Tao Te Ching
The Lao Tzu Taoist Classic
Translated and Explained
Lao Tzu (also spelled Lao Zi), the legendary writer of Tao Te Ching (Dao De Jing), left the Chinese emperor's court on a water buffalo, after growing tired of politics. He wrote the Tao Te Ching on the request of a border guard. Here you find the Taoist classic translated by me and others, with extensive explanations.
Tao Te Ching is the very source to Taoism, the sublime philosophy pioneered by Lao Tzu, in the 5th or 6th century BC. His thoughts are still relevant and cherished the whole world over.
On this website you find several translations of the classic, as well as other material about it and its legendary writer:
My version of the whole book Tao Te Ching translated and explained, chapter by chapter. Click the header to see it.
The 19th century Scottish sinologist James Legge made a translation of the Tao Te Ching in 1891, which is still highly appreciated. Here it is in its entirety. It is a splendid version, surpassing many of later dates - although the late 20th century archaeological findings of old Tao Te Ching manuscripts in Ma Wang Tui and Guodian were unknown to him.
Aleister Crowley was an English mystic and mage of the early 20th century. Here is his intriguing interpretation of the Tao Te Ching in its entirety. Crowley 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.
Here are 76 different English translations of the significant first chapter of the Tao Te Ching. Their variations show how cryptic Lao Tzu's text is. Already by the first chapter of Tao Te Ching, 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. 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.
What little is known about Lao Tzu, the legendary author of 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.
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.