According to Richard John Lynn, professor of Chinese thought and literature at the University of Toronto, the Tao-te Ching has over the centuries been interpreted as a political treatise, inspirational guide of personal philosophy, and a holy book of religious teachings. This paperback presents Lynn's translation of this classic that consists of less than 5,000 words, along with an interpretive commentary by the third-century scholar Wang Bi (226-249).

Wang Bi was fascinated with the philosophical dimensions of the Tao-te Ching. In 81 short, aphoristic sections, he explores the ways a sage leads in perilous times by going with the flow of the natural world. Whether writing about the different levels of goodness, the practice of impartiality, staying free of worry, the art of stepping aside, behaving with humility, or avoiding self-importance, Wang Bi challenges us to appreciate the many paradoxes in the Tao-te Ching and to warmly embrace its wisdom in the ordinary rounds of our everyday lives.