Cambridge University Press (2004)

Revolutionizing received opinion of Taoism's origins in light of historic new discoveries, Harold D. Roth has uncovered China's oldest mystical text -- the original expression of Taoist philosophy -- and presents it here with a complete translation and commentary. Over the past twenty-five years, documents recovered from the tombs of China's ancient elite have sparked a revolution in scholarship about early Chinese thought, in particular the origins of Taoist philosophy and religion. In _Original Tao,_ Harold D. Roth exhumes the seminal text of Taoism -- _Inward Training _ -- not from a tomb but from the pages of the _Kuan Tzu,_ a voluminous text on politics and economics in which this mystical tract had been "buried" for centuries. _Inward Training_ is composed of short poetic verses devoted to the practice of breath meditation, and to the insights about the nature of human beings and the form of the cosmos derived from this practice. In its poetic form and tone, the work closely resembles the _Tao-te Ching_; moreover, it clearly evokes Taoism's affinities to other mystical traditions, notably aspects of Hinduism and Buddhism. Roth argues that _Inward Training_ is the foundational text of early Taoism and traces the book to the mid-fourth century B.C.. These verses contain the oldest surviving expressions of a method for mystical "inner cultivation," which Roth identifies as the basis for all early Taoist texts, including the _Chuang Tzu_ and the world-renowned _Tao-te Ching._ With these historic discoveries, he reveals the possibility of a much deeper continuity between early "philosophical" Taoism and the later Taoist religion than scholars had previously suspected. _Original Tao_ contains an elegant and luminous complete translation of the original text. Roth's comprehensive analysis explains what _Inward Training_ meant to the people who wrote it, how this work came to be "entombed" within the _Kuan Tzu,_ and why the text was largely overlooked after the early Han period
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy this book Find it on
ISBN(s) 9780231115650
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,959
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Laozi.Alan Chan - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Xunzi’s Theory of Ritual Revisited: Reading Ritual as Corporal Technology.Ori Tavor - 2013 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 12 (3):313-330.
Gender Issues in Corporate Leadership.Devora Shapiro & Marilea Bramer - 2013 - Handbook of the Philosophical Foundations of Business Ethics:1177-1189.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Teachings of the Tao: Readings From the Taoist Spiritual Tradition.Eva Wong (ed.) - 1997 - Distributed in the U.S. By Random House.
On the Thought of Taoist Social Philosophy.Zhe Zhu - 2006 - Philosophy and Culture 33 (6):141-153.
Taoism and calligraphic Art.Rongsen Lin - 2003 - Philosophy and Culture 30 (10):101-120.
The Pocket Tao Reader.Eva Wong (ed.) - 1999 - Distributed in the U.S. By Random House.


Added to PP index

Total views
12 ( #808,813 of 2,504,596 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
7 ( #103,128 of 2,504,596 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes