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The Tao Teh King: A Short Study in Comparative Religion PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: The Tao Teh King: A Short Study in Comparative Religion
Author: Lao Tzu
Publisher: Published January 9th 2010 by Nabu Press (first published -300)
ISBN: 9781141109760
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

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This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923. This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into pri This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923. This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book.

30 review for The Tao Teh King: A Short Study in Comparative Religion

  1. 5 out of 5

    trivialchemy

    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.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Gerry

    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 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 such as the 10 Commandments is in its inclusiveness. Seven of the 10 Commandments don’t mention God and are sound advice designed to facilitate peaceful community relations: respect your elders, don't kill, don't cheat on your spouse, don't steal, don't tell lies, and don't lust after another's spouse or his belongings. For me, the tragedy of the Great List is that the three that top it serve only to divide the world into believers and nonbelievers: regardless how closely you follow the last seven, if you don’t believe in God you’re not worth a fig. In doing so the first three create division where the last seven seek harmony. With Taoism, even if you don’t believe in the Force-like nature of the Tao—and in case there’s any question, I don’t—you can still consider yourself a Taoist. Taoism seeks harmony by freeing the individual from the caustic effects of judgmental thinking, desire, and greed, and its fulcrum is the concept of “non-action,” or literally “doing not-doing.” Non-action, Mitchell writes in his introduction, is not the act of doing nothing but instead is the purest form of action: “The game plays the game; the poem writes the poem; we can’t tell the dancer from the dance.” This slim book is both a quick read and a long study. Mitchell’s lyrical rendering of the Tao Te Ching might read to some like silly hippie clichés, but there’s more to it than that. Take chapter 9, a photocopy of which hung on my office corkboard for years: Fill your cup to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt. Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench. Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner. You can almost see the hacky sack and smell the patchouli. But there’s a truth to it that, if grasped, will change the way you think. As chapter 1 states: “The tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao./The name that can be named is not the eternal Name.” Analogy, then, plays an important role in understanding the Tao Te Ching, and the reader has to do quite a bit of work—the long study part—to fathom the book’s richness. Take chapter 11 in its entirety, where non-action is discussed: We join spokes together in a wheel, but it is the center hole that makes the wagon move. We shape clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want. We hammer wood for a house, but it is the inner space that makes it livable. We work with being, but non-being is what we use. There is more to the book than philosophical abstraction. In fact, common sense pervades the Tao Te Ching. Take these lines, which discuss the roots of crime: “If you overvalue possessions, people begin to steal” (chapter 2) and “If you don’t trust the people you make them untrustworthy” (chapter 17). Or these, from chapter 38, which describe the toll of illusory thought: When the Tao is lost, there is goodness. When goodness is lost, there is morality. When morality is lost, there is ritual. Ritual is the husk of true faith, The beginning of chaos. Therefore the Master concerns himself with the depths and not the surface, With the fruit and not the flower. He has no will of his own. He dwells in reality, and lets all illusions go. I’m telling you, had I been born into Taoism I might actually believe in something.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Foad

    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 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 هم حكمفرما خواهد شد. تائو که در اصل آیینی چینی بود، پس از ورود بودیسم به چین، با آن ترکیب شد و شاخه ای مهم از بودیسم را ساخت که امروزه شناخته شده ترین شاخۀ بودیسم در دنیای غیربودایی است: ذن بودیسم. تائو ته چینگ کتاب "تائو ته چینگ" اصلی ترین کتاب آیین تائو است و مجموعه ایست از ۸۱ گفتاورد کوتاه و شعرگونه حول زندگی ای توأم با آرامش درونی و حکومت کردن بدون اعمال قدرت. اسم کتاب، به معنای "کتاب راه نیکی" است و آن را عموماً به "لائو تسو" حکیم چینی نسبت می دهند که دو هزار و ششصد سال قبل می زیست. معروف است که وقتی لائو تسو از فریب ها و توطئه های سیاستمداران دلزده شد، از شغل خود که کتابدار کتابخانۀ سلطنتی بود، استعفا داد و چین را ترک کرد. در دروازۀ شهر، یکی از نگهبانان از او درخواست کرد به او بگوید که تائو چیست، و لائو تسو این کتاب کوتاه را بر او املا کرد، سپس رفت و کسی دیگر او را ندید. از کتاب: وقتى كشورى بر اساس حكمت اداره شود، در انبارها، گندم و جو انبار مى شود و وقتى بدون حكمت اداره شود، در انبارها شمشير و نيزه انبار مى گردد * درخت کاج عظیم، از بذری کوچک می روید و سفر هزار فرسنگی، با یک گام آغاز می شود.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dolors

