A classic Chinese text dating from the 6th century B.C., the Book of the Way consists of 81 short poems that unfold the spiritual nature of Taoism, one of the ancient Chinese religions. In describing the universal life force implicit in all things, this work shows readers a path that teaches contentment and balance. The simple language of Lao Tzu's manual on the art of living essentially encourages being humble, temperate, and considerate in the face of life's predicaments. The wisdom of being a part of the Tao leads to a serenity of spirit that improves all aspects of human life, from work to family, difficulties and joys. An essential for the meditation of Taoists for thousands of years, the Tao Te Ching is as beneficial and informative as it is enduring. This edition is drawn from the authoritative translation of James Legge and is interspersed with detailed critical analysis by the translator.