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Tao Te Ching (Everyman's Library)
     

Tao Te Ching (Everyman's Library)

4.3 23
by Lao Tzu, D. C. Lau (Translator)
 

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Written during the golden age of Chinese philosophy, and composed partly in prose and partly in verse, the Tao Te Ching is surely the most terse and economical of the world’s great religious texts. In a series of short, profound chapters it elucidates the idea of the Tao, or the Way–an idea that in its ethical, practical, and spiritual dimensions

Overview

Written during the golden age of Chinese philosophy, and composed partly in prose and partly in verse, the Tao Te Ching is surely the most terse and economical of the world’s great religious texts. In a series of short, profound chapters it elucidates the idea of the Tao, or the Way–an idea that in its ethical, practical, and spiritual dimensions has become essential to the life of China’s enormously powerful civilization. In the process of this elucidation, Lao-tzu both clarifies and deepens those central religious mysteries around which our life on earth revolves.

Translation of the Ma Wang Tui Manuscripts by D. C. Lau

(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The power of the ­Lao-­tzu’s imagery and, ultimately, the simplicity of its message seem to be able to overcome the problems of language and of distance in time and place, so that at the end of the twentieth century, this has become one of the most influential of texts, cherished by people in all walks of life throughout the world.” –from the Introduction by Sarah Allan
Library Journal
Based on contemporaneous texts discovered by archeologists in China in the last 20 years, this new translation of the Te-tao Ching is very readable and enjoyable yet at the same time meticulously researched and accurate. It has a clear introduction, extensive commentary, and complete notes. A library wanting complete holdings on Chinese philosophy should surely consider this first of a five-volume series on Chinese classics that will appear in the next years. Otherwise, it will suffice to have translations of Lao-Tzu, the Tao (The Way), and/or the Tao-Te Ching by some or all of its past translators, including Stephen Mitchell, Wing-Tsit Chan, H.B. Crill, Witter Byner, Feng and English, Arthur Waley, Lin Yutang, and James Legge.-- Kitty Chen Dean, Nassau Coll., Garden City, N.Y.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679433163
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/28/1994
Series:
Everyman's Library
Pages:
168
Sales rank:
572,366
Product dimensions:
5.17(w) x 8.29(h) x 0.58(d)

Read an Excerpt

Tao Te Ching


By Lao Tzu

Everyman's Library

Copyright © 1994 Lao Tzu
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0679433163


Chapter One


VERSE 1


A way that can be walked
    is not The Way
A name that can be named
    is not The Name

Tao is both Named and Nameless
As Nameless, it is the origin of all things
As Named, it is the mother of all things
A mind free of thought,
    merged within itself,
    beholds the essence of Tao

A mind filled with thought,
    identified with its own perceptions,
    beholds the mere forms of this world

Tao and this world seem different
    but in truth they are one and the same
The only difference is in what we call them

How deep and mysterious this unity is
    How profound, how great!
It is the truth beyond the truth,
    the hidden within the hidden
It is the path to all wonder,
    the gate to the essence of everything!


VERSE 2


Everyone recognizes beauty
    only because of ugliness
Everyone recognizes virtue
    only because of sin

Life and death are born together
Difficult and easy
Long and short
High and low--
      all these exist together
      arrive together
Sound and silence blend together
Before and after


* * *


The Sage acts without action
    and teaches without talking
All things flourish around him
    and he does not refuse any one of them
He gives but not to receive
He works but not for reward
He completes but not for results
He does nothing for himself in this passing world
    so nothing he does ever passes


VERSE 3


Putting a value on status
    will cause people to compete
Hoarding treasure
    will turn them into thieves
Showing off possessions
    will disturb their daily lives

Thus the Sage rules
    by stilling minds and opening hearts
    by filling bellies and strengthening bones
He shows people how to be simple
    and live without desires
To be content
    and not look for other ways
With the people so pure
Who could trick them?
What clever ideas could lead them astray?

When action is pure and selfless
    everything settles into its own perfect place


VERSE 4


Tao is empty
    yet it fills every vessel with endless supply
Tao is hidden
    yet it shines in every corner of the universe

With it, the sharp edges become smooth
    the twisted knots loosen
    the sun is softened by a cloud
    the dust settles into place

So deep, so pure, so still
    It has been this way forever
You may ask, "Whose child is it?"--
    but I cannot say
This child was here before the Great Ancestor


VERSE 5


    Heaven and Earth have no preference

A man may choose one over another
    but to Heaven and Earth all are the same
The high, the low, the great, the small--
    all are given light
    all get a place to rest

The Sage is like Heaven and Earth
To him none are especially dear
    nor is there anyone he disfavors
He gives and gives without condition
    offering his treasure to everyone


* * *


The universe is like a bellows
    It stays empty yet is never exhausted
    It gives out yet always brings forth more

Man is not like this
When he blows out air like a bellows
    he becomes exhausted
Man was not made to blow out air
He was made to sit quietly and find the truth within


Continues...

Excerpted from Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu Copyright © 1994 by Lao Tzu. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Lao Tzu (also Laozi) was an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer. He is known as the reputed author of Tao Te Ching and the founder of philosophical Taoism.

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Tao Te Ching 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
AlbertWang More than 1 year ago
I am a Chinese. I like Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching or Tao Te Sutra very much. I searched and read many English translations, but I was always not very satisfied with their translations comparing the original Chinese meanings. After I read this book, I think it is the most faithful and satisfying English version. The translator understood Lao Tzu completely and never gave excess transcendental meanings. I am wondering who is translator of this book, why there is no introduction and the biography of the translator'? I really appreciate if who can tell me the translator with his biography.
everyoneandeveryone More than 1 year ago
This book is mostly cultural. not so modern to think of. but its content are amazing. for example: "...he who knows himself is wise..." this is in fact a relevant sentence. the book contains many more principles of life, and tend to give encouragement to these who feel weak because of the way people's moral are in today's world. very educational. its just like a book of proverbs. Fiknd your way in life, but don't forget to think of others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a standard late 19th century translation by James Legge. The text is easy to read but the Artwork sets it apart. The reproductions are of good quality with the frequent guttering of images being the only complaint; this is the one thing that always flaws an otherwise excellent book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think a lot more people should read this book because it helps people see clearer. Young people should really read this not as a required book but as a book that can help them into their journey into adulthood.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a very good translation. Although there are several minor mistakes, all the basic concepts of Taoism philosophy are correctly translated. If you are interested in Taoism, this book is recommended. The problem of this book is, for general public it is a little too academic.
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Tao is like water. Water is soft but outlasts the hard, finds a lower place and benefits everything.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Translations are always a blizzard of words, as opposed to the steady fall of the original piece. It becomes the translators job to not only communicate the original phrases, but to be as true to the overall meaning as possible. From what I have seen of other translations of the Tao? This piece is much clearer in it's meaning, has a continuity of imagery and phrasing that the others lack. I reccomend!
Guest More than 1 year ago
wow... this is definatly a literal translation, from what i can tell, but has none [NONE] of the actual meaning. if you're looking for an excellent translation, i'd definately go with witter bynner. [see below]
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've reviewed many different translations and this one seems to me to best convey the universality of the comments, without overly modernizing it - in terms of money or success etc. Lyrical and beautiful - buy 2 or 3 great holiday gifts.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has the answers all our seeking to fully understand life as we know it. Read it again and again, learn more and see more. I recommend this book highly.