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Tao Te Ching

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  94,517 ratings  ·  3,928 reviews
'Do you want to improve the world? I don't think it can be done. The world is sacred. It can't be improved. If you tamper with it, you'll ruin it. If you treat it like an object, you'll lose it.' Stephen Mitchell's translation of Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching (The Book of the Way) has sold over half a million copies worldwide. In this stunningly beautiful edition of the fundament ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published August 28th 1989 by Vintage (first published -500)
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Flan I like this translation very much. I searched for years until I bought this translation. I like it more than Stephen Mitchell's, I am not familiar…moreI like this translation very much. I searched for years until I bought this translation. I like it more than Stephen Mitchell's, I am not familiar with Le Guin's translation. The photograph that accompanies each hexagram is also well done.(less)
John An online search will pull up a pdf with 8 translations, the Bureau of Public Secrets archive links to many, and there is an Hungarian site (in…moreAn online search will pull up a pdf with 8 translations, the Bureau of Public Secrets archive links to many, and there is an Hungarian site (in English too) which has data on nearly a hundred. So far I found Ursula Le Guin's anarcho-eco-feminist "creative interpretation" congenial, if free. Jonathan Star achieves a balance of the literary and scholarly; his "definitive ed." has transliterations of each ideogram with multiple meanings so you can "assemble your own'! Gia-Fu Feng + Jane English convey the TTC in a popular version many like; I found as have others Stephen Mitchell's influenced by his Zen bent. Like ULG, SM as with many "translators" does not know classical (or modern) Chinese; they both worked from Paul Carus' 1898 transliteration. Red Pine's and David Hinton's renderings show a blend of scholarship and accessibility from two who truly know Chinese. Finally, the classical Chinese is different than the modern version, which makes me wonder if one needs to be a native speaker of modern Chinese to claim translation credibility, as some born-bilingual interpreters insist. P.S. Thomas Merton adapted Chuang Tzu's tales, unfortunately not the TTC. (less)

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4.32  · 
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The book that can be reviewed is not the constant book.

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.
Jun 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm an unbeliever and have been since the first time I played hooky from Sunday services and the Eye in the Sky didn’t say boo. So it may seem strange that I’m reviewing the Tao Te Ching, the widely known and influential Taoist text, written by Lao-Tzu and poetically translated in this edition by Stephen Mitchell. For me, the Tao Te Ching is more folk wisdom than religious treatise and is more useful than a million sermons.

Where the Tao Te Ching parts company with religious attempts at morality
آيين تائو
"تائو" مبدأ و جوهر نهانى جهان را نوعى ظلمت و بى شكلى مى داند كه توصيفش از آن به قدرى به "عدم" نزديك است كه سخت بتوان آن را منطبق بر مفهوم رايج "خدا" دانست.
بر اساس حكمت تائو سالك با رسيدن به اين ظلمت و عدم است كه به آرامش مى رسد: با رها كردن انديشيدن و همۀ دانش هايش، با واگذاشتن "ذهن" و رسيدن به "بى ذهنى" و يكسره متحد شدن با "عين". تائو مى گويد همۀ بلايا و رنج ها و تيره بختى هاى بشر، به خاطر همين "ذهنيت" و توهم "تشخص" است، و در صورتى كه بشر تشخصش را كنار بگذارد، آرامش طبيعت بر زندگى بشر
Ahmad Sharabiani
Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu
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
Sep 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those wanting to hear the other version
Recommended to Dolors by: the voices
Shelves: read-in-2014
“The Tao is always nameless” (Chapter 71)

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
Aug 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Philosophers, Followers of Eastern Thought
This is, by far, my favorite translation of the Tao Te Ching. I own a few others and they're all well and good, but this one is the one I continually read from and refer to when people ask me about the Tao.