    “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 “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 particular shape on it. The Tao Te Ching is the route in itself, the path to emptying the human mind of ambitions, schemes and desires and allow it to be flooded with the smoothness of humility and the exhilarating liberation of a simple life. The Tao Te Ching exults the feminine yin over the masculine yang in the eternal interdependence of opposites, identifying its indwelling suppleness with the intrinsic elements of the Tao. “The great state should be like a river basin. The mixing place of the world, The feminine of the world. The feminine always overcomes the masculine by its softness Because softness is lesser.” (Chapter 61) Thus the Tao cannot be expressed, it has no name, it is indivisible, inaudible and immutable but also the origin of multiplicity that gives way to ambivalent interpretation, which in turn engenders the befuddling suspicion that the more one wants to unravel the Tao the less one masters it because its aim relays precisely in attaining unforced wisdom. Composed of eighty one aphorisms with aesthetic lyricism reminiscent of ancient riddles or even taunting wordplay, the Tao Te Ching dismisses moral teachings, embraces paradoxical dichotomies and differentiates itself from other doctrines like Confucianism because it relays in intuition rather than in duty rooted on imposed moral principles or any other contrived authority. According to the introduction (*), some schools of thought have accused the Tao of endorsing chaotic anarchy and of not responding to consistent criteria, but such ambiguity in the use of language and its playful axioms are in fact a pure reflection of its skeptical views on measuring all actions according to artificial rules disguised as traditional rituals. I can’t claim to have found everlasting serenity in connecting to the natural flow of Taoism and accepting its philosophy of “action through inaction”, but the idea of finding comfort in the constant contradiction of the positive and negative forces within oneself in order to embrace the convoluted intricacies of existence casts an overwhelming shadow to the absolute dichotomies and blind beliefs prompted by the more familiar monotheistic “fear based” religions, where guilt, punishment and suffering are the conduits to salvation. Why crave for redemption if we learn to follow the “way things are” and welcome the natural interdependence between opposites, accepting disorder, nothingness and non-being as part of the indestructible unity of all things? “There is nothing better than to know that you don’t know” (Chapter 71) (*) Note: The Barnes & Nobles edition comes with an explanatory introduction about the origins of the Tao, a very useful epilogue and an historical timeline of the identity of its mysterious author(s). Highly recommended edition.

  5. 5 out of 5

    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 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 the Zhuangzi, is a fundamental text for both philosophical and religious Taoism. It also strongly influenced other schools of Chinese philosophy and religion, including Legalism, Confucianism, and Buddhism, which was largely interpreted through the use of Taoist words and concepts when it was originally introduced to China. Many Chinese artists, including poets, painters, calligraphers, and gardeners, have used the Tao Te Ching as a source of inspiration. Its influence has spread widely outside East Asia and it is among the most translated works in world literature. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز سوم ماه آگوست سال 2012 میلادی عنوان: تائو ته چینگ؛ نویسنده: لائو تزو؛ مترجم: امیرحسن قائمی؛ ویراستار: ایوب کوشان؛ تهران، مترجمها، 1379؛ در 109 ص؛ عنوان: تائو ته چینگ؛ نویسنده: لائو تزو؛ مترجم: فرشید قهرمانی؛ تهران، سیاه مشق، 1382؛ در 81 ص؛ شابک: 9649447229؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، مثلث، 1383؛ چاپ سوم 1386؛ شابک: 9648496064؛ چاپ چهارم 1386؛ پنجم و ششم 1387؛ هفتم و هشتم 1388؛ نهم 1389؛ یازدهم 1390؛ دوازدهم 1391؛ سیزدهم تا پانزدهم 1392؛ شابک: 9789648496062؛ موضوع: راهنمای هنر زندگی از نویسندگان چینی - سده 6 پیش از میلاد این متن کهن را به «لائو تزو» یا «لائو دزو» نسبت داده اند، لائو تزو 600 سال پیش از میلاد مسیح، و همزمان با کنفوسیوس، میزیسته است. «لائو تزو» همان مرشد، پیر یا استاد است. تاریخنگار و کتابدار دربار امپراطوری «جو» بوده، و تنها همین کتاب از ایشان به یادگار مانده است. راهنمای هنر زندگی و خرد ناب است. گفته اند: لائو تزو زندگی ساده و هماهنگ با طبیعت داشته، که همان پیام تائوست، عمری دراز زیسته گویا بین 160 تا 200 سال زیسته باشد. ... ؛ نقل از متن: خوب همانند آب است، بدون تلاش همه را سیراب میکند، جمع شدن در گودها را کوچک نمیشمارد. پایان نقل. ا. شربیانی

  6. 5 out of 5

    Burt

    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, 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, eternal Tao). It's a book that changed my life. I learned of Taoism in a world history class in high school, and when my friends took their Philosophy 101 course at the local university this was the text they worked with. My copy came second hand from the U's bookstore and I have had it ever since. It has taught me to understand a lot of the things in the world that otherwise would baffle me and lends a lot to my own personal philosophies. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is lost on their path through life. It doesn't have all of the answers, but it does have a LOT of perspective.

  7. 4 out of 5

    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 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 in this version, what makes this version extra special are the added bonuses: an engagingly detailed introduction exploring the life of Lao Tzu, what amounts to an original thesis on the very meaning of “tao”, and commentaries (on specific lines, even specific words) appended to each of the 81 entries that have been culled from centuries upon centuries of critical commentary, by scholars and eccentric mystics alike. There is recent scholarship that is making the argument that instead of meaning “way” or “path”, which is usually taken to mean how we as people conduct ourselves in accordance with a mysterious spiritual principle, that “tao” actually refers to the Moon and its various phases and paths in space, with particular emphasis on the darkness of the new moon and its significance as potential in darkness. The new moon “hides” its fullness. The fullness is there in potential, unspent. I like this. There’s something pleasingly primitive about it (gimme that old-time religion!), i.e. something real and tangibly mysterious, but also something practical and spiritual – a connector between eye and heart that through some subtle gravity guides our feet along a path. The commentaries that follow each poem or entry are fascinating and just scratch the surface of what I understand is a vast accumulation of scholarship on this text. The commentaries are often wildly contradictory and tangential, obsessive to an anal nth degree, but also at times wise in their own right. These commentaries have been written by official scholars, by mendicant monks, and even one or two extreme eccentrics living on the fringes of society unaffiliated with any institution. At the back of the book are short biographies of each commentator, which is fascinating reading in itself. It all adds up to evidence that this is a living book, with enough clear and direct meaning to be perpetually valid, and enough obscurity to be endlessly pondered. The translator is an American who goes by the name Red Pine. He’s almost 70 now and has been a practicing Buddhist for years, but more in the wandering independent scholar Gary Snyder type style. He’s also translated the Diamond Sutra, poems of Han Shan (Cold Mountain) and Stonehouse, and some other Buddhist texts. In every work of his I’ve read there’s serious scholarship in evidence, but also a free spirit and independent thinker with a unique store of fresh air.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bruce

