From Socrates to Thoreau, most philosophers, moralists, and religious leaders have seen frugality as a virtue and have associated simple living with wisdom, integrity, and happiness. But why? And are they right? Is a taste for luxury fundamentally misguided? If one has the means to be a spendthrift, is it foolish or reprehensible to be extravagant? In this book, Emrys Westacott examines why, for more than two millennia, so many philosophers and people with a reputation for wisdom have been advocating frugality and simple living as the key to the good life. He also looks at why most people have ignored them, but argues that, in a world facing environmental crisis, it may finally be time to listen to the advocates of a simpler way of life. The Wisdom of Frugality explores what simplicity means, why it's supposed to make us better and happier, and why, despite its benefits, it has always been such a hard sell. The book looks not only at the arguments in favor of living frugally and simply, but also at the case that can be made for luxury and extravagance, including the idea that modern economies require lots of getting and spending. A philosophically informed reflection rather than a polemic, The Wisdom of Frugality ultimately argues that we will be better off—as individuals and as a society—if we move away from the materialistic individualism that currently rules.
In Chinese, Tao means simply way or path, and the mysticism of the early Taoists grew out of the longing and search for union with an eternal "Way." To attune oneself to the rhythms of nature rather than to conform to the artificialities of man-made institutions (embodied in the rigid hierarchies of orthodox Confucianism) became the goal of Taoist masters such as Chuang-tzü, who refused high office so that he could, like the turtle, "drag his tail in the mud." As the British authority on early Chinese religion, D. Howard Smith, expresses it in his lucid introduction to The Wisdom of the Taoists: "To seek and find that mysterious principle, to discover it within one's inmost being, to observe its workings in the great universe outside, and to become utterly engulfed in its serenity and quietude came to be the supreme goal of the Taoist mystics." In presenting the wide spectrum of Taoist thought and experience, Professor Smith has newly translated excerpts from a variety of mystical writings. He concentrates, however, on the two basic sources of Taoism, the humorous and satirical stories of Chuang-tzu (who lived in the fourth century B. C. in Honan) and the Tao-Te-Ching, a classic of mysticism attributed to Lao-tzü. Eventually, Taoism broadened into a magical folk religion, but the dedication to the inward path, the emptying of self, and the search for the nameless principle that could be apprehended only in quiet periods of ecstatic vision contributed to the Chinese form of Buddhism known as Ch'an--which we in the West know better by its Japanese name of Zen.
"This book offers you an opportunity to internalize and directly experience the great wisdom of the Tao Te Ching, a collection of verses authored by the Chinese prophet Lao-tzu."The words Tao Te Ching translate to ‘living and applying the Great Way.’ Although just 81 short verses, the Tao encourages you to change your life by literally changing the way you think. By reading through the verses presented here (which I’ve pieced together after reviewing hundreds of translations)—along with the corresponding affirmation I’ve created for each verse—you’ll be embarking on a path that encompasses the profound ideas that Lao-tzu intended to convey."The Tao Te Ching offers you Divine guidance on virtually every area of human existence. It is a new way of thinking in a world that needs to recapture its ancient teachings. Work with the verses and affirmations regularly and you will come to know the truth behind the ancient Tao observation: When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." — Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
Over 400 memorable quotes: Coolidge's "The chief business of America is business," Carter's "Whatever starts in California unfortunately has an inclination to spread," Bush's "Read my lips: no new taxes," many more.
A balanced selection from Buddhist writings, including scriptures used by the Zen School, with chapters on the Buddha, Tibetan Buddhism, Concentration and Meditation, the Buddhist Order, and Nirvana. With sources, glossary and index.