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Tao Te Ching
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“Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know.” ― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
Originally written in the 6th century B.C., the Tao Te Ching is an ageless compilation of ancient wisdom.
The review which reviews can be neither full of review nor lacking.
But as the river changes course over seasons must the reviewer neither review nor not review, but follow the constant review.
Where the Tao Te Ching parts company with religious attempts at morality ...more
The Tao Te Ching, also known by its pinyin romanization Dao De Jing, is a Chinese classic text traditionally credited to the 6th-century BC sage Laozi. The text's authorship, date of composition and date of compilation are debated. The oldest excavated portion dates back to the late 4th century BC, but modern scholarship dates other parts of the text as having been written—or at least compiled—later than the earliest portions of the Zhuangzi. The Tao Te Ching, along with th ...more
Trying to narrow down the philosophy of the Tao Te Ching with limiting words is to violate its primordial essence. How can one describe the Universe, the natural order of things, the incessant flowing from being to non-being, the circular unity of a reality traditionally mismatched in dualistic terms?
The Tao Te Ching doesn’t provide answers because there needn’t be questions, just the harmony of moulding to the landscape rather than trying to impose a p ...more
The translation is well done, it captures the nature of the text well, and it flows fairly evenly. It's not overly flowery or ornate, it gives you the basics of what you need to understand the various entries and assist in understanding what Tao is (i.e. the the Tao named Tao is not the great, ...more
They come to be and he claims no possession of them,
He works without holding on,
Accomplishes without claiming merit.
Because he does not claim merit,
His merit does not go away.
The Tao Te Ching is a classical text credited to Chinese philosopher and writer Lao Tzu (6th century) and on which Taoism is based. It consists of 81 short chapters written in poetic form which, using a pithy language brimming with evocative and, at times, repetitive contradict ...more
Things arise and she lets them come;
things disappear and she lets them go.
She has but doesn't possess,
acts but doesn't expect.
The Tao Te Ching is a classical text credited to Chinese philosopher and writer Lao Tzu (6th century) and on which Taoism is based. It consists of 81 short chapters written in poetic form which, using a pithy language brimming with evocative and, at times, repetitive contradictions, provide guidance on how humanity may have a harm ...more
For examp ...more
This book's contents and history have both a sense of vagueness, but not in a bad way, in my opinion. It's somewhat uncertain when it was written (circa 4th-3rd century BC), the author's life details are largely invented, and the existence of the author is not quite certain either (Lao Tzu is just his title, and also it's not known if the text is by one author, or a group of authors worked over some years). It was first translated in the late 1700s, and the oldes existin ...more
It's almost like a poetical treatise on humility, but what of ambition and a drive to make the world a better place? Should we all accept our station in life and never aim to improve? I think not. It accepts things as they are (however they are) and cannot conceive of a better future. Everything should stay the same, and exist within the natural order of things.
But ho ...more
When people see things as good, evil is created
The master leads by emptying people's mind
The Tao is like an empty vessel
It can never be emptied and can never be filled
Master doesn’t take sides
The spirit of emptiness is immortal
The location makes the dwelling good
Depth of understanding makes the mind good
A kind heart makes the giving good
Integrity makes the government good
Accomplishment makes your labors good
Proper timing makes a decision go ...more
I read this translation by Sam Torode every day on my phone, with a hard copy of another translation I will review soon. The simplicity of Torode's translation makes it my favorite so far and lines up with the Taoist philosophy of simplicity. I may consider other works translated by Torode. He has some interesting works out there, such as "The Song of Solomon."
Third translation I've read, my favorite of the three. I love this book of philosophy. It gives great common sense ...more
The Dao De Jing was probably written, by author or authors unknown, in the fourth century B.C.E. and "is primarily addressed to the ruler who would be a sage-king and is mainly concerned with achieving the good society through harmony with nature....". Th ...more
A friend told me that he thought Heraclitus, the Greek pre-Socratic philosopher, was somewhat like Lao Tzu. Heraclitus said "you can't step in the same river twice". He believed that reality was a flux composed of a unity of opposites. I suppose it is possible to c ...more
I really enjoyed mulling over the short passages, and taking the time to re-read them and really think about what the words meant. So many incredibly great lines, full of inspiration.
It will confuse people looking for face-value prose but for the deep thinkers this will really challenge you to think about life in all its intricacies, and to question your own nature. Great read.
Highly recommend for the more spiritually inclined, or those looking for pur ...more
It is by being alive to difficulty that one can avoid it.As much as I wished to write a review for Tao Te Ching, I'd abandoned the prospect of writing a review a couple of days ago. Too many changes over the past few days that I couldn't summon the will to write as I had intended to. To bring a little peace, I opened my journal to write and my eyes fell to the last line I'd written, the line I've quoted from Tao Te Ching, and it almost magically assuaged the tremors of my mind.
Whether Lao Tzu ...more
I’ve had this book for years and only now found the inkling to have a look. It is very slim and can be read quickly, although as all poetry, it takes time to properly ingest...
Lao Tzu seems to like 'twisting' words from noun to verb and vice versa. In that fashion, I was reminded of one of my favourite poems from Emily Dickinson (Much Madness is divinest Sense - 620) and William Blake. These are however quite diff ...more
3 - not collecting treasures prevents stealing.
13- accept disgrace willingly
23- he who does not trust will not be trusted
46- he who knows that enough is enough will always have enough
57- the more rules and regulations, the more thieves and robbers there will be
lowlights: eh, pretty much the whole translation. i guess this version is popular because it has nice calligraphy of the original chinese and BW photos of nature accompanying the english translation. but despite not having read ...more
This book might be better as an audio. That soothing rhythmic beat woul ...more
"Like Stephen Mitchell, acclaimed author and poet Ursula K. Le Guin has attempted a nonliteral, poetic rendition of the Tao Te Ching"
It's nothing like Mitchell's pretty but totally opaque translation. LeGuin gives you readable ideas, arguments in poetry, a philosophy to ponder. Of all the translations I have encountered, this is the only one that gives you a point of entry into the rich treasury of ideas in the Tao Te Ching.
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These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.”
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.”