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Frutto, secondo la leggenda, del pedaggio richiesto da un doganiere al filosofo Lao Tzu, contemporaneo di Confucio, per permettergli di lasciare la Cina, questo testo ha avuto una enorme fortuna, ed e stato tradotto moltissime volte (e in moltissime maniere diverse). E' considerato il testo fondamentale del taoismo (filosofico e religioso).

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This book version: First, it is beautiful with inspiring/matching Chinese artwork including a texture look. Secondly, love that this version has English text with the Chinese text for each chapter every two pages, with the Chinese in the correct vertical from right to left with extra bonus points that the Chinese is done in calligraphy style. Thirdly, a very long introduction proved to be very educational and fitting. Now, the ding – the translation is too casual, using modern language that I personally don’t like, at one point using words like “me, me, me” in reference to selfishness. Hmm, I can read a little bit of Chinese, and I can promise you that’s not what the original text reads! The quotes below should give more flavors of this.Tao Te Ching (TTC), when read with my modern metropolis city girl mind, instructs “The Way”, “The Virtue”, and the “The Coda” as a reminder to the simplicity of life, easily forgotten as we plow forward with our day-to-day to-do list. Contrary to Chapter 41 where “Those who think that the Way is easy will find it extremely hard”, I think the Way is hard and still find it extremely hard! TTC also depressed me a bit (true statement). If life is supposed to be following the way of ‘nothing’, then I sure have been working my ass off for no good reason. If wisdom and knowledge is to be condemned and vilified, then part of my identity is evil. The unspoken expectation, then and now, was simply always be ‘more’, quite not the ‘Tao’. Of course, I’m not taking TTC literally. The complexities of living do not readily allow for it. (Try and explain TTC to the IRS.) Instead, I take from it a few nuggets that are meaningful. Here’s an abbreviated list:Introduction: 1) “Wu-Wei doesn’t mean just sitting about doing nothing. It means ‘being’, it means being receptive, and it means going beyond our egos in what we do and how we do what we do.” 2) “I see the essence of the Tao as poetic, with all that implies, and all we still have to learn – to really be here, and to let go.”Ch1 (Start of Tao): “Following the nothingness of the Tao, and you can be like it, not needing anything, seeing the wonder and the root of everything.” --- Meaning that nothing is something.Ch 2: 1) “Neither future nor past can exist alone.” --- Acceptance and remembrance of who you were and who you have become. 2) “Life is made – and no one owns it.”Ch 20: Seek and want nothing. “What do the people want? Money and things. And yet I find I have nothing, and I don’t care. I am as unambitious as any fool.”Ch 28: Learn to yield, learn to bend, learn to think anew. “Understand the thrust of the yang – but be more like the yin in your being… Be like a stream… Be newborn – be free of yourself…” Ch 38 (Start of Te): Reminded me of leadership, a truly good leader. “A Man of Te rules by Wu-Wei, doing nothing for himself or of himself… A man who rules with compassion, acts through it – and no one even realizes.”Ch 44: “If you’re not always wanting, you can be at peace. And if you’re not always trying to be someone, you can be who you really are.”Ch 67: “I have three priceless treasures: Compassion, Thrift, Humility… These days people scorn compassion. They try to be tough. They spend all they have, and yet want to be generous. They despise humility, and want to be the best.”more
This book version: First, it is beautiful with inspiring/matching Chinese artwork including a texture look. Secondly, love that this version has English text with the Chinese text for each chapter every two pages, with the Chinese in the correct vertical from right to left with extra bonus points that the Chinese is done in calligraphy style. Thirdly, a very long introduction proved to be very educational and fitting. Now, the ding – the translation is too casual, using modern language that I personally don’t like, at one point using words like “me, me, me” in reference to selfishness. Hmm, I can read a little bit of Chinese, and I can promise you that’s not what the original text reads! The quotes below should give more flavors of this.Tao Te Ching (TTC), when read with my modern metropolis city girl mind, instructs “The Way”, “The Virtue”, and the “The Coda” as a reminder to the simplicity of life, easily forgotten as we plow forward with our day-to-day to-do list. Contrary to Chapter 41 where “Those who think that the Way is easy will find it extremely hard”, I think the Way is hard and still find it extremely hard! TTC also depressed me a bit (true statement). If life is supposed to be following the way of ‘nothing’, then I sure have been working my ass off for no good reason. If wisdom and knowledge is to be condemned and vilified, then part of my identity is evil. The unspoken expectation, then and now, was simply always be ‘more’, quite not the ‘Tao’. Of course, I’m not taking TTC literally. The complexities of living do not readily allow for it. (Try and explain TTC to the IRS.) Instead, I take from it a few nuggets that are meaningful. Here’s an abbreviated list:Introduction: 1) “Wu-Wei doesn’t mean just sitting about doing nothing. It means ‘being’, it means being receptive, and it means going beyond our egos in what we do and how we do what we do.” 2) “I see the essence of the Tao as poetic, with all that implies, and all we still have to learn – to really be here, and to let go.”Ch1 (Start of Tao): “Following the nothingness of the Tao, and you can be like it, not needing anything, seeing the wonder and the root of everything.” --- Meaning that nothing is something.Ch 2: 1) “Neither future nor past can exist alone.” --- Acceptance and remembrance of who you were and who you have become. 