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TAOISM EXPLAINED

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Tao Themes

Tao (Dao), the Way. Ink calligraphy by Stefan Stenudd.

The Tao Te Ching Chapters Sorted by Main Topics



The main and oldest source to Taoism is the Tao Te ching, by the legendary first Taoist Lao Tzu. Here the 81 chapters of the book are divided into seven major themes.



Tao Te Ching

Tao Te Ching

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) somewhere between the 7th 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.

       On this Tao Themes website, the 81 chapters are sorted according to their themes, which is not the case in the Tao Te Ching, where they appear in an order that seems at least partly to be due to chance - or maybe the writer's impulse, while composing the book. It's also possible that the original book is a collection of proverbs from different sources, done long ago by someone else than their author or authors.

       I hope that by sorting the chapters into Tao Themes categories, it will be easier for the reader to examine Lao Tzu's 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 Te Ching chapters are sorted according to themes, it's possible to see the patterns of Lao Tzu's thoughts more clearly and to explore them at depth.

       Also, this Tao Themes division gives you a chance to focus on certain aspects of Taoism, without having to go through the whole book.


Tao Themes Categories

Here are the categories into which the 81 chapters of the Tao Te Ching have been divided. Please observe that the Tao Theme headers, also the header for each chapter of the Tao Te Ching, are mine. Tao Te Ching gives no headers for the chapters. I've done so to facilitate the reader's navigation.


Tao Quotes

I also extracted 388 quotes from the Tao Te Ching, sorted by 19 topics. Each quote has a link to its chapter in the book. Click the header for the introduction, or go directly to the topic of your choice. Here they all are:

  1. Tao, the Way Quotes


  2. Nature and the world Quotes


  3. Knowledge and wisdom Quotes


  4. Opposites and paradoxes Quotes


  5. Non-action and action Quotes


  6. Prevention and patience Quotes


  7. Moderation and modesty Quotes


  8. Humility and compassion Quotes


  9. Desire, wealth and greed Quotes


  10. Good and bad Quotes


  11. Role Models Quotes


  12. Simplicity, stillness and silence Quotes


  13. Fear and imperfection Quotes


  14. The female, child and family Quotes


  15. Yielding Quotes


  16. Rulers and government Quotes


  17. Longevity and death Quotes


  18. Seeing clearly Quotes


  19. War and violence Quotes






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.


Life Energy Encyclopedia. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Life Energy Encyclopedia

Qi, prana, spirit, ruach, pneuma, and many other life forces around the world explained and compared. 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.

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