    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.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Florencia

    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 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 contradictions, provide guidance on how humanity may have a harmonious relationship with nature, with the Tao. In an inspiringly laconic way, the chapters reveal the sage’s fundamental truths that range from theology to politics, inseparable components of the Tao Te Ching. I read two editions simultaneously: Ellen Chen’s The Tao Te Ching: A New Translation with Commentary and Stephen Mitchell’s Tao Te Ching: A New English Version. After reading chapter 11 by the latter, the merits of each work became particularly noticeable. Chen's translation is an accurate marvel. It's the kind of translation I like; literal as possible. I don't want only the translator's interpretation, I want to know the precise words that went through the author's mind. I've made peace with everything that gets lost in translation, so at least give me surgical precision. On the opposite side stands Mitchell with another approach: divesting the verses of all metaphor, he focuses on the meaning, the thoughts Lao Tzu intended to convey. In that sense, it's a remarkable work; a detailed examination of all the elements that constitute this treatise. While keeping a small amount of literality, it expresses a similar interpretation. If I have to choose, I prefer Chen's academic translation with its enriching commentary over Mitchell's version with its still lyrical directness. Even though she generally refers to the sage as a man, whereas Mitchell states that since we are all, potentially, the Master (since the Master is, essentially, us), I felt it would be untrue to present a male archetype, as other versions have, ironically, done. Ironically, because of all the great world religions the teaching of Lao tzu is by far the most female. As for my experience with this book, I should revisit it in a few years... The dynamics between opposites that say and don't say, that affirm and deny, that teach without speaking and act without doing; it all starts to get a tad annoying after a while. I wasn't able to identify with some notions, naturally; my skeptical disposition began to take control rather soon. However, The Tao Te Ching includes several useful concepts to improve our fleeting stay in this world. Moreover, many of those impressions are addressed to politicians. In that regard, this book should be required reading for every single one of them. I close this 'review' with some chapters according to the views of each translator.** #18 On the decline of the great Tao, There are humanity (jen) and righteousness (i)... General comment The overall message of this chapter, just as in preceding and subsequent chapters, is that the unconscious state of nature is superior to the conscious state of virtue. Consciousness marks a lack. We are not aware of and do not pursue something until we have already become separated from it. * #30 One who assists the ruler with Tao, Does not overpower (ch 'iang) the world by military conquests. Such affairs have a way of returning (huan): Where armies are stationed, Briars and thorns grow, After great campaigns, Bad years are sure to follow. The good person is resolute (lwo) only, But dares not (kan) take the path of the strong (ch 'iang). Be resolute (kuo) yet do not boast (ching), Be resolute yet do not show off (fa), Be resolute yet do not be haughty, Be resolute because you have no choice, Be resolute yet do not overpower (ch 'iang). When things are full grown, they age. This is called not following Tao. Not following Tao they perish early. General comment While the preceding chapter serves as the basis of a theology of nature, this chapter provides the rationale for a theology of peace. It carries the theme of non-action or non-domination in the preceding chapter to international relations. If humans are not supposed to dominate other creatures, neither should they dominate fellow humans. This chapter is a critique of military power (ch 'iang) specifically against wars, which are instruments of death. * #66 Rivers and seas can be kings of the hundred valleys, Because they are good at flowing downwards (hsia). Therefore they can be kings of the hundred valleys. Thus if you desire to be above the people, Your words must reach down (hsia) to them. If you desire to lead the people, Your person (shen, body) must be behind them. Thus the sage is above, Yet the people do not feel his weight. He stays in front, Yet the people do not suffer any harm. Thus all gladly praise him untiringly (pu yen). Because he does not contend with any, Therefore no one under heaven can contend with him. General comment This chapter on the relationship between the ruler and the people is directly connected with chapter 61, which is on the relationship among states. The key concept is again hsia, low or downward flowing. In domestic affairs as well as in international relations, the ruler is to imitate water by reaching downward to the people, assisting in their own self-unfolding without imposing himself on them. Aug 18, 18 * Also on my blog. ** I shared the same chapters on each review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    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 ‎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 دیگری، وجود نخواهد داشت... انسانِ فرزانه به وظایفش عمل میکند و اشتباهاتش را اصلاح میکند... او آنچه ضروری است را به انجام میرساند و از دیگران چیزی طلب نمیکند ******************* ‎انسان نرم و لطیف، زاده میشود و به هنگامِ مرگ، خشک و سخت میشود.... گیاهان هنگامی که سر از خاک بیرون می آورند، نرم و انعطاف پذیر هستند و به هنگامِ مرگ، خشک و شکننده میباشند... پس هرکه سخت و خشک است، مرگش نزدیک شده و هرکه نرم و انعطاف پذیر است، سرشار از زندگی میباشد... سخت و خشک میشکند.. نرم و انعطاف پذیر، باقی میماند ******************* ‎سعی در تسلط بر آینده، مانندِ این است که بخواهید یک شبِه، استادِ نجاری شوید... وقتی ابزارِ نجاری را در دست دارید، ممکن است حتی دست هایِ خویش را قطع کنید ******************* ‎رودها به دریا میریزند، زیرا دریا از آنها فروتر است... فروتنی به دریا، قدرت میبخشد... اگر میخواهید زندگیِ مردم را سامان ببخشید، فروتر از آنها قرار بگیرید... اگر میخواهید مردم را رهبری کنید، یاد بگیرید که چگونه از آنها پیروی کنید ******************* ‎ادارهٔ کشوری بزرگ، همچون سرخ کردنِ ماهیِ کوچک است... با دستکاری کردنِ بیش از حدِ آن، به حتم کار را خراب میکنی.... بهانه ای به بدی برایِ مخالفت مده... بدی خود به خود از میان خواهد رفت ******************* ‎من تنها سه چیز را آموزش میدهم: سادگی، شکیبایی، مهربانی ... این سه گرانبهاترینِ گنجها هستند... ساده در اعمال و افکار; به منبعِ وجود باز میگردید--- شکیبا با دوستان و دشمنان; با همه چیز هماهنگی می یابید--- مهربان با خود; با تمامیِ موجوداتِ جهان در صلح و آشتی، خواهید بود -------------------------------------------- ‎امیدوارم این ریویو برایِ شما خردگرایانِ ایرانی، مفید بوده باشه ‎<پیروز باشید و ایرانی>

