Stefan Stenudd

Stefan Stenudd
About me
I'm a Swedish writer and aikido instructor. In addition to fiction, I've written books about Taoism and other East Asian traditions. I'm also an historian of ideas, researching the thought patterns in creation myths. My personal website:


Introduction to Taoism, and the distinction between Taoist philosophy and Taoist religion.

Lao Tzu

The first Taoist. The legendary founder of Taoism.

Tao Te Ching

The ancient source text of Taoism - each chapter explained.

The book

Tao Te Ching, the printed book and ebook. What it contains and how to get it.

Chapter 1 Versions

The first chapter of Tao Te Ching in 76 English versions.

James Legge's Tao Te Ching

The complete Tao Te Ching translation from 1891 by James Legge.

Aleister Crowley's Tao Te Ching

Tao Te Ching interpreted by the occultist Aleister Crowley, from 1923.

Chuang Tzu

The great 4th century BC Taoist Chuang Tzu and his writing.

Famous Taoists

The most prominent ones of the ancient Taoists.

Tao or Dao

What's with the spelling of Chinese words?

Tao Quotes

388 quotes from the Tao Te Ching sorted by topics.

Tao Themes

The 81 chapters of Tao Te Ching sorted by themes.

Taoist blog

All the 81 chapters of the Tao Te Ching in a blog, where you can comment.


How to get in touch with me.

My Other Websites:

The 64 hexagrams of the Chinese classic I Ching and what they mean in divination. Try it online for free.

Qi Energy Exercises
The ancient Chinese life energy qi (chi) explained, with simple instructions on how to exercise it.

Life Energy
The many life force beliefs all over the world, ancient and modern, explained.

Creation Myths
Creation stories from around the world, and the ancient cosmology they reveal.

Taoismen på svenska

Books by Stefan Stenudd:

Cosmos of the Ancients, by Stefan Stenudd.
Cosmos of the Ancients
The Greek philosophers and what they thought about cosmology, myth, and the gods, by Stefan Stenudd. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

QI - increase your life energy, by Stefan Stenudd.
Qi - Increase your life energy
The life energy qi (also chi or ki) explained, with exercises on how to awaken, increase, and use it. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

Aikido Principles, by Stefan Stenudd.
Aikido Principles
Basic Concepts of the Peaceful Martial Art
Aikido principles, philosophy, and basic ideas. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.


The Taoism of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu Explained

Taoism is not a religion. To the Taoists, gods and the afterlife are vague, almost non-existent. Taoism is all about here and now: the philosophy of how to live a pleasant life, without causing unnecessary commotion or distress. Tao, the Way, is a kind of natural law behind all of creation. The one who can harmonize with it will be at peace with existence.

Tao Te Ching
Each Chapter Explained

The major source to Taoist philosophy is the Tao Te Ching (also spelled Dao De Jing), written by the legendary Lao Tzu (Lao Zi) - somewhere between the 7th and the 4th century BC in China. I made a Swedish translation of it in 1991, and in 2011 I completed one in English, where I explain each chapter from a perspective also relevant in our modern life. The old Taoist philosophy classic still has a lot to teach us.

     Click the header to see the complete text of my Tao Te Ching book online.

Lao Tzu - the First Taoist

Lao Tzu, writer of Tao Te Ching.
The man riding the water buffalo is Lao Tzu (Laozi), legendary writer of the Tao Te ching. There are doubts that this one man wrote it, or that he ever existed, but here's the little we know about him from historical sources (click the header).

Tao Te Ching Chapter 1
in 76 versions

Already by the first chapter of Tao Te Ching, the Taoist philosophy classic, the style of its interpretor or translator is quite clear. In 2004, I vacuumed the internet and my own library for versions of Tao Te Ching's Chapter 1. I found 75, from well-renowned sinologists to happy amateurs. Now I have also added my own version. The vagueness of the original text allows for very different interpretations, as you can see in the collection of translations (click the header).

James Legge's
Tao Te Ching

Click the header to have a look at the translation of the Tao Te Ching, the Taoist philosophy classic, made by the Scottish sinologist James Legge (1815-97) in 1891. It is a splendid version, surpassing many of later dates - although the recent archaeological findings of Tao Te Ching manuscripts in Ma Wang Tui and Guodian were unknown to him.

Aleister Crowley's
Tao Te Ching

The English magician and occultist Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) made his own version of the Tao Te Ching in 1923. It is a very interesting and surprisingly clear version of the Taoist philosophy classic - worth reading also for those who have no interest in the occult (click the header).

The Taoism of Chuang Tzu

Chuang Tzu
Chuang Tzu (4th century BC), Taoist philosopher.

Next to Lao Tzu, the legendary writer of Tao Te Ching, Chuang Tzu (Zhuang Zi) is the most famous of the Chinese Taoist philosophers. He lived in the 4th century BC. According to tradition, he wrote the first seven chapters, called the 'inner' chapters, of the book given his name. His Taoist students are said to have written the remaining 'outer' chapters.

     Click the header to see the complete James Legge translation of the Chuang Tzu Taoist texts, published in 1891, divided into the 33 chapters. You can read them in any order, since they are not connected in a consecutive way.

Famous Taoists

Through the centuries, Lao Tzu had many followers, some more noted than others. The main Taoist philosophers all had their own ways of interpreting the Tao Te Ching and practicing the Tao principles. Here, the most prominent of the ancient Taoists are presented (click the header).

Tao Themes

I have another website where the 81 chapters of the Tao Te Ching are divided into seven different themes, which are prominent in the book and in Taoist philosophy. Here are those themes.

Tao Quotes

I also have a website where I extracted 388 quotes from the Tao Te Ching, sorted by topics. Each quote has a reference to its chapter in the book. Here they all are:

Tao Te Ching - The Taoism of Lao Tzu Explained, by Stefan Stenudd.

Tao Te Ching - the Book

Tao Te Ching - The Taoism of Lao Tzu Explained. The great Chinese Taoist philosophy classic by Lao Tzu translated, and each of the 81 chapters extensively commented. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

Tao Quotes - the Ancient Wisdom of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu. By Stefan Stenudd.

Tao Quotes

The Ancient Wisdom of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu. 389 quotes from the foremost Taoist classic, divided into 51 prominent topics. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.