2) “Life is made – and no one owns it.”Ch 20: Seek and want nothing. “What do the people want? Money and things. And yet I find I have nothing, and I don’t care. I am as unambitious as any fool.”Ch 28: Learn to yield, learn to bend, learn to think anew. “Understand the thrust of the yang – but be more like the yin in your being… Be like a stream… Be newborn – be free of yourself…” Ch 38 (Start of Te): Reminded me of leadership, a truly good leader. “A Man of Te rules by Wu-Wei, doing nothing for himself or of himself… A man who rules with compassion, acts through it – and no one even realizes.”Ch 44: “If you’re not always wanting, you can be at peace. And if you’re not always trying to be someone, you can be who you really are.”Ch 67: “I have three priceless treasures: Compassion, Thrift, Humility… These days people scorn compassion. They try to be tough. They spend all they have, and yet want to be generous. They despise humility, and want to be the best.”more
This book version: First, it is beautiful with inspiring/matching Chinese artwork including a texture look. Secondly, love that this version has English text with the Chinese text for each chapter every two pages, with the Chinese in the correct vertical from right to left with extra bonus points that the Chinese is done in calligraphy style. Thirdly, a very long introduction proved to be very educational and fitting. Now, the ding – the translation is too casual, using modern language that I personally don’t like, at one point using words like “me, me, me” in reference to selfishness. Hmm, I can read a little bit of Chinese, and I can promise you that’s not what the original text reads! The quotes below should give more flavors of this.Tao Te Ching (TTC), when read with my modern metropolis city girl mind, instructs “The Way”, “The Virtue”, and the “The Coda” as a reminder to the simplicity of life, easily forgotten as we plow forward with our day-to-day to-do list. Contrary to Chapter 41 where “Those who think that the Way is easy will find it extremely hard”, I think the Way is hard and still find it extremely hard! TTC also depressed me a bit (true statement). If life is supposed to be following the way of ‘nothing’, then I sure have been working my ass off for no good reason. If wisdom and knowledge is to be condemned and vilified, then part of my identity is evil. The unspoken expectation, then and now, was simply always be ‘more’, quite not the ‘Tao’. Of course, I’m not taking TTC literally. The complexities of living do not readily allow for it. (Try and explain TTC to the IRS.) Instead, I take from it a few nuggets that are meaningful. Here’s an abbreviated list:Introduction: 1) “Wu-Wei doesn’t mean just sitting about doing nothing. It means ‘being’, it means being receptive, and it means going beyond our egos in what we do and how we do what we do.” 2) “I see the essence of the Tao as poetic, with all that implies, and all we still have to learn – to really be here, and to let go.”Ch1 (Start of Tao): “Following the nothingness of the Tao, and you can be like it, not needing anything, seeing the wonder and the root of everything.” --- Meaning that nothing is something.Ch 2: 1) “Neither future nor past can exist alone.” --- Acceptance and remembrance of who you were and who you have become. 2) “Life is made – and no one owns it.”Ch 20: Seek and want nothing. “What do the people want? Money and things. And yet I find I have nothing, and I don’t care. I am as unambitious as any fool.”Ch 28: Learn to yield, learn to bend, learn to think anew. “Understand the thrust of the yang – but be more like the yin in your being… Be like a stream… Be newborn – be free of yourself…” Ch 38 (Start of Te): Reminded me of leadership, a truly good leader. “A Man of Te rules by Wu-Wei, doing nothing for himself or of himself… A man who rules with compassion, acts through it – and no one even realizes.”Ch 44: “If you’re not always wanting, you can be at peace. And if you’re not always trying to be someone, you can be who you really are.”Ch 67: “I have three priceless treasures: Compassion, Thrift, Humility… These days people scorn compassion. They try to be tough. They spend all they have, and yet want to be generous. They despise humility, and want to be the best.”more
Review of Tao Te Ching: Annotated and Explained: I thought that this translation was quite readable, and I appreciated the facing-page commentary. I understand that the translator wanted to point out what distinguishes his translation from all the rest, but sometimes this came across as sniping at other translators. Still, this wouldn't be a bad first Tao Te Ching to read.more
Review of Tao Te Ching: Annotated and Explained: I thought that this translation was quite readable, and I appreciated the facing-page commentary. I understand that the translator wanted to point out what distinguishes his translation from all the rest, but sometimes this came across as sniping at other translators. Still, this wouldn't be a bad first Tao Te Ching to read.more
Review of Tao Te Ching: Annotated and Explained: I thought that this translation was quite readable, and I appreciated the facing-page commentary. I understand that the translator wanted to point out what distinguishes his translation from all the rest, but sometimes this came across as sniping at other translators. Still, this wouldn't be a bad first Tao Te Ching to read.more
Not an "easy" read but very insightful. "Tao Te Ching" is a collection of a poems that are centered around Taoist philosophy.more
Not an "easy" read but very insightful. "Tao Te Ching" is a collection of a poems that are centered around Taoist philosophy.more
Not an "easy" read but very insightful. "Tao Te Ching" is a collection of a poems that are centered around Taoist philosophy.more
DC Lau is one of the elders of TaoTeChing translators. His first translation (out in Penguin) is obsolete, so he has produced a new one. Both old and new versions are provided, and comparing them is interesting and educationalmore