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,
Concatenated thoughts. Review #1 ✔ - #2

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 contradicti
Eddie Watkins
There are many translations of the Taoteching, nearly every one of which is probably worth reading, but this is my favorite version. I can’t attest to the accuracy of the translation, but having read so many different translations of the same text I feel like in some strange way I have a grasp of the original; as if a blank space (the Chinese original) has been given shape and definition by all the English versions surrounding it. But anyway... while I like the spare sensitivity of the language ...more
Jun 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm always reading this little book containing the essence of wisdom. For years I've read it again and again, one chapter every morning.
peiman-mir5 rezakhani
دوستانِ گرانقدر، این کتابِ ارزشمند، نوشتهٔ انسانِ خردمندی به نامِ <لائو تزو> است که در زمانِ <کنفوسیوس> بزرگ، در چین زندگی میکرده است... داستانِ زندگیِ او در چین بیشتر به یک افسانه شباهت دارد... امّا آنچه مهم است، سخنانِ زیبا و اندیشمندانه ایست که از این انسانِ خردمند و فرزانه، به یادگار مانده است
در زیر به انتخاب نوشته هایی از این کتاب را برایِ شما خردگرایانِ گرامی، مینویسم
شکست یک فرصت است... اگر دیگری را مقصر بدانی، پایانی برای مقصر دانستنِ د
Issa Deerbany
عرفت الان بعد قراءة هذا الكتاب سر التواضع والاحترام التي تسود سكان شرق اسيا عموما والصين واليابان خصوصا.
التاو تدعوا الى التكامل وليس التناقض.
الفلسفة السائدة في الشرق الأوسط وأوروبا هي فلسفة التناقض:
الخير ضد الشر، السلام ضد الحرب، الليل ضد النهار.....الخ.
فلسفة التاو ان الكل مكمل لبعضه:
فلولا الشر لما كان هناك خير، لولا الليل لما كان هناك نهار، لولا الحرب لما كان هناك سلام.
وتطرقت فلسفته أيضا الى التعامل بين البشر بالتواضع والاحترام وليس قيادتهم والتأثير عليهم.
وكلما قل تدخل الحكومة كلما كانت قيادة ا
Concatenated thoughts. Review #1 - #2 ✔

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
Heidi Parton
Nov 15, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This version irritates me a lot, largely because of Stephen Mitchell's arrogance in writing it (I'll go into that in a bit). This is not a translation (which Mitchell was at least gracious enough to make clear in the back of the book); it's a translation of various translations. The problem with this is that a translation of a translation turns out the same way that a copy of a copy does: while some of the original words and phrases are identifiable, there's a lot that's lost or skewed.

For examp
Feb 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion-other
(review after rereading:)
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
Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
This was immensely interesting to read, though I found myself somewhat aggravated by the passivism that ran through the writing.

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
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
چقدر زیبا و لذت بخش بود، به قول دوستی ، متن کتاب شبیه شعری لطیف و دلنشین هست که آدم دوست داره بارها بخونتش. بخش هایی از کتاب رو که دوست داشتم اینجا قرار میدم :


قبل از تولد جهان
چيزي بي شكل و كامل وجود داشت.
آن آرام است؛ خالي،
تنها، تغيير ناپذير،
بي نهايت، حاضرِ ابدي؛
مادرِ جهان است.
چون نام بهتري برايش نمي يابم،
آن را تائو مي نامم.
در هر چيز جاري است؛
بيرون و درون
و به منبع اصلي باز مي گردد.

تائو پهناور است.
جهان پهناور است.
زمين پهناور است.
انسان پهناور است.
اين چهار قدرت بزرگ هستي است.
انسان از زمين پيروي مي
Farhan Khalid
Sep 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
When people see things as beautiful, ugliness is created

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
Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
گاهی اوقات لازمه که کمی از زندگی هامون فاصله بگیریم و اندکی دورتر بایستیم تا دید بهتر و بازتری نسبت به شرایط و مسائلی که در اطرافمون می گذره داشته باشیم

بعضی وقت ها بهترین کار اینه که از دور و در سکوت شاهد و نظاره گر جریان زندگی مون باشیم. اینکه هر از گاهی مثل یه تماشاچی سینما، به صندلی مون تکیه بزنیم و زندگیمون رو درست مثل یک بیننده و از روی پرده ی سینما تماشا کنیم. وقتی یاد می گیریم که چطور سکوت کنیم و یک نظاره گر خاموش باشیم، وقتی یاد می گیریم که چطور احساسات و قضاوت هامون رو کنترل کنیم و دست
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."

