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Tao Te Ching

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Overview

The Tao Te Ching is a great treasure house of wisdom. Written by Lao Tzu as early as the sixth century B.C. and composed of only 5,000 characters, it has become one of the classic works of spiritual enlightenment. The Tao offers a much-needed alternative to our fragmented, modern ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving. To live life in accordance with "Tao" is to be in harmony with others, with the environment, and with oneself.

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Tao Te Ching: The New Translation from Tao Te Ching: The Definitive Edition

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Overview

The Tao Te Ching is a great treasure house of wisdom. Written by Lao Tzu as early as the sixth century B.C. and composed of only 5,000 characters, it has become one of the classic works of spiritual enlightenment. The Tao offers a much-needed alternative to our fragmented, modern ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving. To live life in accordance with "Tao" is to be in harmony with others, with the environment, and with oneself.

In this evocative and poetic new translation, Ralph Alan Dale has captured the beauty and essence of a unique masterpiece. He translates "Tao" as "the Great Integrity," signifying the return to holism, creativity, and honesty. Following his translation of the complete text, Dale provides insightful commentary on each verse, reprinting the verse on the same page with the commentary. The book is also a magnificent work of art: the elegant Chinese calligraphy and stunning photographs, printed in black and silver, enhance the poetry and stimulate the reader's imagination.

It has been 2,500 years since the Tao Te Ching was written. Yet living generations and those soon to come may be particularly attuned to Lao Tzu's words and their message. In Dale's translation, the Tao Te Ching resonates to our twenty-first century hopes, dreams, and challenges-as though Lao Tzu had written this remarkable book just for us.

Ralph Alan Dale has been practicing, teaching, researching, and writing on acupuncture for thirty years, and has published numerous books on Chinese medicine. He lives in Florida and North Carolina with his wife, Hendrina Ophey.

John Cleare is an internationally renowned photographer, specializing in landscapes and mountains.

The most accessible and authoritative English translation of the ancient Chinese classic. Offers the essence of each word and makes Lao Tzu's teaching alive.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Dale, a teacher of alternative medicine and author of Acupuncture with Your Fingers, offers a new translation of the ancient Chinese text credited by legend to the sixth-century sage Lao Tzu. Relying on several earlier translations from Chinese, Dale lovingly renders the 81 sections into verse rather than prose. Accompanied by Cleare's evocative black-and-white nature photographs, each poem is titled and stands alone. Included are Dale's informed commentaries for each verse that present the meaning of Lao Tzu's words for life today. For example Verse 30, "Defense and Aggression," is interpreted as permitting defense against violence, but never taking revenge or attempting to conquer others through the use of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. One meaning of Verse 49, "Wisdom," is that each human, no matter how compromised and corrupted, has an innate humanity in his or her core. Dale uses the last verse, "The Paradoxes of Life," to summarize the meanings in the first 80. He contends that despite the evil uses that technology has been put to, such as the development of weapons of mass destruction, it is possible to transform this technological knowledge into a mutually dependent system of economy and communications that may be used to meet the needs of people worldwide. This transformation is a way for the modern world to live within Lao Tzu's Great Integrity, a life of harmony with one another. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
It is not often that books of merit in the field of spiritual writing also appeal to the eye and the hand. This version of the well-known Tao Te Ching is indubitably a coffee-table book, but it is as gratifying to the intellect as to the sense of aesthetics. In the principal section of the book, each verse chapter, in Chinese and in Dale's translation, is accompanied by a beautifully subtle black-and-white photograph. At the rear of the book, Dale, a longtime scholar of acupuncture and other fields, repeats each verse chapter and adds his own commentary. There is something unintentionally comic about Dale's Western, reasoned, and multisyllabic commentaries on Lao Tzu's studied simplicity, apparent even in translation; still, most readers will find Dale's insights helpful. For libraries with significant holdings in Taoism. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781613822425
  • Publisher: Simon & Brown
  • Publication date: 2/21/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 92
  • Sales rank: 1,042,122
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.22 (d)