  11. 5 out of 5

    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 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 الشعب اسهل. والحاكم يسير في الخلف وراء الشعب ولا يقودهم. والقسوة تؤدي الى الموت لان الشعب يبدأ بعدم الخوف من الموت. فلسفة رائعة رغم أني أراها مثالية زيادة عن الحد. والتعرف الى هذه الفلسفة شيء جميل.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Heidi Parton

    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 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 example, here is a good translation of the first line of Ch. 3 by D.C. Lau: "Not to honor men of worth will keep the people from contention." Stephen Mitchell's translation of the same line is: "If you overesteem great men, / people become powerless." The original Wang Bi character in question is 爭, or zhēng, which means "dispute," "strive," "contend," "fight," etc. It does not mean "powerless." By free-handing the translation, Mitchell alters the meaning of the text. While it doesn't damage the understanding of someone already familiar with Taoism and its literature, it does mislead those new to Taoism who seek an authentic introductory text to understand the philosophy. As I mentioned above, what really irritates me is Mitchell's arrogance regarding his version of the text versus the original Chinese versions and the translations that more closely adhere to their meaning. In the question-and-answer section located in the back of the book, the querent says: "But it's one thing to translate Rilke and the Book of Job when you read German and Hebrew; it's quite another to translate books like the Tao Te Ching, the Bhagavad Gita, or Gilgamesh without any knowledge of the original languages." Mitchell's response is: "Yes, it's a different kind of venture, but not so different as you might think. Of course, I wouldn't dare work with a text that I didn't feel deeply connected to--I used to speak of my 'umbilical connection' to Lao-tzu. I had discovered the Tao Te Ching shortly before I began Zen training in 1973." Later, the querent asks: "You knew what Lao-tzu was talking about, through direct experience [in Zen meditation] of your own?" And Mitchell replies: "That's where my confidence came from." Essentially, Mitchell is claiming that his text is authentic because of his felt spiritual connection to its author, rather than it being an accurate translation of the text. But isn't the best translation one that is authentic on multiple levels, emotionally and literally? However, if I had to choose, I'd rather read a translation that is accurate and discover the emotional resonance on my own. Also, FYI: Zen is a school of Buddhism, not Taoist, though it was influenced by Taoism. They share some similar values and qualities, but they are distinct. Mitchell continues: "There was also the excitement of the aesthetic challenge. Some calculated that by 1986 there were 102 translations of the Tao Te Ching into English alone. I had read six or seven of them, and although I loved the content, the language was mediocre at best: not much poetry in it, not much sparkle. This may sound arrogant too, and irrational. How can you fall in love with a book whose actual words bore you? But that's what happened." This sentiment, I think, is the source of all the problems I have with the text. It's completely non-Taoist. If Mitchell had paid attention to even his version of the last chapter, 81, which reads: "True words aren't eloquent; / eloquent words aren't true," he would have seen the folly of his approach. Instead, he decided that he'd rather cut entire paragraphs, rearrange the remaining words, and even alter the meaning to better suit his aesthetic values. His disregard for accuracy and his preference for his concept of beauty over truth not only shows a complete lack of respect for the text, the tradition and its culture of origin; it's also just not scholarly. Another interesting admission made by Mitchell is that he spent only four months writing this version. "By contrast," he says, "it had taken me seventeen years to finish my translation of the Book of Job. So, obviously, I was getting more focused, or more efficient..." I disagree with him there--it's not obvious to me that he was any more focused or more efficient. The vast difference in time spent translating Job and rewriting the Tao Te Ching instead tells me that he worked very hard to faithfully render the former and just cobbled together the latter. Mitchell actually reads and understands Hebrew, so it's likely that he was aware of the nuances of the language and therefore understood the importance of accurately rendering the text into English. Mitchell doesn't read any Chinese. If the language is incomprehensible to him, how can he possibly grasp the nuances of the characters in order to accurately translate them for others? This isn't to say that his version is completely wrong. Many sections are fairly accurate (like the line in Ch. 81 that I mentioned above). But there are also many places in his text that are inaccurate to the point of misconstruing the core concepts of the belief system. So if you're new to Taoism and are looking for a translation that accurately communicates Taoist beliefs and sensibilities, I suggest that you go somewhere else. There are many other translations that more accurately render the Tao Te Ching in English. Each has its own particular "flavor" and may contain slightly different words or rhythms, but most aim to faithfully present an accurate translation of the text that, while not serving every culture's aesthetic requirements, is very beautiful in its own way and has a lot of wisdom to offer, regardless of cultural and generational differences in taste. Here's a good website to get you started: http://wengu.tartarie.com/wg/wengu.ph... The site provides not only several different translations, but also the original Wang Bi text with translations of each character. If, however, you're already familiar with the Tao Te Ching and other Taoist literature, Mitchell's book at least serves as a good example of Taoism's effect on contemporary American culture.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Florencia

