2 Januari 2010


Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching on the site

Tao Te Ching: The Classic about the Way and Virtue

Lao Tzu

There now is Legge's 1891-translation of Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching on the site. As I said in the introduction to the work:

It is difficult to understand Tao Te Ching (also for Chinese, I am assured) but three very good references are these

  • Wing-Tsit Chan: A Sourcebook in Chinese Philosophy
  • Raymond Smullyan: The Tao is silent
  • Lin Yutang: The importance of living

The first is by an eminent Chinese scholar and is about Chinese philosophy in general, about which it gives a lot of information, while also providing a lot of sources, often in Chan's own translations. This also includes his translation of the Tao Te Ching, with his comments.

The second is by a great mathematical logician who is partial to Taoism. The text is his attempt to provide a sort of explanation of Taoism and his partiality to it.

The third is by a great writer and fine thinker who had both a Christian and a Chinese background.

All three give mostly background - and that is the way to get at Lao Tu's meaning, which is hard to get and cannot be properly grasped with words.

Here are three other references that may be helpful to some

In any case, the Tao Te Ching can also be read as poetry and there are very many translations in many languages mostly - it would seem to me - because of its poetical qualities.

Maarten Maartensz

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