Tao Te Ching: The Classic about the Way and Virtue
There now is Legge's 1891-translation of
Tao Te Ching on the
site. As I said in the introduction to the work:
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
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