Confucious' Analects is the source of social wisdom in China. The Chuang Tzu is the wild and wacky prose complement to the Tao Te Ching. And with its philosophical story-telling, the Menicius adds depth and complexity to Confucius' vision.
The books collected in this volume represent the first time since the mid-nineteenth century that the four seminal masterworks of ancient Chinese thought have been translated as a unified series by a single translator. Hinton's award-winning experience translating a wide range of ancient Chinese poets makes these books sing in English as never before. But these new versions are not only inviting and immensely readable, they also apply much-needed consistency to key philosophical terms in these texts, lending structural links and philosophical rigor heretofore unavailable in English. Breathing new life into these originary classics, Hinton's new translations will stand as the definitive texts for our era. Perhaps the most broadly influential spiritual text in human history, Lao Tzu's "Tao Te Ching" is the source of Taoist philosophy, which eventually developed into Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism. Equally influential in the social sphere, Confucious' "Analects" is the source of social wisdom in China. The "Chuang Tzu" is the wild and wacky prose complement to the "Tao Te Ching." And with its philosophical story-telling, the "Menicius" adds depth and complexity to Confucius' vision.
Mencius was one of the great philosophers of ancient China, second only in influence to Confucius, whose teachings he defended and expanded. The Mencius, in which he recounts his dialogues with kings, dukes and military men, as well as other philosophers, is one of the Four Books that make up the essential Confucian corpus. It takes up Confucius's theories of jen, or goodness and yi, righteousness, explaining that the individual can achieve harmony with mankind and the universe by perfecting his innate moral nature and acting with benevolence and justice. Mencius' strikingly modern views on the duties of subjects and their rulers or the evils of war, created a Confucian orthodoxy that has remained intact since the third century BCE.
This ancient text records the teachings of Mencius (4th c. B.C.E.), the second originary sage in the Confucian tradition which has shaped Chinese civilization for over two thousand years. In a culture that makes no distinction between those realms we call the heart and the mind, Mencius was the great thinker of the heart, and it was he who added the profound inner dimensions to the Confucian vision. Given his emphasis on the heart, it isn't surprising that his philosophical method is very literary in nature: story and anecdote full of human drama and poetic turns of thought. Indeed, the text is considered a paragon of literary eloquence and style. Mencius' strikingly contemporary empiricism represented a complete secularization of the spiritualist concepts of governance that had dominated China for over a millenia. He invested the humanist Confucian vision with its inner dimensions by recognizing that the individual is an integral part of a self-generating and harmonious cosmos. He saw all the spiritual depths of that cosmology inside us, and this led to a mystical faith in the inherent nobility of human beings. In his chaotic and war-ravaged times, he was therefore passionate in his defense of the people. Indeed, he advocated a virtual democracy in which a government's legitimacy depended upon the assent of the people. Such is the enduring magic of the Mencian heart— full of compassionate and practical concern for the human condition, and yet so empty that it contains the ten thousand transformations of the entire cosmos.
The Heart Sutra is Buddhism in a nutshell. It has had the most profound and wide-reaching influence of any text in Buddhism. This short text covers more of the Buddha’s teachings than any other scripture, and it does so without being superficial or hurried. Although the original author is unknown, he was clearly someone with a deep realization of the Dharma. For this new English translation, Red Pine, award-winning translator of Chinese poetry and religious texts, has utilized various Sanskrit and Chinese versions, refining the teachings of dozens of ancient teachers together with his own commentary to offer a profound word-for-word explication. Divided into four parts and broken into thirty-five lines to make it easier to study or chant, and containing a glossary of names, terms, and texts, The Heart Sutra is a wise book of deep teaching destined to become the standard edition of this timeless statement of Mahayana truth.
This book outlines the status and roles of women in the Daoist tradition from its inception to the present day. It describes the historical development and role of Daoist women in Chinese society, focusing on the different ideals women stood for as much as on the religious practices they cultivated.
The Chuang Tzu has been translated into English numerous times, but never with the freshness, accessibility, and accuracy of this remarkable rendering. Here the immediacy of Chuang Tzu's language is restored in a idiom that is both completely fresh and true to the original text. This unique collaboration between one of America's premier poet-translators and a leading Chinese scholar presents the so-called "Inner Chapters" of the text, along with important selections from other chapters thought to have been written by Chuang Tzu's disciples.

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