Meet the Author

Laozi (also Lao-Tzu or Lao-tze) was a philosopher and poet of ancient China. He is best known as the reputed author of the Tao Te Ching and the founder of philosophical Taoism, but he is also revered as a deity in religious Taoism and traditional Chinese religions. Although a legendary figure, he is usually dated to around the 6th century BC and reckoned a contemporary of Confucius, but some historians contend that he actually lived during the Warring States period of the 5th or 4th century BC. A central figure in Chinese culture, Laozi is claimed by both the emperors of the Tang dynasty and modern people of the Li surname as a founder of their lineage. Throughout history, Laozi's work has been embraced by various anti-authoritarian movements.
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Read an Excerpt

Tao Te Ching

The Way of Virtue
By Lao Tzu

Square One Publishers

Copyright © 2003 Lao Tzu
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0757000290


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
arrivetogether
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 © 2003 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.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Tao Te Ching - Translation 13
Verbatim Translation 95
Notes on the Verbatim Translation 256
Commentary on Verse I 271
Definitions, Concordance, and Wade-Pinyin Conversion 295
List of Radicals 337
Appendix Some of the Earliest English Translations of Verse One 341
Sources 345
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 47 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(18)

4 Star

(14)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2000

    Good for coffee table

    Good spiritual poetry and pleasing photography

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Very organized and Words are compelling. Tend to make you become a better person. Shows you the ways of life and why certain things are the way they are. Makes the reader calm and focused thinking about what had read. creative sentences.

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    It is the most faithful and satisfying translation for me, a Chinese

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 21, 2010

    An elite work worthy of separate billing from other translations

    As one reads multiple English translations of Tao Te Ching, it becomes apparent how extremely difficult it must be to capture the essence of such a profound and yet beautiful Chinese linguistic treasure. Star has done a superb job of preserving literal accuracy in his text, as evidenced, if one were to doubt, by the copious translational notes. However, he has done more that simply translate literally, and he has also avoided the oft-adopted imposition a poetic imperative to this work.

    Star seems to understand and preserve the simple directness of the philosophic message, without paring away important context and thematic imagery at the most critical junctures. Without being tedious, the translation is thorough and poignant, and without being artsy, it is intellectually rhythmic and resonant.

    Most notably, Star emphasizes the universally accessible wisdom of the Tao Te Ching while skillfully diffusing the mystic and esoteric entanglements that often seem to arise in other translations. In short, he makes Tao most comprehensible to the reader without losing its essential depth and clarity. I would highly recommend this translation to anyone from the curious casual reader to the advanced intent scholar.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    Standard translation-god standard translation with good Art

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2007

    great wisdom

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2014

    An ok beginers guide to taoism, but not the kind of depth on the subject matter I hoped for

    Im not really feeling this one. I think some wu wei wu will be more of what I'm looking for.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2014

    200-300

    &#200&#201&#202&#203&#204&#205&#206&#207&#208&#209&#210&#211&#212&#213&#214&#215&#216&#217&#218&#219&#220&#221&#222&#223&#224&#225&#226&#227&#228&#229&#230&#231&#232&#233&#234&&#235&#236&#237&#238&#239&#240&#241&#242&#243&#244&#245&#246&#247&#248&#249&#250&#251&#252&#253&#254&#255&#256&#257&#258&#259&#260&#261&#262&#263&#264&#265&#266&#267&#268&#269&#270&#271&#272&#273&#274&#275&#276&#277&#278&#279&#280&#281&#282&#283&#284&#285&#286&#287&#288&#289&#290&#291&#292&#293&#294&#295&#296&#297&#298&#299&#300

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2001

    it really makes you think!

    this book, it really makes you think!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2000

    Thought provoking

    The book was thought provoking to look for insight. a book to be read over and over and i still find new thoughts. a good book to tease others into deeping their thought process.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2000

    A good translation

    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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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted June 9, 2009

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    Posted February 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2012

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