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What are some good basic books on Taoism?

I have already read “The Tao of Pooh”, and I am now reading “365 Tao”. I am LDS (Mormon) but I’m extremely interested in Taoism and love the principles. Also can we please keep the answers as informative and open minded, and not turn this discussion into religion bashing? Thanks 🙂


  1. Tao Te Ching – the book that started it all.
    Go to any Barnes and Noble. There are a variety of interpretations, all of them are great. Easy to read, lifetime to understand.

  2. Taoism, strictly speaking isn’t a religion but a world view and a way of life. The best book would be the one upon which it’s founded, the Tao Te Ching (Book of the Strength of the Way) by Lao Tse. Like any great Philosophical work it is many layered and it’s complexities are difficult to translate, so I’d recommend you get several different translations and study them together, read how different sources translate the same passage and then consider the similarities you find. It might also be helpful to try righting down your understanding in your own words as a way of clarifying you thoughts and keeping them for future reference as your studies continue and your grasp of the concepts improves. A mastery of the Tao is the work of a lifetime, but since it addresses only how we live on Earth and not issues of creation or an afterlife it needn’t interfere with your Mormon faith. Good luck!

  3. “The Tao is Silent” is a good explanatory look at the principles of Taoism, and I appreciated the author’s sense of humor. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the author’s name off the top of my head.

  4. Real Taoism(technically that term is wrong since Lao Tzu would be against that) is the Tao Te Ching, which was written by Lao Tzu.
    Others would say the Hua hu ching is a continouasion of the Tao Te Ching, it is a book supposedly written by a scribe of the Kashmir king who was writting down what Lao Tzu was saying to him.
    There is one more book which is even more questionable which is called the Wen Tzu, which is supposedly things Lao Tzu said to one of his students when he lived in China.
    Other Taoist books I consider a waste since they are not what Lao Tzu taught, or even imitate what he taught(such as the 2 books I mentioned that do kind of sound similar to the Tao Te Ching)
    So I recommend only those 3 books. The Tao of Pooh is nothing like what Lao Tzu taught.
    And as someone else said, it shouldnt conflict with your Mormon beliefs aslong as you just read the Tao Te Ching


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