The Tao of Pug
Wilson the Pug is the apotheosis of the breed dog lovers can't get enough of and can't buy enough books about. Irresistible goes without saying-but Wilson is also a descendant of Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu's beloved companion, Pug-tzu, and he has a great deal of wisdom to share as he exemplifies quotations from the Tao Te Ching. In The Tao of Pug his own everyday Taoist lifestyle is captured by Nancy Levine, his owner and a veteran dog photographer, in whimsical word and captivating picture. With his adorably expressive face, comic poses, and trademark yin-yang coat, Wilson's magnetism shows us the big, simple, profoundly spiritual picture through the eyes of a little dog. Pug-tzu, he reminds us, said, "A pug is a pug is a pug. I'm just me, Wilson the Pug. And I'm okay with that."
The Tao of Pug is a must-have holiday gift for the fanatic owners of pugs, for all dog lovers, and for any seeker of insight and humorous charm.
Hello. My name is Wilson the Pug. Long long ago, around 500 BC, my greatest great grandfather, Pug-tzu was living a simple life in China. Along about the same time, a wise old Chinese philosopher known as Lao-tzu was living in the same small village. One day, Lao-tzu happened upon grandpa Pug-tzu in an open field, of which there were many at the time. Lao-tzu had been puzzling for days over some philosophical questions.
When he came upon Pug-tzu, the philosopher put a question to him: "Oh little pug-nosed dog," he said, "How can this seem true, but that also seem true?"
Pug-tzu stared at Lao-tzu for a moment, then cocked his head to the side as pugs are wont to do.
"Of course!" Lao-tzu exclaimed. "You are so right, little dog. 'True sayings seem contradictory.'" The old man quickly scribbled the insight onto some silk he was carrying. And with this, the ancient Chinese book of wisdom, the Tao-te Ching, was born.
Lao-tzu and Pug-tzu became fast friends and constant companions. Taking his cues from Pug-tzu, the wise old philosopher transcribed the eternal wisdom of the Tao (pronounced like "dow," which rhymes with "cow") into the Tao-te Ching. "Tao" means the way of all life. "Te" means the best use of life. And "Ching" means classic text.
Everyone has always wondered what inspired Lao-tzu to write the Tao-te Ching. For centuries, its conception has remained shrouded in mystery and speculation. According to the Tao-te Ching, "The tao that can be described is not the eternal Tao." Words alone are not enough to capture its spirit. So while Lao-tzu was busy writing the Tao-te Ching, Pug-tzu embodied the Tao, right down to the tip of his curly tail, and passed its wisdom down from pug to pug to pug. And now I'd like to share a little of that wisdom with you.
In the pages that follow, I will illustrate the timeless principles of the Tao-te Ching using eighty-one photos--the same number of chapters as in Lao-tzu's classic text--from my very busy life. Each photo is accompanied by a quotation from the Tao-te Ching (with its chapter number in parentheses), along with my own insights and interpretation of the lesson it imparts.
Like you, I have many concerns, daily stresses and conflicts. Some are even a matter of life and death. On my block alone, there's a German shepherd who'd like to churn me into a finely mashed pug paste. How do I cope? you ask. Well, in the words of the Tao-te Ching, "To those who are good he treats as good. To those who aren't good, he also treats as good. This is how he attains true goodness." The Tao reminds me to keep it all in perspective.
So I invite you to suspend what you think you know about scholarly wisdom and talking pugs and go with the flow. As it is written, "Renounce knowledge and your problems will end."
Wilson the Pug
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