This is a review of the Penguin publication of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu as translated by D. C. Lau in 1963. This is my first time reading anything about the Tao, apart from skimming Wikipedia entries, so I found Lau's 50+ page introduction both useful and insightful. He provides historical context for the work, and offers both the theory that Lao Tzu was a real philosopher and contemporary of Confucius and the theory that there was no "real" Lao Tzu and that the writing attributed to him is really a collection of folk sayings. I also greatly appreciated his interpretations of some difficult passages - the Tao is often concise to the point of obscurity and Lau's ability to bring in historical context to the poetic text is a welcome addition. For example:"... the Taoist precept of holding fast to the submissive lies in its usefulness as a means to survival. This being the case, we may feel that Lao tzu attaches an undue importance to survival. This feelings shows that we have not succeeded in understanding the environment that produced the hopes and fears which were crystallized into such a precept.The centuries in which the Lao tzu was produced were certainly turbulent times. China was divided into a number of states, to all intents and purposes autonomous, constantly engaged in wars of increasing scope and ferocity with one another. For the common man survival was a real and pressing problem." (p.29-30) I found this insight greatly useful when reading the many passages that stress the importance of inaction, doing nothing and basically keeping one's head down and staying out of the way. It also helps to explain the many passages directed towards rulers (translated as "sages") that stress keeping the people ignorant and not rewarding good behavior or displaying wealth since those things spurn jealousy and cause competition and unrest. Basically, the Tao in Lau's translation is not a mystical work but a survival guide for a war-torn ancient China - be quiet, don't do anything, don't want anything and don't invite anyone to start looking in your direction.My personal favourite quotes from the actual text:"Thus Something and Nothing produce each other;The difficult and the easy complement each other;The long and the short off-set each other;The high and the low incline towards each other;Note and sound harmonize with each other;Before and after follow each other." (II - 5 p.58)"When the best student hears about the wayHe practices it assiduously;When the average student hears about the wayIt seems to him one moment there and gone the next;When the worst student hears about the wayHe laughs out loud.If he did not laughIt would be unworthy of being the way....The way that is bright seems dull;The way that leads forward seems to lead backward;The way that is even seems rough. (XLI - 90-91 p. 102)more
This is a review of the Penguin publication of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu as translated by D. C. Lau in 1963. This is my first time reading anything about the Tao, apart from skimming Wikipedia entries, so I found Lau's 50+ page introduction both useful and insightful. He provides historical context for the work, and offers both the theory that Lao Tzu was a real philosopher and contemporary of Confucius and the theory that there was no "real" Lao Tzu and that the writing attributed to him is really a collection of folk sayings. I also greatly appreciated his interpretations of some difficult passages - the Tao is often concise to the point of obscurity and Lau's ability to bring in historical context to the poetic text is a welcome addition. For example:"... the Taoist precept of holding fast to the submissive lies in its usefulness as a means to survival. This being the case, we may feel that Lao tzu attaches an undue importance to survival. This feelings shows that we have not succeeded in understanding the environment that produced the hopes and fears which were crystallized into such a precept.The centuries in which the Lao tzu was produced were certainly turbulent times. China was divided into a number of states, to all intents and purposes autonomous, constantly engaged in wars of increasing scope and ferocity with one another. For the common man survival was a real and pressing problem." (p.29-30) I found this insight greatly useful when reading the many passages that stress the importance of inaction, doing nothing and basically keeping one's head down and staying out of the way. It also helps to explain the many passages directed towards rulers (translated as "sages") that stress keeping the people ignorant and not rewarding good behavior or displaying wealth since those things spurn jealousy and cause competition and unrest. Basically, the Tao in Lau's translation is not a mystical work but a survival guide for a war-torn ancient China - be quiet, don't do anything, don't want anything and don't invite anyone to start looking in your direction.My personal favourite quotes from the actual text:"Thus Something and Nothing produce each other;The difficult and the easy complement each other;The long and the short off-set each other;The high and the low incline towards each other;Note and sound harmonize with each other;Before and after follow each other." (II - 5 p.58)"When the best student hears about the wayHe practices it assiduously;When the average student hears about the wayIt seems to him one moment there and gone the next;When the worst student hears about the wayHe laughs out loud.If he did not laughIt would be unworthy of being the way....The way that is bright seems dull;The way that leads forward seems to lead backward;The way that is even seems rough. (XLI - 90-91 p. 102)more