    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 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 harmonious relationship with nature, with the Tao. In an inspiringly laconic way, the chapters reveal the sage’s fundamental truths that range from theology to politics, inseparable components of the Tao Te Ching. I read two editions simultaneously: Ellen Chen’s The Tao Te Ching: A New Translation with Commentary and Stephen Mitchell’s Tao Te Ching: A New English Version. After reading chapter 11 by the latter, the merits of each work became particularly noticeable. Chen's translation is an accurate marvel. It's the kind of translation I like; as literal as possible. I don't want only the translator's interpretation, I want to know the precise words that went through the author's mind. I've made peace with everything that gets lost in translation, so at least give me surgical precision. On the opposite side stands Mitchell with another approach: divesting the verses of all metaphor, he focuses on the meaning, the thoughts Lao Tzu intended to convey. In that sense, it's a remarkable work; a detailed examination of all the elements that constitute this treatise. While keeping a small amount of literality, it expresses a similar interpretation. If I have to choose, I prefer Chen's academic translation with its enriching commentary over Mitchell's version with its still lyrical directness. Even though she generally refers to the sage as a man, whereas Mitchell states that since we are all, potentially, the Master (since the Master is, essentially, us), I felt it would be untrue to present a male archetype, as other versions have, ironically, done. Ironically, because of all the great world religions the teaching of Lao tzu is by far the most female. As for my experience with this book, I should revisit it in a few years... The dynamics between opposites that say and don't say, that affirm and deny, that teach without speaking and act without doing; it all starts to get a tad annoying after a while. I wasn't able to identify with some notions, naturally; my skeptical disposition began to take control rather soon. However, The Tao Te Ching includes several useful concepts to improve our fleeting stay in this world. Moreover, many of those impressions are addressed to politicians. In that regard, this book should be required reading for every single one of them. I close this 'review' with some chapters according to the views of each translator.** #18 When the great Tao is forgotten, Goodness and pity appear… Notes: the great Tao: Jayata said to Vasubandu, “If you have nothing to ask for in your mind, that state of mind is called the Tao”. goodness and pity appear: When the Tao is forgotten, people act according to rules, not from the heart. This goodness is as insecure as Job's and can be as self-satisfied as Little Jack Horner's. Whereas a good father has no intention of being good; he just acts naturally. * #30 Whoever relies on the Tao in governing men doesn't try to force issues or defeat enemies by force of arms. For every force there is a counter force. Violence, even well intentioned, always rebounds upon oneself. The Master does his job and then stops. He understands that the universe is forever out of control, and trying to dominate events goes against the current of the Tao. Because he believes in himself, he doesn’t try to convince others. Because he is content with himself, he doesn’t need other’s approval. Because he accepts himself, the whole world accepts him. Notes: doesn't try to force issues: He lets the issues resolve themselves. out of control: Out of control of his own, tiny, personal, conscious self. * #66 All streams flow to the sea because it is lower than they are. Humility gives it its power. If you want to govern the people, you must place yourself below them. If you want to lead the people, you must learn how to follow them. The Master is above the people, and no one feels oppressed. She goes ahead of the people, and no one feels manipulated. The whole world is grateful to her. Because she competes with no one, no one can compete with her. Notes: The Master is above the people: Not that she feels superior, but that, looking from a higher vantage point, she can see more. The whole world is grateful to her: Even those who think they are ungrateful. no one can compete with her: She sees everyone as her equal. Aug 18, 18 * Also on my blog. ** I shared the same chapters on each review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    7jane

    (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 (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 existing copy is from circa 300 BC. It's a bit hard to categorise: ethics? religious? philosophy? But really, in my view any of those would do. In a way it felt a bit like Dhammapada, which I've read earlier, in that even if you're not interested in the religion it's part of, it will still appeal, and is a pretty easy a read. I read it quite quickly now. Taoism is clearly put as an opposite way of thinking against Confucianism - which shows in some parts of this text - the latter being based on duties to the community and the family, but somewhat rigidly black and white at its hardest. Taoism is in its end less rigid, putting weight on the coexistence of the opposites, reverence of nature, flexibility and not being too controlling. The Tao is a force in the world, not completely graspable or something one can give a finite meaning, but which balances our world. It is gentleness, avoiding conflict of grasping, seeking peacefulness, simplicity, detachment and humility. Making the point without engaging in rhetoric and arguments. The book's message is simple, the prose spare with plenty of natural imagery. The wisdom (the Tao) of the book is feminine, yin in balance with the yang (while in Confucianism the yang seems sometimes bit heavily-leaned on). The message seems simple, yet is deep. Quite a few sentences bounced out of the text as familiar, things I've seen quoted. Reading and rereading each page will most certainly happen for me in the future. The whole thing reads just like a beautiful ancient Chinese nature painting... and the view is beautiful, peaceful. Such is this book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Farhan Khalid

    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 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 good Can you love people and lead them without forcing your on them? To grow, yet not to control: This is the mysterious virtue Too much activity dangers the mind Too much wealth causes crime Success is as danger as failure Love the whole world as if it were your self Then you will truly care for all things Look for it, and it can't be seen Listen for it, and it can't be heard Grasp for it, and it can't be caught Unending, unnamable, it return to nothingness Formless forms, imageless images Subtle, beyond all understanding Returning to the resource is tranquility If you want to become whole first let yourself become broken If you want to become straight, first let yourself become twisted If you want to become full, first let yourself become empty If you want to become new, first let yourself become old Before the universe was born There was something in the chaos of the heaven The Tao follows only itself A good traveler leaves no tracks Know the masculine but keep to the feminine Some are meant to lead and others are meant to follow The Master accepts the things as they are Those who know others are intelligent Those who know themselves are truly wise Those who master other are strong Those who master themselves have true power All of creation is born from substance Substance is born of nothing-ness Few in the world can comprehend the teaching without words Which is more destructive, success or failure? To understand the small is called clarity Knowing how to yield is called strength Those who know do not talk Those who talk do not know Act by not acting Do by not doing A journey of thousand miles starts with a single footstep If you rush into action, you will fail If you hold on too tight, you will lose your grip Compassion is the protector of Heaven's salvation

