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Tao Te Ching (Classics)

Tao Te Ching (Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Lao Tzu , Darrell D. Lau
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Traditionally attributed to Lao Tzu, an older contemporary of Confucius (551 - 479 BC), it is now thought that the work was compiled in about the fourth century BC. An anthology of wise sayings, it offers a model by which the individual can live rather than explaining the human place in the universe. The moral code it encourages is based on modesty and self-restraint, and the rewards reaped for such a life are harmony and flow of life.

About the Author

Lao Tzu is a Chinese philosopher and founder of the Taoist religion in China. His name means 'Old Master'. He worked as a librarian at the court of Chou. When the kingdom showed signs of decay, Lao Tzu left and was never heard of again. Tao Te Chingis said to be his the principles of his philosophy.

D. C. Lau read Chinese at the University of Hong Kong and in 1946 he went to Glasgow where he read philosophy.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lao Tzu - Tao Te Ching: Translated by DC Lau. 1 April 2012
The Tao Te Ching (pinyin: Daodejing) is a book of ancient Chinese philosophy, emphasising the understanding of, and the living in accordance with, the natural flow of nature. This natural flow is termed 'tao' which translates as the 'way', or 'path' - it is a road to be followed. Such a path, once discovered and adhered to, is said to be 'te', or 'virtuous' - therefore the title 'Tao Te Ching' means the 'Way of Virtue Classic'. As a distinct text it is central to Taoist thought and is believed to have been written by the ancient sage called Lao Tzu - the old, wise one. Although relatively brief,(it contains 81 short chapters), its philosophy has permeated Chinese thought for centuries. It is often referred to in Chinese as the 'Lao Tzu'.

The paperback (1974) edition contains 191 numbered pages, and contains an Introduction, the translated text (from Chinese into English), and two Appendices:

Lao Tzu Book One.
Lao Tzu Book Two.
List of Passages for Comparison.
Appendix 1) The Problem of Authorship.
Appendix 2) The Nature of the Work.
Chronological Table.

The author - DC Lau - Din Cheuk Lau (1921-2010) was a British born Chinese academic and Chinese scholar. Being fluent in both English and Chinese, Lau was able to produce clear and concise English translations of important Chinese texts that are academically reliable. Like his other excellent translations, the Tao Te Ching appears in the Penguin Classics series. Translations of this kind, although they may appear common today, are nevertheless not easy to produce.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great intro 6 Jan 2012
This version of the Tao Te Ching for me is a must have. Not because of the translation of the tao te ching itself - which in my opinion isn't one of the best - but because of the magnificent introduction of the book. The book is worth buying alone simply for it's introduction. Its introduction is only 45 pages long but it's one of the most insightful 45 pages you will ever read on the subject.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent like old wine in a new bottle 16 Jun 2013
By Dennis Littrell TOP 1000 REVIEWER
This is the book (with a new cover) that introduced me to the Tao back in the 1960s. I was immediately much attracted to its contrarian and paradoxical nature. I can even recall being especially "enlightened" when reading Chapter XXXIII. (Lau uses old-fashioned Roman numerals.) I still have the Penguin Classics paperback from 1970 (5th printing) with its now yellowed pages. Here's that chapter as Lau expressed it:

"He who knows others is clever;
He who knows himself has discernment.
He who overcomes others has force;
He who overcomes himself is strong.

He who knows contentment is rich;
He who perseveres is a man of purpose;
He who does not lose his station will endure;
He who lives out his days has had a long life"

I kind of liked the tautology in the last line, but now believe that "He who overcomes himself is strong" is an understatement.

The "Center Tao" on the Web has the following as a word for word translation:

"Knowledge of people is resourceful,
Knowledge of self is honesty.
Victory over others is power,
Victory over self is striving.
Being content is wealth.
Striving to prevail is will.
Not losing place is endurance.
Dead, but not gone,
This is longevity."

Notice the contradictory sense in the last couplet: this is why something is always lost and/or gained in translation!

Here's how the gifted Stephen Mitchell handles the chapter (from his books "Tao Te Ching" (2006) and "Tao Te Ching Lao Tzu: An Illustrated Journey" (1999):

"Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.
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38 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spirituality at its deepest 8 Nov 2002
As a 14 year old teenager some people may believe that the finest of philosphical literature cannot be enjoyed. I believe that is rubbish, this book, in all its nonsensical ravings makes the most sense of any book I have ever read. The paradoxes brought up in this book are endless yet come to an end, and in one reading, i found myself willing to submit my mind further to the teachings and ideas that are risen in this book. A truly fine example of what is surely not a dying subject of philosophy.Read this book and it will change your behavior for the better. You will realise that there is a way that is right and it is not difficult to follow.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic 18 Sep 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book has been reviewed thousands of times and really doesn't need another one from me. I find it amazing andilluminating that much of it also appears in the New Teatament. Could the wise men have brouht it when they arrived in Israel to visit himself? That would explain a lot. Or did those who re-wrote the bible incorporate it? Who knows?
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