This is a review of the Penguin publication of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu as translated by D. C. Lau in 1963. This is my first time reading anything about the Tao, apart from skimming Wikipedia entries, so I found Lau's 50+ page introduction both useful and insightful. He provides historical context for the work, and offers both the theory that Lao Tzu was a real philosopher and contemporary of Confucius and the theory that there was no "real" Lao Tzu and that the writing attributed to him is really a collection of folk sayings. I also greatly appreciated his interpretations of some difficult passages - the Tao is often concise to the point of obscurity and Lau's ability to bring in historical context to the poetic text is a welcome addition. For example:"... the Taoist precept of holding fast to the submissive lies in its usefulness as a means to survival. This being the case, we may feel that Lao tzu attaches an undue importance to survival. This feelings shows that we have not succeeded in understanding the environment that produced the hopes and fears which were crystallized into such a precept.The centuries in which the Lao tzu was produced were certainly turbulent times. China was divided into a number of states, to all intents and purposes autonomous, constantly engaged in wars of increasing scope and ferocity with one another. For the common man survival was a real and pressing problem." (p.29-30) I found this insight greatly useful when reading the many passages that stress the importance of inaction, doing nothing and basically keeping one's head down and staying out of the way. It also helps to explain the many passages directed towards rulers (translated as "sages") that stress keeping the people ignorant and not rewarding good behavior or displaying wealth since those things spurn jealousy and cause competition and unrest. Basically, the Tao in Lau's translation is not a mystical work but a survival guide for a war-torn ancient China - be quiet, don't do anything, don't want anything and don't invite anyone to start looking in your direction.My personal favourite quotes from the actual text:"Thus Something and Nothing produce each other;The difficult and the easy complement each other;The long and the short off-set each other;The high and the low incline towards each other;Note and sound harmonize with each other;Before and after follow each other." (II - 5 p.58)"When the best student hears about the wayHe practices it assiduously;When the average student hears about the wayIt seems to him one moment there and gone the next;When the worst student hears about the wayHe laughs out loud.If he did not laughIt would be unworthy of being the way....The way that is bright seems dull;The way that leads forward seems to lead backward;The way that is even seems rough. (XLI - 90-91 p. 102)more
The Tao Te Ching is an amazing book; how does one "review" a text that is thousands of years old, that is so deep and profound, that contains so many spiritual mysteries, and that has effected the lives of so many over the centuries? I won't even try. I will only give my own recommendation and express my own personal hope that everyone will read this book. It can be read in a single sitting, in about an hour, maybe even less; don't do that! Sit and read it slowly -- let Lao Tzu reach through the centuries and speak to you where you are. Every sentence -- every word -- is filled with meaning; sit and contemplate the Tao. I highly recommend this translation; the introduction by Needleman is excellent and extremely insightful and the commentary near the back of the book is similarly insightful and helpful. I also recommend that as soon as you finish reading the Tao Te Ching itself you take up and read Hieromonk Damascene's "Christ the Eternal Tao" --the two should always be read together.more
The Tao Te Ching is an amazing book; how does one "review" a text that is thousands of years old, that is so deep and profound, that contains so many spiritual mysteries, and that has effected the lives of so many over the centuries? I won't even try. I will only give my own recommendation and express my own personal hope that everyone will read this book. It can be read in a single sitting, in about an hour, maybe even less; don't do that! Sit and read it slowly -- let Lao Tzu reach through the centuries and speak to you where you are. Every sentence -- every word -- is filled with meaning; sit and contemplate the Tao. I highly recommend this translation; the introduction by Needleman is excellent and extremely insightful and the commentary near the back of the book is similarly insightful and helpful. I also recommend that as soon as you finish reading the Tao Te Ching itself you take up and read Hieromonk Damascene's "Christ the Eternal Tao" --the two should always be read together.more
The Tao Te Ching is an amazing book; how does one "review" a text that is thousands of years old, that is so deep and profound, that contains so many spiritual mysteries, and that has effected the lives of so many over the centuries? I won't even try. I will only give my own recommendation and express my own personal hope that everyone will read this book. It can be read in a single sitting, in about an hour, maybe even less; don't do that! Sit and read it slowly -- let Lao Tzu reach through the centuries and speak to you where you are. Every sentence -- every word -- is filled with meaning; sit and contemplate the Tao. I highly recommend this translation; the introduction by Needleman is excellent and extremely insightful and the commentary near the back of the book is similarly insightful and helpful. I also recommend that as soon as you finish reading the Tao Te Ching itself you take up and read Hieromonk Damascene's "Christ the Eternal Tao" --the two should always be read together.more
I'm not grandiose enough to review the content, but this is the most readable translation I've come across, and print quality is great.more
I'm not grandiose enough to review the content, but this is the most readable translation I've come across, and print quality is great.more
I'm not grandiose enough to review the content, but this is the most readable translation I've come across, and print quality is great.more
Excellent encouragement for those trying to lead peaceful, harmonious lives.more
Excellent encouragement for those trying to lead peaceful, harmonious lives.more
Excellent encouragement for those trying to lead peaceful, harmonious lives.more
A beautifully illustrated and poetically translated version of the Tao Te Ching from Stephen Mitchell.more
