The Tao Te Ching: 81 Verses by Lao Tzu with Introduction and Commentary

The Tao Te Ching: 81 Verses by Lao Tzu with Introduction and Commentary

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Overview

Tao Te Ching translates very roughly as "the way of integrity". In its 81 verses it delivers a treatise on how to live in the world with goodness and integrity: an important kind of wisdom in a world where many people believe such a thing to be impossible. Taosim affirms that each human being is a reflection of the whole universe, a microcosm within the macrocosm, and that all of us live under the same cosmic laws of the Tao. The Taoist follows the path of non-action (Wu Wei), flowing with the constantly changing stream of life, and trying to live in universal harmony and balance. The easily assimiliated aphorisms in this great book are a continuous source of spiritual guidance and nourishment, and its insights on statesmanship are practical guides for our own time. Ralph Alan Dale's brilliant translation uniquely captures, as never before, the essential meaning of this profound text, and makes it entirely relevant to today's readers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781786780287
Publisher: Watkins Media
Publication date: 07/11/2017
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 584,649
Product dimensions: 4.30(w) x 6.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Ralph Alan Dale (1920–2006) was an authority on Chinese medicine and culture with a specialist interest in the Tao Te Ching and the principles of macro-micro relationships. He has published more than 70 books, videos and audiobooks.

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.

Table of Contents

Introductionvii
Book 13
Book 243
List of Passages for Comparison89
Appendices
1The Problem of Authorship90
2The Nature of the Work104
Chronological Table115
Glossary116
Notes126

Customer Reviews

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Tao Te Ching 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was very disappointed after bringing this book home. Not only does the author provide you with a pre-packaged understandings and assumptions ripe for today's 'spiritualist' culture, but the translation itself is troublesome. It is clear that this author's own interpretation of the 'tao' comes ringing all too clear through the translation. Moreover, I found the change of pronouns to 'she' and 'her' as suspect, suggesting to me that other non-PC aspects of this work might also be edited out. Just give me the translation as acurately as possible. I rated this 'disappointing' though not a complete loss.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the first time I ever studied the classic of philosophy, the 'Tao Te Ching.' The notes by Yi-Ping Ong are exceedingly helpful, especially considering that I am a silly Westerner that is positively ignorant about Chinese history and culture. Her introduction was also extremely enlightening and allowed even a novice to grasp the major principles of Lao Tzu's philosophy. The translation by Charles Muller was easy to understand (but I cannot compare it to other translations). An excellent book and a truly wondrous philosophy! I wish I could give it an infinite number of stars! To paraphrase the Master: the perfect book that can be reviewed is not the perfect book! This book is simply TOO good for a mere five stars!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I truly believe that this is a suberb source of wisdom on the Tao. It is such an interesting method of thinking and can be applied quite easily to any other religous background. I enjoyed reading it and sharing in the words of Lao Tzu. To compare with other translations, I thought that this one was rather well done. It is indeed worth reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great book on wisdom from the Tao. Even though the true author of this book is unknown (and even if its more than one person who wrote it) it still provides useful solutions to some of our spiritual and ethical problems.
JoshuaB More than 1 year ago
This book is really great. Made me think about a lot of things that I really hadn't considered before. I would recommend this book to anyone who feels a little confused about their life, and anyone who just wants to better themselves.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Good spiritual poetry and pleasing photography
eileansiar on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"There was something undefined and complete, coming into extistence before Heaven and Earth. ... I do not know its name, and I give it the designation of the Tao (the way or course)." Thus wrote this ancient seer. And much more. A succinct guide to guide to the inner workings of 'life, the universe and all that,' - a hitchikers guide to the essential nature of creation. It's not what you think - instead, just get your striving ego out of the way, and let the Way flow into your life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the absolute logic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Informative, educational in a nice and pleasant way. Beautiful poetry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hshsuxusyshssuwhwwhyahahuew
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