Update: 3.14.18
Third translation I've read, my favorite of the three. I love this book of philosophy. It gives great common sense
Jan 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy-asia, dao
This version of the Dao De Jing, translated by Richard John Lynn, is highly recommended to those who are not looking for the touchy feely Laozi. Rather it is a translation for those interested in ancient Chinese thought. A wonderful translation.

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
Mar 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
This has got to be one of the most perennially beguiling, elliptical things ever written. And it seems all the more mysterious to me because so much of it is couched as this extremely practical, almost Machiavellian political advice. Having been schooled entirely in the western intellectual tradition, with its notions of hierarchy, dualism and progression (historical, socio/cultural or otherwise), this was a complete mind-fuck to me. It sort of reminds me of Heidegger, with those really crazy, c ...more
Onaiza Khan
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is just mindblowing.
Hussein Dehghani
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1
"تائو" یعنی راه و روش یا قانون حاکم بر هستی و حیات و "تِ" به معانی فضیلت، نفوذ و نیروی اخلاق است. این واژه، در خط چینی، از سه نشانه ترکیب یافته که یکی به معنای "رفتن"، دیگری به معنای "مستقیم" یا "سرراست" و سومی به معنای "دل" است.وقتی این سه نشانه با هم گذاشته می شوند معنی "راه سپردن در خط مستقیم درک درونی" را می دهد. "چینگ" به معنی "متن" یا "نوشته" است. پس روی هم رفته تائو ت چینگ را می توان به صورت "متن پیروی مستقیم از راه و روش هستی و حیات به راهنمایی درک درونی (دل)" ترجمه کرد.
تائو ت چینگ ر
The Tao Te Ching is a book that cannot be read directly. Unfortunately, I have little experience reading books indirectly, so I found this a difficult book to read, end even more difficult to discern what was being said by the author.
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
نزدیک به زمین زندگی کنید
همواره ساده بیندیشید
در زندگی خانوادگی همیشه در دسترس و حاضر باشید
وقتی از اینکه خودتان هستید خوشنودید
و از رقابت و مقایسه دست کشیده اید
همگان به شما احترام میگذارند
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, stars-4-0
“A man with outward courage dares to die; a man with inner courage dares to live.”

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
Interesting in that round-about way, the way ambiguous wordplay in poetry tend to be. Overall though it couldn't hold my attention for long. I had to stop and restart a page several times because my mind wandered. It had nothing to do with the content of the writing, but rather the soothing rhythmic "beat" that made it easy for me to not focus. Half the time I didn't even realized I was doing it until I reached a photo page.

This book might be better as an audio. That soothing rhythmic beat woul
A short read but worth taking the time with.

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
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
کتابی بود پر از عبارات ژرف و نغز و پرمعنا و حتی بعضا رازآلود که درون مایه کتاب دعوت به سادگی ، شکیبایی و مهربانی است و میتواند راهنمایی برای زندگی سعادتمندانه و حکیمانه باشد .
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Lao Tzu (Chinese: 老子; pinyin: Lǎozǐ; Wade-Giles: Laosi; also Laozi, Lao Tse, Lao Tu, Lao-Tsu, Laotze, Laosi, Lao Zi, Laocius, Lao Ce, and other variations) was a mystic philosopher of ancient China, best known as the author of the Tao Te Ching (often simply referred to as Laozi). His association with the Tao Te Ching has led him to be traditionally considered the founder of Taoism (pronounced as " ...more
“Simplicity, patience, compassion.
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 others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.”
More quotes…