The Way of Life
Now available for the first time in ebook form. The vision of Laotzu, who saw the truth of the essential paradox in all things, who know that he governs best who governs least and that he knows most who never speaks, can still be of great help and interest to us today. His way of life was the way of poise, serenity, and complete assurance. His gentle warnings of the futility of egoistic struggle explain much of the quiet strength and perspective the East has and the West needs. Many have attempted to bring the reflections of Laotzu to the Western world. But Witter Bynner’s version is unique in that he, an American poet, approaches Laotzu, the Chinese poet-philosopher, through their common insight, while other translators have been primarily concerned with scholarship. This version of The Way of Life is clear and readable, and Mr Bynner has admirably captured the simple dignity of Laotzu’s language and the profound quality of his thought. Lin Yutang writes: ‘If there is one book in oriental culture which one should read above all others, it is Laotzu’s Book of Tao.’
We have tried hard to track down the estate of Witter Bynner to seek permission to publish his 1944 translation, but have not been able to make any headway. Since we feel this is such a significant work, we have decided to go ahead and publish and set aside our standard royalty in an escrow account in the event that we are able either to make contact with the estate or to pass the royalty income on to a suitable charity.