Advance Review: Tao Te Ching

Within some of the greatest religious texts that have ever been produced throughout the world, one fundamental underlying theme usually inhabits them all, truth. I remember the first time I read the Quran, and I came across the verse:

“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between your affection and mercy. Indeed, in that are signs for a people who give thought.”

This was one lesson I never heeded or understood until I was a full-grown adult. In my younger years, I never looked for a partner but girlfriend. It wasn’t until I got married and found what being in a marriage was supposed to be. I saw it eventually in other marriages including my parents, the balance suggested this Quranic verse. Needless to say, just about every religious text contains “pearls of wisdom” that we can use to guide our everyday lives. In the latest and most easily understood version of the Tao Te Ching, the average reader gets a vast, thorough, and accessible version of this great Buddhist text.

The book quickly dives into humans need to categorize and separate one thing from the other, giving readers both a simplistic and contemporary comparison. This goes for every concept contained within the text, as the reader is never talked down to, but does what every great graphic novel, it makes the concepts visceral. One of the best explanations is contained in “Heaven is forever; earth is ages old,” which dives into the materialism that plagues most of society, and how the enrichment of the soul is more important. In the verse “The soft and weak will be victorious over the hard and strong,” they go over how often strength is confused with durability when being soft is confused with unreliability. Another interesting verse is “The softest in the world dominate the hardest just as you would whip forward a horse,” which reinforces the saying “the meek shall inherit the earth.” In the verse “The Way is the storehouse and kitchen of the Ten Thousand Things,” it speaks to the fact that no one gets anywhere alone in life but is helped by many on their journey. In the last verse that I will highlight is “The Way of heaven does not engage in nepotism,” it talks about how society eventually goes the way of the man that is good, even though those who usually get away with things, only seem victorious in the long run.

Overall, the graphic novel is an extensive explanation of this important religious text which both forms the basis of Buddhism but also has contributed to worldwide philosophy. The presentation by Sean Michael Wilson is engaging, well researched, and very relatable. The translation by William Scott Wilson is thorough. The art by Scott Kwok is alluring and vivid. Altogether, the creative team has made this essential text even more compelling not only for those interested in theology but also philosophy.

Story: Sean Michael Wilson Translation: William Scott Wilson Art: Scott Kwok
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Graphic Policy was provided with a FREE copy for review

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