Treatise on Response and Retribution
The symbolic legend
of Lao Tze's life records the same spiritual journey taught by
his philosophy, Taoism. Conceived through starlight, he was the
Celestial Essence born under a plum tree. The name Lao Tze not
only means Old Philosopher bu Ancient Child. The plum tree is
the symbol of immortality. At birth he pointed to the tree
saying, "I shall take my name from his tree." His surname is
said to be
Li, or plum; his proper name, Er, means ear.
According to the story, He-Who-Heard-Immortality retired from
active life in the province of Cheu, advising Confucius to do
the same. When it was time to leave Cheu, the Keeper of the Pass
stopped him and requested he write his philosophy. Lao Tze did
this. It was the Tao Teh King, Taoism's paradoxical and
Now, Paul Carus gives the more direct, lighter side of Taoism:
The Treatise on Response and Retribution and the Taoist Folk
Tales. The T'ai-Shang Kan-Ying P'ien also contains the original
Chinese with a separate verbatim translation so the reader may
see for himself how a skillful translator works. The Taoism of
this book is filled with poetic images, animated by a deep love
of nature and stocked with a rich store of good stories. Taoism
has always appealed to artists, and the Paul Carus and D.T.
Suzuki translation will appeal to all.