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Tao Te Ching

by Lao Tzu

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
15,191186272 (4.23)1 / 203
Written more than two thousand years ago, the Tao Teh Ching , or "The Classic of the Way and Its Virtue," has probably had a greater influence on Asian thought than any other single book. It is also one of the true classics of the world of spiritual literature. Traditionally attributed to the near-legendary "Old Master," Lao Tzu, the Tao Teh Ching teaches that the qualities of the enlightened sage or ideal ruler are identical with those of the perfected individual. Today, Lao Tzu's words are as useful in mastering the arts of leadership in business and politics as they are in developing a sense of balance and harmony in everyday life. To follow the Tao or Way of all things and realize their true nature is to embdy humility, spontaneity, and generosity. John C. H. Wu has done a remarkable job of rendering this subtle text into English while retaining the freshness and depth of the original. A jurist and scholar, Dr. Wu was a recognized authority on Taoism and the translator of several Taoist and Zen texts and of Chinese poetry.… (more)
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» See also 203 mentions

English (143)  Spanish (26)  French (7)  German (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Portuguese (1)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  Italian (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (184)
Showing 1-5 of 143 (next | show all)
I thought this translation was excellent, but I didn’t care for the commentary after each section. While the commentary itself was generally insightful, placing it after each section was a bit jarring. Reading the commentary, usually longer than the text itself, kept me in analytical mode, making it difficult to switch back to the intuitive mode often required for the text.
( )
  evenlake | Mar 23, 2021 |
This is a book I try to read at least once a year, usually in a different translation each time.

The Mitchell translation is one of the best I have read. By removing many of the archaic nouns, and replacing them with more modern equivalents, it makes the book more accessible and less mystical than some of the older translations. ( )
  evenlake | Mar 23, 2021 |
I definitely intend to read this multiple times throughout the course of my life. I am studying philosophy at university so the lens through which I read this is very much dominated by that. I got through this very quickly, I'd recommend this to anyone really. ( )
  Neal_Anderson | Mar 21, 2021 |
The text itself reads well, and is basically a set of somewhat paradoxical-sounding or counter-intuitive wisdom sayings. Within the paradoxes or 'appositions' and 'oppositions' lurks a deep insight and illumination on the nature of life and its vagaries. However, one does not understand the highly exaggerated sense of mystery attached to this cult-status text. Much of the older wisdom tracts of world literatures are of this nature, using pithy clauses and aphorisms to drive home a truth. In Sanskrit, for instance, a similar tone is adopted by 'good-sayings' or 'subhashitani', usually in four quarters or 'padas'. Many of the ideas of sufficience, frugalism, under-statedness, self-restraint, 'less-is-more', fullness and emptiness, are contained in different parts of the Vedas and Upanishads. So the Dao appears to me to be one among these first-BC writings. However, the Commentary appended to the translations somehow strikes a jarring note, by being exaggeratedly scholarly, somewhat pretentious, using excessive jargon, in the worst tradition of 20th-century 'doing theory' or the 'self-realization' literature coming our of some our so-called gurus, and in direct contradiction to the minimalist and spare spirit of the tract itself. It's best to just rely on the text alone and work out our own interpretation. ( )
  Dilip-Kumar | Mar 12, 2021 |
Probably the most influential book I've ever read. 1000 words.

"the tao that can be told, is not the eternal tao".

( )
  wickenden | Mar 8, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 143 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (177 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lao Tzuprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Addiss, StephenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ames, Roger T.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blakney, R. B.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blok, J.A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brändli, OdetteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chang Chung-yuanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cleare, JohnPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dale, Ralph AlanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Despeux, CatherineAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Duyvendak, J. J. L.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
English, JaneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ervast, PekkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Etiemble, RenéForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Feng, Gia-FuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hall, David L.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hansen, ChadTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Henricks, Robert G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jerven, WalterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Julien, StanislasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kia-hway, LiouTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Knospe, HansTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Koskikallio, ToivoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lau, D.C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Le Guin, Ursula K.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Legge, JamesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lombardo, StanleyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
MacHovec, Frank J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mansvelt Beck, B.J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miles, Thomas HTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mitchell, StephenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Needleman, JacobIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nieminen, PerttiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schipper, KristoferTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seaton, Jerome P.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ta-Kao, ChuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
TaoLinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ular, AlexanderTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Watson, BurtonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilhelm, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wing, R. L.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winston, WillowIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Who can find a good woman?

She is precious beyond all things.

Her husband's heart trusts her completely.

She is his best reward.

PROV. 31:10-11 (Mitchell translation)
"Venture not beyond your doors to know the world..."
Dedication
TO MY MOTHER AND FATHER (Mitchell translation)
For A. L. K. and J. P. S.
To Vicks. Who can find a good woman? / She is precious beyond all things. / Her husband's heart trusts her completely. / She is his best reward. Proverbs 31:10-11
TO VICKI (Mitchell translation)
First words
The tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. (Mitchell translation)
The way you can go
isn't the real way.
No one actually knows where the Tao Te Ching came from, but this slim book of about five thousand words forms the foundation of classical Chinese philosophy.
I. OPTIMIZING EXPERIENCE:  THIS FOCUS AND ITS FIELD - We will argue that the defining purpose of the Daodejing is bringing into focus and sustaining a productive disposition that allows for the fullest appreciation of those specific things and events that constitute one's field of experience.
The tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.
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Written more than two thousand years ago, the Tao Teh Ching , or "The Classic of the Way and Its Virtue," has probably had a greater influence on Asian thought than any other single book. It is also one of the true classics of the world of spiritual literature. Traditionally attributed to the near-legendary "Old Master," Lao Tzu, the Tao Teh Ching teaches that the qualities of the enlightened sage or ideal ruler are identical with those of the perfected individual. Today, Lao Tzu's words are as useful in mastering the arts of leadership in business and politics as they are in developing a sense of balance and harmony in everyday life. To follow the Tao or Way of all things and realize their true nature is to embdy humility, spontaneity, and generosity. John C. H. Wu has done a remarkable job of rendering this subtle text into English while retaining the freshness and depth of the original. A jurist and scholar, Dr. Wu was a recognized authority on Taoism and the translator of several Taoist and Zen texts and of Chinese poetry.

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Book description
A cycle of short poems, this is a work of world literature and has the significance of the Bible for more than a quarter of humanity. Written in two halves, the "Tao" ("way") and the "Te" ("virtue"), it is treasured for its poetic statements about life's most profound and elusive truths.
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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014044131X, 0451530403, 0141043687

Frances Lincoln Publishers

2 editions of this book were published by Frances Lincoln Publishers.

Editions: 0711229643, 0711214379

Columbia University Press

2 editions of this book were published by Columbia University Press.

Editions: 9622014674, 0231118163

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