The Ancient Wisdom of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
The foremost Taoist classic is the Tao Te Ching, according to legend written by Lao Tzu far more than two thousand years ago. The Taoist philosophy of life and cosmology is presented in 81 chapters, often quoted in parts. In this book, 389 quotes are extracted from it, and sorted by 51 topics.
Selected and translated by Stefan Stenudd
Those 51 topics can be seen in the table of contents below. They are chosen to extract everything essential about Taoist philosophy, as its founder Lao Tzu expressed it. Actually, most of the Tao Te Ching text is included in the quotes.
Each quote has a reference to the Tao Te Ching chapter it is taken from, so that the reader is able to check the context of it - and compare it to other translations. The book also contains an introduction about Lao Tzu and his text, as well as a chapter on the main themes of Taoism according to the Tao Te Ching.
Table of the Book's Contents
Tao Themes 14
Tao Quotes 27
Tao, the Mysterious Way 29
The Beginning 33
Unity with Tao 35
When Tao Is Lost 37
The Way of Nature 38
Leave the World Be 41
Malicious Knowledge 42
Know What You Donít Know 43
Enlightening Ignorance 45
They Do Not Understand 46
Teacher and Student 47
Opposites Attract 48
The Importance of Nothing 54
Careful Action 59
Stay Where You Are 73
Lowering Oneself in Humility 74
Benevolence and Compassion 77
Wealth and Greed 81
Good and Bad 85
The Ancients 87
Role Model 91
Inadequate Virtue 92
You Get What You Give 102
The Female 103
Like a Child 105
Virtuous Ruling 110
Rules for Rulers 115
Life and Death 121
War and Violence 126
Preface of the Book
Taoism is not a religion. Itís all about here and now: how to live a pleasant life, without causing unnecessary commotion or distress. Tao, the Way, is a law of nature behind all of creation. Those who can harmonize with it will be at peace with existence.
The oldest and major source to Taoism is Tao Te Ching (also spelled Dao De Jing), which translates to The Book on the Way and Virtue. It was written by the legendary Lao Tzu (Lao Zi) sometime during the 6th and the 4th century BC in China. The old classic still has a lot to teach us.
Tao Te Ching consists of 81 chapters about the Way: its mystery, its cosmology, and what it teaches us about how to conduct our lives the wisest.
In this book, 389 quotes from the 81 chapters are sorted according to their themes. That is not the case in the Tao Te Ching, where the chapters appear in an order that seems at least partly due to chance - or maybe the writerís impulse, while composing the book. Itís also possible that the book is a collection of proverbs from different sources, done long ago by someone else than their original author or authors.
I hope that by sorting quotes from the chapters into themes, it will be easier for the reader to examine Lao Tzuís thoughts on different subjects. The Tao Te Ching chapters often return to certain topics, making similar or just slightly altered statements about them. When the Tao quotes are sorted according to themes, itís possible to see the patterns of Lao Tzuís thoughts more clearly and to explore them at depth.
The translation of the Tao Te Ching chapters in this book is my own, mainly based on these Chinese versions: Wang Pi (Wang Bi in pinyin), the two manuscripts of Mawangdui, and that of Guodian. A great number of translations into Western languages, mostly but not only English, have also been consulted.
For a fully commented translation of the Tao Te Ching with the chapters in their established order, please see my book Tao Te Ching. The Taoism of Lao Tzu Explained.
How to get the book
If you want to buy the book, you can do so at most international web based bookstores, such as Amazon and the like. Here are links to the book on Amazon US and Amazon UK. Use the latter if you are European - then you get the book cheaper and quicker. Otherwise, you may want to buy it at Amazon US.
Now also a Kindle ebook:
Tao Quotes: The Ancient Wisdom of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
by Stefan Stenudd, Arriba 2013
Paperback, 140 pages
My Taoism Books:
The Taoism of Lao Tzu Explained.
The great Taoist philosophy classic by Lao Tzu translated, and each of the 81 chapters extensively commented. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.
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.
My Other Websites:
The 64 hexagrams of the Chinese classic I Ching
and what they mean in divination. Try it online for free.
The ancient Chinese life energy qi
) explained, with simple instructions on how to exercise it.
The many ancient and modern life force beliefs all over the world explained.
Creation stories from around the world, and the ancient cosmology they reveal.
Other Books by Stefan Stenudd:
The Greek philosophers and what they thought about cosmology, myth, and the gods. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.
The life energy qi
) explained, with exercises on how to awaken, increase and use it. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.
Basic Concepts of the Peaceful Martial Art
Aikido principles, philosophy, and basic ideas. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.
A brunch conversation slips into the mysterious, soon to burst beyond the realm of possibility. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.
I'm a Swedish author 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 ancient thought and mythology. Click the image to get to my personal website.