The Tao Symbols
How to transcend the limits of our symbolism
Symbols have cast a spell over us. Useful for communication, symbols nevertheless place limits on how
we think and even act. Yet, how can we over come this symbol-spell? After all--whenever we begin to
inquire into the nature of that spell--we immediately find ourselves held captive, for it is with symbols
themselves that we must conduct our inquiry. Thus we are forced to wonder what sort of knowledge
symbols are capable of yielding about themselves. Are we eternally confined to the futile activity of
thinking about thoughts, verbalizing about words, and theorizing about theories? Or is there in the very
nature of, or what we might call the Tao, of symbols a vision so immediate, so intimate, and so bright that
we are blind to it?
(with a prelude by Annie Dillard)
In this cross-cultural study, James Powell reveals in text and illustrations how people all over the world have
attempted to emancipate their thought. Citing Zen Buddhism, the Druids, T.S. Eliot, Saint John of the
Cross, sacred writings of the India, Chinese seers, the Hopi Indians, and other diverse examples, he shows
how various societies have sought to transcend the confines of their symbolic codes.
Publisher: William Morrow and Company, Inc.
List Price: US $12.95
Amazon Book Price : US $11.65