A beautifully illustrated and poetically translated version of the Tao Te Ching from Stephen Mitchell.more
A beautifully illustrated and poetically translated version of the Tao Te Ching from Stephen Mitchell.more
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Reviews

This book version: First, it is beautiful with inspiring/matching Chinese artwork including a texture look. Secondly, love that this version has English text with the Chinese text for each chapter every two pages, with the Chinese in the correct vertical from right to left with extra bonus points that the Chinese is done in calligraphy style. Thirdly, a very long introduction proved to be very educational and fitting. Now, the ding – the translation is too casual, using modern language that I personally don’t like, at one point using words like “me, me, me” in reference to selfishness. Hmm, I can read a little bit of Chinese, and I can promise you that’s not what the original text reads! The quotes below should give more flavors of this.Tao Te Ching (TTC), when read with my modern metropolis city girl mind, instructs “The Way”, “The Virtue”, and the “The Coda” as a reminder to the simplicity of life, easily forgotten as we plow forward with our day-to-day to-do list. Contrary to Chapter 41 where “Those who think that the Way is easy will find it extremely hard”, I think the Way is hard and still find it extremely hard! TTC also depressed me a bit (true statement). If life is supposed to be following the way of ‘nothing’, then I sure have been working my ass off for no good reason. If wisdom and knowledge is to be condemned and vilified, then part of my identity is evil. The unspoken expectation, then and now, was simply always be ‘more’, quite not the ‘Tao’. Of course, I’m not taking TTC literally. The complexities of living do not readily allow for it. (Try and explain TTC to the IRS.) Instead, I take from it a few nuggets that are meaningful. Here’s an abbreviated list:Introduction: 1) “Wu-Wei doesn’t mean just sitting about doing nothing. It means ‘being’, it means being receptive, and it means going beyond our egos in what we do and how we do what we do.” 2) “I see the essence of the Tao as poetic, with all that implies, and all we still have to learn – to really be here, and to let go.”Ch1 (Start of Tao): “Following the nothingness of the Tao, and you can be like it, not needing anything, seeing the wonder and the root of everything.” --- Meaning that nothing is something.Ch 2: 1) “Neither future nor past can exist alone.” --- Acceptance and remembrance of who you were and who you have become. 2) “Life is made – and no one owns it.”Ch 20: Seek and want nothing. “What do the people want? Money and things. And yet I find I have nothing, and I don’t care. I am as unambitious as any fool.”Ch 28: Learn to yield, learn to bend, learn to think anew. “Understand the thrust of the yang – but be more like the yin in your being… Be like a stream… Be newborn – be free of yourself…” Ch 38 (Start of Te): Reminded me of leadership, a truly good leader. “A Man of Te rules by Wu-Wei, doing nothing for himself or of himself… A man who rules with compassion, acts through it – and no one even realizes.”Ch 44: “If you’re not always wanting, you can be at peace. And if you’re not always trying to be someone, you can be who you really are.”Ch 67: “I have three priceless treasures: Compassion, Thrift, Humility… These days people scorn compassion. They try to be tough. They spend all they have, and yet want to be generous. They despise humility, and want to be the best.”more
This book version: First, it is beautiful with inspiring/matching Chinese artwork including a texture look. Secondly, love that this version has English text with the Chinese text for each chapter every two pages, with the Chinese in the correct vertical from right to left with extra bonus points that the Chinese is done in calligraphy style. Thirdly, a very long introduction proved to be very educational and fitting. Now, the ding – the translation is too casual, using modern language that I personally don’t like, at one point using words like “me, me, me” in reference to selfishness. Hmm, I can read a little bit of Chinese, and I can promise you that’s not what the original text reads! The quotes below should give more flavors of this.Tao Te Ching (TTC), when read with my modern metropolis city girl mind, instructs “The Way”, “The Virtue”, and the “The Coda” as a reminder to the simplicity of life, easily forgotten as we plow forward with our day-to-day to-do list. Contrary to Chapter 41 where “Those who think that the Way is easy will find it extremely hard”, I think the Way is hard and still find it extremely hard! TTC also depressed me a bit (true statement). If life is supposed to be following the way of ‘nothing’, then I sure have been working my ass off for no good reason. If wisdom and knowledge is to be condemned and vilified, then part of my identity is evil. The unspoken expectation, then and now, was simply always be ‘more’, quite not the ‘Tao’. Of course, I’m not taking TTC literally. The complexities of living do not readily allow for it. (Try and explain TTC to the IRS.) Instead, I take from it a few nuggets that are meaningful. Here’s an abbreviated list:Introduction: 1) “Wu-Wei doesn’t mean just sitting about doing nothing. It means ‘being’, it means being receptive, and it means going beyond our egos in what we do and how we do what we do.” 2) “I see the essence of the Tao as poetic, with all that implies, and all we still have to learn – to really be here, and to let go.”Ch1 (Start of Tao): “Following the nothingness of the Tao, and you can be like it, not needing anything, seeing the wonder and the root of everything.” --- Meaning that nothing is something.Ch 2: 1) “Neither future nor past can exist alone.” --- Acceptance and remembrance of who you were and who you have become. 2) “Life is made – and no one owns it.”Ch 20: Seek and want nothing. “What do the people want? Money and things. And yet I find I have nothing, and I don’t care. I am as unambitious as any fool.”Ch 28: Learn to yield, learn to bend, learn to think anew. “Understand the thrust of the yang – but be more like the yin in your being… Be like a stream… Be newborn – be free of yourself…” Ch 38 (Start of Te): Reminded me of leadership, a truly good leader. “A Man of Te rules by Wu-Wei, doing nothing for himself or of himself… A man who rules with compassion, acts through it – and no one even realizes.”Ch 44: “If you’re not always wanting, you can be at peace. And if you’re not always trying to be someone, you can be who you really are.”Ch 67: “I have three priceless treasures: Compassion, Thrift, Humility… These days people scorn compassion. They try to be tough. They spend all they have, and yet want to be generous. They despise humility, and want to be the best.”more