  16. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    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 and helps pave new thought patterns not taught in American culture, paths that lead to peace and sanity. My favorite book of philosophy. 12-13-17: Great translation, helped me understand it. My favorite religious/ philosophical book aside from the Christian Bible. Shows a path of peace, contentment and subtle, quiet, managable power. Update, 9/15/17: I found this quote 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 and helps pave new thought patterns not taught in American culture, paths that lead to peace and sanity. My favorite book of philosophy. 12-13-17: Great translation, helped me understand it. My favorite religious/ philosophical book aside from the Christian Bible. Shows a path of peace, contentment and subtle, quiet, managable power. Update, 9/15/17: I found this quote in my notebook, the only one I wrote down. Beautiful. "Heaven is long-enduring and earth continues long. The reason why heaven and earth are able to endure and continue this long is because they do not live of, or for, themselves. This is how they are able to continue and endure." ---------------------------------- “Nothingness cannot be defined; the softest thing cannot be snapped.” – Bruce Lee My favorite quote from Bruce Lee, thus far, stretches across this page, above. The quote has reminded me of the power of humility, and the deceptive and dichotomous nature of that power. Humility clothes itself in rags of weakness and frailty but draws superhuman strength, and the Tao Te Ching calls this an empty vessel being filled with another power. Bruce Lee based much of his life and work on the Tao Te Ching, so I read it. I admire this amazing and deeply profound piece of religious literature. The philosophy coincides with my own faith. I hear echoes of teachings I’ve heard in Christianity. The book teaches, as already mentioned, the power of humility. It teaches the value of things considered meaningless, such as empty space. We build houses, form rooms with four walls, but the basis of this structure lies upon the importance of the empty space. Empty space provides room to live, to breathe, to walk, to make love, to work. The author also likens the paradox (and there are many, sometimes frustrating paradoxes, confirming the understanding can’t be grasped in one simple read) to that of the empty space between the spokes of a wheel. The power and mechanics of a wheel depend on the empty space. Thus, we consider worthless things, abased things, as meaningless. We say we live life to the fullest when we have what we want, and when we lose it all, we have no meaning, no purpose, no life. The book attempts to explain this. Balance. The Yin-Yang. The point of the argument concludes with something underlying the whole of existence. One constant, the Tao. I like to think of this, in my personal paradigm of faith, as God. The book says Tao came before the existence of God, which I believe refers to man’s interpretation or attempt to understand God. The Tao exists as the fundamental, underlying essence of the universe. Above the Tao, we have the evidence of “life,” the events, the good, the bad, acceptance, rejection, bliss, pain, heaven, hell, male, female – you get it. Under all these events we also have a soul, eternal and unchanging in nature. The book changed my perspective. I’ve recently divorced. As I experience grief, the thoughts come: life has no purpose now. Right now, in the present situation, I’m in a low, one side of the Yin-Yang. If I look back, and as Sarah Mclachlan says, “don’t let life pass [me] by; hold on to the memories,” I see the whole Yin-Yang, the whole balance, the beauty, the essence of life itself. I see a proud mother, her warm, soft hand holding mine as she says, “Lord, we come now to the throne of God.” I see a shriveled woman with tubes in her nostrils taking final breaths and slurring the words, “My son.” I see triumph as a child pitching a no-hitting season of baseball. I see my mother’s tears, and hear her weeping as we came home from my first attempt and fail at college (because of partying). I see a Father who loves me, and plays baseball with me, fishes with me. I see a father choking to hold back tears by my mother’s casket. The high, the low. The wave. Up, down, up, down. I see a beautiful lady with sea-blue eyes lying on my chest of happiness. I see a house I’m leaving as I gather my last things, and a baby-dog I’ll never see again, crying upstairs because Daddy’s going away and he knows I won’t return to walk him again. See it all. See life. See the beauty, the lesson. See the tenderness of a mother deer licking her baby. See the lion chasing and biting the bleeding neck of her prey. See it all. This is life. The wonder, the blessing. Life. We live. We experience. The experiences only flow through a constant medium, us. I believe we exist in a timeless place called soul, and this place holds it all, the good and bad, in memories. We extend from the underlying Principle, the “Tao,” or some call it the Universe, some God. I believe this God has a face and He wants to be seen. The author points out the paradox of softness. He refers to women as feminine, or weak, but then turns to say weakness stands stronger than strength, because strength depends on the weakness, as the walls depend on the space for meaning. He says maturity is the end, the death, and Tao has no place with this. When we master something, it ends. A full-grown tree has only to be full-grown, and eventually wither. A new tree has begun to grow, and has a softness, and in this potential to grow, most of life abounds, because the process has just begun. My end becomes a new beginning, always, so long as air feeds oxygen into my lungs and body.

