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The Tao that can be spoken of is not the real Way, reads a famous line from the Tao-te-ching. But although the Tao cannot be described by words, words can allow us to catch a fleeting glimpse of that mysterious energy of the universe which is the source of life. The readings in this book are a beginner's entre into the vast treasury of writings from the sacred Chinese tradition, consisting of original translations of excerpts from the Taoist canon. Brief introductions and notes on the translation accompany the selections from the classics; books of devotional and mystical Taoism; texts of internal alchemy; stories of Taoist immortals, magicians, and sorcerers; ethical tracts; chants and rituals; and teachings on meditation and methods of longevity.