This book version: First, it is beautiful with inspiring/matching Chinese artwork including a texture look. Secondly, love that this version has English text with the Chinese text for each chapter every two pages, with the Chinese in the correct vertical from right to left with extra bonus points that the Chinese is done in calligraphy style. Thirdly, a very long introduction proved to be very educational and fitting. Now, the ding – the translation is too casual, using modern language that I personally don’t like, at one point using words like “me, me, me” in reference to selfishness. Hmm, I can read a little bit of Chinese, and I can promise you that’s not what the original text reads! The quotes below should give more flavors of this.Tao Te Ching (TTC), when read with my modern metropolis city girl mind, instructs “The Way”, “The Virtue”, and the “The Coda” as a reminder to the simplicity of life, easily forgotten as we plow forward with our day-to-day to-do list. Contrary to Chapter 41 where “Those who think that the Way is easy will find it extremely hard”, I think the Way is hard and still find it extremely hard! TTC also depressed me a bit (true statement). If life is supposed to be following the way of ‘nothing’, then I sure have been working my ass off for no good reason. If wisdom and knowledge is to be condemned and vilified, then part of my identity is evil. The unspoken expectation, then and now, was simply always be ‘more’, quite not the ‘Tao’. Of course, I’m not taking TTC literally. The complexities of living do not readily allow for it. (Try and explain TTC to the IRS.) Instead, I take from it a few nuggets that are meaningful. Here’s an abbreviated list:Introduction: 1) “Wu-Wei doesn’t mean just sitting about doing nothing. It means ‘being’, it means being receptive, and it means going beyond our egos in what we do and how we do what we do.” 2) “I see the essence of the Tao as poetic, with all that implies, and all we still have to learn – to really be here, and to let go.”Ch1 (Start of Tao): “Following the nothingness of the Tao, and you can be like it, not needing anything, seeing the wonder and the root of everything.” --- Meaning that nothing is something.Ch 2: 1) “Neither future nor past can exist alone.” --- Acceptance and remembrance of who you were and who you have become. 2) “Life is made – and no one owns it.”Ch 20: Seek and want nothing. “What do the people want? Money and things. And yet I find I have nothing, and I don’t care. I am as unambitious as any fool.”Ch 28: Learn to yield, learn to bend, learn to think anew. “Understand the thrust of the yang – but be more like the yin in your being… Be like a stream… Be newborn – be free of yourself…” Ch 38 (Start of Te): Reminded me of leadership, a truly good leader. “A Man of Te rules by Wu-Wei, doing nothing for himself or of himself… A man who rules with compassion, acts through it – and no one even realizes.”Ch 44: “If you’re not always wanting, you can be at peace. And if you’re not always trying to be someone, you can be who you really are.”Ch 67: “I have three priceless treasures: Compassion, Thrift, Humility… These days people scorn compassion. They try to be tough. They spend all they have, and yet want to be generous. They despise humility, and want to be the best.”more
Review of Tao Te Ching: Annotated and Explained: I thought that this translation was quite readable, and I appreciated the facing-page commentary. I understand that the translator wanted to point out what distinguishes his translation from all the rest, but sometimes this came across as sniping at other translators. Still, this wouldn't be a bad first Tao Te Ching to read.more
Review of Tao Te Ching: Annotated and Explained: I thought that this translation was quite readable, and I appreciated the facing-page commentary. I understand that the translator wanted to point out what distinguishes his translation from all the rest, but sometimes this came across as sniping at other translators. Still, this wouldn't be a bad first Tao Te Ching to read.more
Review of Tao Te Ching: Annotated and Explained: I thought that this translation was quite readable, and I appreciated the facing-page commentary. I understand that the translator wanted to point out what distinguishes his translation from all the rest, but sometimes this came across as sniping at other translators. Still, this wouldn't be a bad first Tao Te Ching to read.more
Not an "easy" read but very insightful. "Tao Te Ching" is a collection of a poems that are centered around Taoist philosophy.more
Not an "easy" read but very insightful. "Tao Te Ching" is a collection of a poems that are centered around Taoist philosophy.more
Not an "easy" read but very insightful. "Tao Te Ching" is a collection of a poems that are centered around Taoist philosophy.more
DC Lau is one of the elders of TaoTeChing translators. His first translation (out in Penguin) is obsolete, so he has produced a new one. Both old and new versions are provided, and comparing them is interesting and educationalmore
