In ancient China, a revered Taoist sage named Zhuangzi told many parables. In Existential Psychology and the Way of the Tao, a selection of these parables will be featured. Following each parable, an eminent existential psychologist will share a personal and scholarly reflection on the meaning and relevance of the parable for psychotherapy and contemporary life. The major tenets of Zhuangzi's philosophy are featured. Taoist concepts of emptiness, stillness, Wu Wei (i.e. intentional non-intentionality), epistemology, dreams and the nature of reality, character building in the midst of pain, meaning and the centrality of relationships, authenticity, self-care, the freedom that can come from one's willingness to confront death, spiritual freedom, and gradations of therapeutic care are topics highlighted in this book.

part I|46 pages

Emptiness, Stillness, and Wu Wei

chapter 2|15 pages

Wu Wei (無爲/无为)

chapter 3|8 pages

Steadiness in the Midst of Chaos

part II|24 pages

Knowledge and Epistemology

chapter 4|11 pages

Humanity’s Search for Meaning in Existence

A Taoist Epistemology

chapter 5|11 pages

Knowledge and Psychotherapy

Lessons from Zhuangzi’s Parable “When Knowledge Went North”

part III|71 pages

Miscellaneous Chapters

chapter 6|17 pages

On the Power of Butterflies

Dreaming, Waking, and the Therapeutic Potential of Nocturnal Beings

chapter 7|9 pages

Master Hui’s Grave

To Sharpen Your Character, Rub It up against Something Abrasive

chapter 9|10 pages

Dragging my Tail in the Mud

Personal Reflections on Authenticity

chapter 10|11 pages

Plough Deeply

Cultivating Authentic Living

chapter 11|12 pages

Usefulness of Uselessness

Freedom before Death

part IV|40 pages

Autumn Floods

chapter 12|7 pages

Along the Way to Spiritual Freedom

From Rivers to Seas and Heaven to Tao

chapter 14|17 pages

Can You Tell a Dragon Fly about Ice?

Implications of Zhuangzi’s “Relative Gradations” for Therapeutic Care