Taoistic
TAOISM EXPLAINED

TAOISM

TAO TE CHING

TAO QUOTES

FAKE QUOTES

TAOISTS

CHUANG TZU

TAO THEMES

TAO/DAO



"That so few understand me is why I am treasured."

Tao Te Ching - Chapter 70

Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu.

The Taoist Classic by Lao Tzu
Translated and Explained


70

My words are very easy to understand

And very easy to practice.

Still, no one in the world

Can understand or practice them.


My words have an origin.

My deeds have a sovereign.

Truly, because people do not understand this,

They do not understand me.


That so few understand me is why I am treasured.

Therefore, the sage wears coarse clothes, concealing jade.



Easy to Understand

The origin and sovereign of Lao Tzu's words and deeds is obviously one and the same: Tao, the Way. People who don't understand Tao have little chance of understanding what Lao Tzu says, or why he acts the way he does, which is mostly by non-action.

       Reading his book, we can understand the difficulty people might have to grasp its content. That difficulty must have been as great in his own time, among his own people. Although they were familiar with the language and the context in which he spoke, his ideas and conclusions must have seemed odd, even mysterious. We still struggle with his words, although science and learning have in some ways taken us closer to his worldview.

       So, Lao Tzu remains a treasure.

       His text is straightforward. One might even call his words simple. But there's jade inside. The words reveal the treasure of Tao to those who can read them properly. They may be few, even fewer if we just count those who are certain of understanding the text correctly. That would be only those who are already familiar with Tao. Anyone else is not likely to figure it out.

       So, we must wonder: For whom was the Tao Te Ching written, if those who can understand it already know what it says, and the others are unlikely to learn it by reading the book? Lao Tzu cannot have been very optimistic about the reception of his book. He probably didn't care too much, since he is supposed to have written it when leaving China for good.

       He may have written it as a gesture to the ancients, since he thought of them as so much wiser than his contemporaries. A tribute to the wisdom of old.

       It's not unique among authors to write for their predecessors instead of the present audience. Maybe they also hope that the future will hold at least a few kindred spirits, appreciating their text properly.

       Lao Tzu wrote primarily for his kindred spirits, wherever and whenever they might appear. He probably had not met too many of them in his life.

© Stefan Stenudd.

NEXT



Tao Te Ching Explained


Preface


Introduction


Literature


The 81 Chapters of Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
translated and explained by Stefan Stenudd.
  1  
  2  
  3  
  4  
  5  
  6  
  7  
  8  
  9  
  10  
  11  
  12  
  13  
  14  
  15  
  16  
  17  
  18  
  19  
  20  
  21  
  22  
  23  
  24  
  25  
  26  
  27  
  28  
  29  
  30  
  31  
  32  
  33  
  34  
  35  
  36  
  37  
  38  
  39  
  40  
  41  
  42  
  43  
  44  
  45  
  46  
  47  
  48  
  49  
  50  
  51  
  52  
  53  
  54  
  55  
  56  
  57  
  58  
  59  
  60  
  61  
  62  
  63  
  64  
  65  
  66  
  67  
  68  
  69  
  70  
  71  
  72  
  73  
  74  
  75  
  76  
  77  
  78  
  79  
  80  
  81  



Tao Te Ching Explained


James Legge's Tao Te Ching


Aleister Crowley's Tao Te Ching


The 1st Chapter of Tao Te Ching in 76 Versions


Lao Tzu - Legendary Author of Tao Te Ching





My Taoism Books:


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

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.

       More about the book here.


Tao Quotes - the Ancient Wisdom of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu. Book 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.

       More about the book here.



My Other Websites:


I Ching Online

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 ancient and modern life force beliefs all over the world explained.


Creation Myths

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


Taoismen på svenska


Other Books by Stefan Stenudd:


Cosmos of the Ancients. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Cosmos of the Ancients

The Greek philosophers and what they thought about cosmology, myth, and the gods. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.


QI - increase your life energy. Book 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. Book 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.


Sunday Brunch with the World Maker. Novel by Stefan Stenudd. Sunday Brunch with the World Maker

Fiction. A brunch conversation slips into the mysterious, soon to burst beyond the realm of possibility. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.


Stefan Stenudd, Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction. Stefan Stenudd


About me

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.

Contact