This is a review of the Penguin publication of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu as translated by D. C. Lau in 1963. This is my first time reading anything about the Tao, apart from skimming Wikipedia entries, so I found Lau's 50+ page introduction both useful and insightful. He provides historical context for the work, and offers both the theory that Lao Tzu was a real philosopher and contemporary of Confucius and the theory that there was no "real" Lao Tzu and that the writing attributed to him is really a collection of folk sayings. I also greatly appreciated his interpretations of some difficult passages - the Tao is often concise to the point of obscurity and Lau's ability to bring in historical context to the poetic text is a welcome addition. For example:"... the Taoist precept of holding fast to the submissive lies in its usefulness as a means to survival. This being the case, we may feel that Lao tzu attaches an undue importance to survival. This feelings shows that we have not succeeded in understanding the environment that produced the hopes and fears which were crystallized into such a precept.The centuries in which the Lao tzu was produced were certainly turbulent times. China was divided into a number of states, to all intents and purposes autonomous, constantly engaged in wars of increasing scope and ferocity with one another. For the common man survival was a real and pressing problem." (p.29-30) I found this insight greatly useful when reading the many passages that stress the importance of inaction, doing nothing and basically keeping one's head down and staying out of the way. It also helps to explain the many passages directed towards rulers (translated as "sages") that stress keeping the people ignorant and not rewarding good behavior or displaying wealth since those things spurn jealousy and cause competition and unrest. Basically, the Tao in Lau's translation is not a mystical work but a survival guide for a war-torn ancient China - be quiet, don't do anything, don't want anything and don't invite anyone to start looking in your direction.My personal favourite quotes from the actual text:"Thus Something and Nothing produce each other;The difficult and the easy complement each other;The long and the short off-set each other;The high and the low incline towards each other;Note and sound harmonize with each other;Before and after follow each other." (II - 5 p.58)"When the best student hears about the wayHe practices it assiduously;When the average student hears about the wayIt seems to him one moment there and gone the next;When the worst student hears about the wayHe laughs out loud.If he did not laughIt would be unworthy of being the way....The way that is bright seems dull;The way that leads forward seems to lead backward;The way that is even seems rough. (XLI - 90-91 p. 102)more
This is a review of the Penguin publication of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu as translated by D. C. Lau in 1963. This is my first time reading anything about the Tao, apart from skimming Wikipedia entries, so I found Lau's 50+ page introduction both useful and insightful. He provides historical context for the work, and offers both the theory that Lao Tzu was a real philosopher and contemporary of Confucius and the theory that there was no "real" Lao Tzu and that the writing attributed to him is really a collection of folk sayings. I also greatly appreciated his interpretations of some difficult passages - the Tao is often concise to the point of obscurity and Lau's ability to bring in historical context to the poetic text is a welcome addition. For example:"... the Taoist precept of holding fast to the submissive lies in its usefulness as a means to survival. This being the case, we may feel that Lao tzu attaches an undue importance to survival. This feelings shows that we have not succeeded in understanding the environment that produced the hopes and fears which were crystallized into such a precept.The centuries in which the Lao tzu was produced were certainly turbulent times. China was divided into a number of states, to all intents and purposes autonomous, constantly engaged in wars of increasing scope and ferocity with one another. For the common man survival was a real and pressing problem." (p.29-30) I found this insight greatly useful when reading the many passages that stress the importance of inaction, doing nothing and basically keeping one's head down and staying out of the way. It also helps to explain the many passages directed towards rulers (translated as "sages") that stress keeping the people ignorant and not rewarding good behavior or displaying wealth since those things spurn jealousy and cause competition and unrest. Basically, the Tao in Lau's translation is not a mystical work but a survival guide for a war-torn ancient China - be quiet, don't do anything, don't want anything and don't invite anyone to start looking in your direction.My personal favourite quotes from the actual text:"Thus Something and Nothing produce each other;The difficult and the easy complement each other;The long and the short off-set each other;The high and the low incline towards each other;Note and sound harmonize with each other;Before and after follow each other." (II - 5 p.58)"When the best student hears about the wayHe practices it assiduously;When the average student hears about the wayIt seems to him one moment there and gone the next;When the worst student hears about the wayHe laughs out loud.If he did not laughIt would be unworthy of being the way....The way that is bright seems dull;The way that leads forward seems to lead backward;The way that is even seems rough. (XLI - 90-91 p. 102)more
