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Original Tao


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Table of Contents

Introduction A Textual Revolution "Textual Archaeology" A "Mystical Hermeneutic" The Significance of Inward Training Beyond "Lao-Chuang" Chapter 1: The Text of Inward Training The Literary Genre of Inward Training The Nature and Filiation of the Kuan Tzu Collection The Formation of the Kuan Tzu Collection The Dating and Authorship of Inward Training A Confucian Inward Training? Chapter 2: A Critical Edition and Translation of Inward Training The Critical Edition of Inward Training Technical Terminology Translation of Inward Training Chapter 3: The Teachings of Inward Training A Thematic Overview of Inward Training The Philosophical Foundations of Inward Training Cosmology: Vital Essence and the Way Psychological Dimensions: Tranquility Inner Power, and the Numinous Mind The Practice of Inner Cultivation in Inward Training The Fourfold Aligning The Cultivated Mind The One The Holistic Benefits of Inner Cultivation Chapter 4: Inward Training in the Context of Early Taoist Mysticism What Is Mysticism? The Mysticism of Inward Training Mystical Practice in Inward Training Mystical Experience in Inward Training Mystical Philosophy in Inward Training Inward Training and the Lao Tzu Inward Training and the Chuang Tzu The Stages of Meditation in Inner Cultivation Practice Inner Cultivation and Physical Hygiene Chapter 5: Inward Training in the Context of Early Taoism Towards a Definition of Early Taoism The Six Schools of Ssu-ma T'an The "Techniques of the Way" Inward Training and the Lao Tzu Inward Training and the "Lore of the Way" A New Approach to the Evolution of Early Taoism Inward Training and Early Taoism Notes Bibliography Index

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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.

About the Author

Harold D. Roth is professor of religious studies and East Asian studies at Brown University. He is the author of The Textual History of the Huai-Nan Tzu.


In his rigorous scholarship of textual archaeology and mystical hermeneutics, Harold Roth has given us invaluable insights, the analytical tools and a perspective to examine the religious traditions of not only China, but of the rest of the world as well. -- Franklin J. Woo China Review International Searching for the origins of things remains a perennial favorite of Western scholars. For millennia, this quest has been at the core of innumerable scholarly projects... Harold Roth'sOriginal Tao: Inward Training and the Foundations of Taoist Mysticism continues this time-honored investigation, applying it to Taoist mystical writings, in a search for what Roth calls 'the original tao.' -- John A. Tucker Philosophy East & West Here is a work that does justice to the beauty of this long poem, for so long neglected to the virtually exclusive benefit of Zhuangzi and Laozi... The reader will find in the quality of the textual edition, in the numerous translation discoveries, and in the willingness to provide maximum coherence to this text, a profound and original effort. -- Romain Graziani T'oung Pao An estimable achievement by one of the foremost scholars of early Taoism in North America... powerful and original. -- Paul Rakita Goldin Sino-Platonic Papers

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