  17. 5 out of 5

    RK-ïsme

    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 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....". This version includes an interpretation of the text written by Wang Bi (226-49 C.E.) not long before his premature death. Both Wang Bi and the translator or this edition, Richard John Lynn, have maintained the original intent of the Dao De Jing in not bringing in any mystical or religious concepts, which by Wang Bi's time were part of the popular view of Daoism. In reading this version, I perceive more clearly than in most versions three strands of thought. (I acknowledge that this thing may be sliced in many other ways. See for example Michael Lafarge's quite good translation.) The first strand is basically a description of how the sage-ruler behaves/develops, 'De' (virtue, potential). The second strand is a guide to self cultivation, how to become a sage, and the third is an articulation of the basis for the other strands (and everything else, 'the myriad of things'), the 'Tao'(the nature of the universe). These strands are not kept discrete but are, rather, presented as a synthesis. As noted above, both Wang Bi and Lynn have avoided mystical language with the result that many of the terms with which readers of other translations are familiar are translated differently. Thus: "wuwei" usually translated as "no action" is here presented as "no conscious effort". The effect of this is important in that "no action" suggests that the agent accomplishes ends by doing nothing, a mystical concept which captures the modern reader's imagination. The words "no conscious effort" suggests more of a lack of purpose. The ruler acts but not to his own ends but rather in accordance with the unfolding nature of the universe, the Tao. To act out of the Tao is to act out of nothingness, as opposed to acting out of the myriad of things which will mislead and lead to disaster. Wang Bi begins his introduction to the work with "The way things come into existence and efficacy comes about is that things arise from the formless and efficacy emanates from the nameless. The formless and the nameless [Dao] is the progenitor of the myriad of things.". I tend to view this as I do the concept of the "big bang' in popular physics. There is nothing there and then there is an explosion out of which all that exists emanates. The "Dao" is the ever expanding universe and everything that exists and happens within it. (This last bit is totally my own fabrication to put the concept into terms which I can grasp. It works for me for now.) Thus, the Dao is conceived of as coming out of nothing and as ever changing. It cannot be named because it does not exist as a thing. It has no form or substance and is always becoming. It cannot be known. To act in accordance with it is therefore to act according to the changing universe as an unfolding, not as a thing to be learned. The process of becoming a sage is thus a process of coming to be aware of how the Dao unfolds. To know the essence of the Dao is to know that it is empty, that it is nothing. To understand this is to be 'authentic'. I struggled with Lynn's translation of "zhen" as 'authentic' because of the connotations carried by that English term, especially as we use it in terms of 'being authentic to the self'. Lafargue translates "Zhen" as 'genuineness' which, for me, carries the same meaning but without the same connotations. "Zhen" is used to refer to the relation to the emptiness of the Dao. One thus becomes 'authentic', not by aligning one's life with the self, but by developing an ever-changing, ever-becoming self that moves with the Dao and thus acts with the Dao. The sage-king is one who rules with the Dao by taking action only within the emptiness of the Dao. In other words, the sage-king goes with the flow. This a very different way of conceiving of the world and how we react within it. Unlike Western thinkers, the ancient Chinese thinkers did not value learning about the world. Nor did they look to an afterlife, ancestors or gods to bring their lives into accord with the universe. (I shall continue to read this stuff until I can feel like I actually grasp it.)

  18. 5 out of 5

    Onaiza Khan

    This is just mindblowing.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Hussein Dehghani

    "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 "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 را در شمار آثار ادبی نیز آورده اند و آن را شعر شمرده اند. اما واقعیت آن است که آن را خاصه به معیارهای امروزین نمی توان شعر نامید، هر چند در بعضی از فصل ها، رگه هایی از شعر، در حال و هوای شعر عرفانی ما، دیده می شود. این کتاب را باید در شمار آثار فلسفی آورد و بیش تر کتابی است در علم سیاست یا در آیین کشورداری بر بنیاد فلسفه ی دائوی؛ نوعی فلسفه ی سیاست است که اصول دائوی را به کار می بندد. آيا مي توانيد ذهنتان را از پرسه زدن باز داريد و آن را به يگانگي ابتدايي - با هستي - باز گردانيد؟ آيا مي توانيد بدنتان را همانند نوزادان دوباره نرم و انعطاف پذير كنيد؟ آيا مي توانيد ديد دروني تان را پاك كنيد تا چيزي جز نور نبينيد؟ آيا مي توانيد ديگران را دوست بداريد و آن ها را بدون تحميل خواسته هاي خود راهنمايي كنيد؟ آيا مي توانيد در برخورد با مسائل مهم و حياتي زندگي هيچ دخالتي نكنيد و اجازه دهيد آن چه بايد، رخ بدهد؟ آيا مي توانيد از ذهن خود دست بكشيد و بدون دخالت ذهن درك كنيد؟ داشتن بدون احساس مالكيت، عمل كردن بدون انتظار داشتن و راهنمايي كردن بدون سعي در حكم راندن فضايل عالي محسوب مي شوند.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    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 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, cyclical concept definitions. Or certain lines from modest mouse songs.

  21. 4 out of 5

    James

    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 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 consider Lao Tzu's "the way" in this manner and see it as a unifying force. I liken it to the ancient Greek notion of substance that underlies all things but does not have a separate existence. The Tao te Ching seems to suggest action is good, except when inaction is required; that it is good to experience things with an open mind, but do not become too attached to one way of looking at reality for it may suddenly be going in the other direction. In other words, it is difficult to determine exactly what this book is saying, especially when it suggests that words cannot describe the way; thus the way is not that which is called by that name (don't worry - I don't know what that means either). The best thing about the Tao te Ching is that the act of reading it stirs your mind, gets you thinking about deep questions and others. That alone makes it worth the effort, even though it may take a lifetime to make some progress toward answers. Perhaps it is appropriate to turn to a twentieth century poet and thinker for some Tao-like advice. Here is a stanza from "Burnt Norton" At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless; Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is, But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity, Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards, Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point, There would be no dance, and there is only the dance. I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where. And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time. T. S. Eliot, FOUR QUARTETS

  22. 4 out of 5

    Krystal

    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 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 purpose/life meaning.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Veronique

    “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 “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 different and not just because they date back to the dawn of ages. Mind blowing really when you consider this. Some of the poems spoke to me more than others, some I agreed with, some I didn’t, but I can definitely see myself re-reading this volume every few years to see if my perception changes.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mimi

    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 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 would be even more interesting when read aloud, preferably by a narrator with a soothing voice. (view spoiler)[Perfect sleep aid. (hide spoiler)] It's likely I picked up this book at the wrong time or maybe I chose the wrong edition. Will have to revisit when mind is calm and clear, no longer prone to wandering off.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Amirhossein

    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 .