This is a review of the Penguin publication of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu as translated by D. C. Lau in 1963. This is my first time reading anything about the Tao, apart from skimming Wikipedia entries, so I found Lau's 50+ page introduction both useful and insightful. He provides historical context for the work, and offers both the theory that Lao Tzu was a real philosopher and contemporary of Confucius and the theory that there was no "real" Lao Tzu and that the writing attributed to him is really a collection of folk sayings. I also greatly appreciated his interpretations of some difficult passages - the Tao is often concise to the point of obscurity and Lau's ability to bring in historical context to the poetic text is a welcome addition. For example:"... the Taoist precept of holding fast to the submissive lies in its usefulness as a means to survival. This being the case, we may feel that Lao tzu attaches an undue importance to survival. This feelings shows that we have not succeeded in understanding the environment that produced the hopes and fears which were crystallized into such a precept.The centuries in which the Lao tzu was produced were certainly turbulent times. China was divided into a number of states, to all intents and purposes autonomous, constantly engaged in wars of increasing scope and ferocity with one another. For the common man survival was a real and pressing problem." (p.29-30) I found this insight greatly useful when reading the many passages that stress the importance of inaction, doing nothing and basically keeping one's head down and staying out of the way. It also helps to explain the many passages directed towards rulers (translated as "sages") that stress keeping the people ignorant and not rewarding good behavior or displaying wealth since those things spurn jealousy and cause competition and unrest. Basically, the Tao in Lau's translation is not a mystical work but a survival guide for a war-torn ancient China - be quiet, don't do anything, don't want anything and don't invite anyone to start looking in your direction.My personal favourite quotes from the actual text:"Thus Something and Nothing produce each other;The difficult and the easy complement each other;The long and the short off-set each other;The high and the low incline towards each other;Note and sound harmonize with each other;Before and after follow each other." (II - 5 p.58)"When the best student hears about the wayHe practices it assiduously;When the average student hears about the wayIt seems to him one moment there and gone the next;When the worst student hears about the wayHe laughs out loud.If he did not laughIt would be unworthy of being the way....The way that is bright seems dull;The way that leads forward seems to lead backward;The way that is even seems rough. (XLI - 90-91 p. 102)more
The Tao Te Ching is an amazing book; how does one "review" a text that is thousands of years old, that is so deep and profound, that contains so many spiritual mysteries, and that has effected the lives of so many over the centuries? I won't even try. I will only give my own recommendation and express my own personal hope that everyone will read this book. It can be read in a single sitting, in about an hour, maybe even less; don't do that! Sit and read it slowly -- let Lao Tzu reach through the centuries and speak to you where you are. Every sentence -- every word -- is filled with meaning; sit and contemplate the Tao. I highly recommend this translation; the introduction by Needleman is excellent and extremely insightful and the commentary near the back of the book is similarly insightful and helpful. I also recommend that as soon as you finish reading the Tao Te Ching itself you take up and read Hieromonk Damascene's "Christ the Eternal Tao" --the two should always be read together.more
The Tao Te Ching is an amazing book; how does one "review" a text that is thousands of years old, that is so deep and profound, that contains so many spiritual mysteries, and that has effected the lives of so many over the centuries? I won't even try. I will only give my own recommendation and express my own personal hope that everyone will read this book. It can be read in a single sitting, in about an hour, maybe even less; don't do that! Sit and read it slowly -- let Lao Tzu reach through the centuries and speak to you where you are. Every sentence -- every word -- is filled with meaning; sit and contemplate the Tao. I highly recommend this translation; the introduction by Needleman is excellent and extremely insightful and the commentary near the back of the book is similarly insightful and helpful. I also recommend that as soon as you finish reading the Tao Te Ching itself you take up and read Hieromonk Damascene's "Christ the Eternal Tao" --the two should always be read together.more
The Tao Te Ching is an amazing book; how does one "review" a text that is thousands of years old, that is so deep and profound, that contains so many spiritual mysteries, and that has effected the lives of so many over the centuries? I won't even try. I will only give my own recommendation and express my own personal hope that everyone will read this book. It can be read in a single sitting, in about an hour, maybe even less; don't do that! Sit and read it slowly -- let Lao Tzu reach through the centuries and speak to you where you are. Every sentence -- every word -- is filled with meaning; sit and contemplate the Tao. I highly recommend this translation; the introduction by Needleman is excellent and extremely insightful and the commentary near the back of the book is similarly insightful and helpful. I also recommend that as soon as you finish reading the Tao Te Ching itself you take up and read Hieromonk Damascene's "Christ the Eternal Tao" --the two should always be read together.more
I'm not grandiose enough to review the content, but this is the most readable translation I've come across, and print quality is great.more
I'm not grandiose enough to review the content, but this is the most readable translation I've come across, and print quality is great.more
I'm not grandiose enough to review the content, but this is the most readable translation I've come across, and print quality is great.more
Excellent encouragement for those trying to lead peaceful, harmonious lives.more
Excellent encouragement for those trying to lead peaceful, harmonious lives.more
Excellent encouragement for those trying to lead peaceful, harmonious lives.more
A beautifully illustrated and poetically translated version of the Tao Te Ching from Stephen Mitchell.more
A beautifully illustrated and poetically translated version of the Tao Te Ching from Stephen Mitchell.more
A beautifully illustrated and poetically translated version of the Tao Te Ching from Stephen Mitchell.more
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