  26. 4 out of 5

    Vipassana

    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 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 was a real person is uncertain. D. C. Lau, whose splendid introduction and notes I cannot commend enough for the ease of understanding it provides a lay person, surmises that this may just be an anthology of aphorisms. Lau reveals the synthesis behind his interpretation frequently, giving the reader a sense of The mystery behind the origin adds to the endearing quality of this work. It is very kind and this kindness can be attributed to no one in particular. Perhaps this work is more of a guide to governance than a broad philosophical treatise. This work is from the Warring States period so it also possible that any work of philosophy could not ignore the demands of the time. The principle subject is that of 'the way'. The way that can be spoken of (1) Is not the constant way The name that can be named Is not the constant name There is an allure of something as pervasive and fleeting as the Tao, in theory. In practice, acceptance of the idea is daunting task. Some ideas subvert conventionally held notions of strength by exposing it's limitations. A man is supple and weak when living, but hard and stiff when dead. Grass and trees are pliant and fragile when living, but dried and shrivelled when dead. Thus the hard and the strong are the comrades of death; The supple and the weak are the comrades of life. (182) Therefore a weapon that is strong will not vanquish; (183) A tree that is strong will suffer the axe. Reading Guha's India after Gandhi makes me think that any organized society in the present day can only thrive by killing the individual a little but the lofty ideas of Tao Te Ching speak of a different kind of leader who could ask, Even if a man is not good, why should he be abandoned? There is a great divide between the leaders who are sought today and what the Tao Te Ching recommends, that it seems unattainable but it is a vision that helps see the pitfalls of the kind of leaders upheld today. The best of all rulers is but a shadowy presence to his subjects. (39) When his task is accomplished and his work done (41) The people all say, ‘It happened to us naturally.’ This is a book of ideas, and while I cannot grasp several, I hope to entertain them often. -- July 11, 2015

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    highlights: 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 highlights: 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 any of the other translations, i'm pretty sure this one is pretty bad. there is an essay by the editor at the end, where she tells the story of how the book came to be, 25 years ago, and she admits that she knows no chinese, and what she did was read the author's proposed translation, then read 12 other published translations of the same line, then try to write something that had the author's idea but sounded different from the other 12 versions. that came as no surprise to me. many, many lines read exactly like someone had gone through a thesaurus and chosen not the best word, or the second best, but yeah, about the 13th best word for the situation. clunkity clunk. that's how i wrote social studies essays in fifth grade. go through the encyclopedia and try to write the same thing but change a bunch of words. one day i will definitely read another version.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nyamka Ganni

    2500гаад жилийн өмнө бичигдсэн гэхэд үнэхээр гайхалтай. Нууцлаг байдлаар бичигдэж маш олон утгаар тайлбарлагдаж болох тул унших бүрт өөр өөр бодол ухаарал төрүүлэх. Олон өнгийн эрдэнэс энд тэнд нь нуугдсан байх аж. Эгэл боргол миний өчүүхэн бодлоос гарах хэдхэн үгээр илэрхийлнэ гэдэг аргагүй ахдахаар даалгавар мэт санагдана. Үргэлжид бодож бясалгаж байвууштай. Ер нь энэ номыг уншиж дуусгахгүй байх. Байнга л дахин дахин унших байх. (2017-05-03) -- 33 -- Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourse 2500гаад жилийн өмнө бичигдсэн гэхэд үнэхээр гайхалтай. Нууцлаг байдлаар бичигдэж маш олон утгаар тайлбарлагдаж болох тул унших бүрт өөр өөр бодол ухаарал төрүүлэх. Олон өнгийн эрдэнэс энд тэнд нь нуугдсан байх аж. Эгэл боргол миний өчүүхэн бодлоос гарах хэдхэн үгээр илэрхийлнэ гэдэг аргагүй ахдахаар даалгавар мэт санагдана. Үргэлжид бодож бясалгаж байвууштай. Ер нь энэ номыг уншиж дуусгахгүй байх. Байнга л дахин дахин унших байх. (2017-05-03) -- 33 -- Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. Өрөөөлийг мэднэ гэдэг эрдэм Өөрийгөө танина гэдэг нь ухаан. Өрөөлийг эзэгнэн захирах нь бяртайн шинж Өөрийгөө захирах нь үнэнхүү хүчтэй шинж. If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich. If you stay in the center and embrace death with your whole heart, you will endure forever. Өөрт байгаагаа хангалттай гэдгийг ухаарч чадсан хүн үнэнхүү баян. ... _... сүүлийн хэсэг нь яггүй юм. Бүрэн ойлгож чадахгүй байгаа бололтой. (2018-08-05) Үхэл гэдэг хэрхэн утгагүйн талаар л яриад байх шиг байна даа? Ер нь Дао их физикч шүү хэхэ. Атом, цөмийн физик ярих хэрэгтэй болоод байх шиг байна. Хүн гэдэг энергийн нэгдэл. Тиймээс үхлээ гээд энергийн холбоо сална уу гэхээс бүрэн алга болно гэж үгүй...

  29. 4 out of 5

    João Fernandes

    An ode to apathy as a means of utopia. If people are simple and cannot think and the rulers are good then the empire will work. Except this would be the death of humanity's constant evolution and revolution. I could literally see this being handed out in Orwell's Oceania, that's how far off I find this philosophy.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sinem A.

    bu kadar eski bu kadar güncel , bu kadar Çin bu kadar evrensel olması nasıl heyecanlandırmaz insanı!

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