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Every Taoist reader of this little text, every Seeker of the Tao, accumulates a reservoir of this Energy and Power, this gentle Source of Strength. It is a Power that makes itself felt in everyday life, and although the teaching of the Classic is often mystical and enigmatic, its applications are deeply practical and unpretentious.

The Taoist mystic or perfectus has a wonderful sense of humor, a twinkle in his eye. He knows, after all, that governing a large state is like cooking a small fish.

An Exploration Inspired By Hu Xuezhi's English Translation & Commentary

It is my sincere hope that as the reader progresses through my translation of the text and its Commentaries, these at-firstsight-impenetrable Taoist improvisations around a Wordless Teaching will gradually acquire a Resonance and become more meaningful. Without such a Teacher, all is vain speculation, and the Spirit will remain elusive.

They were both concerned to apply the teachings of Lao-tzu to the Taoist Practice of Self-Cultivation.

The legend is worth giving. That's true for any classic. In a constantly changing world, it's necessary to reinterpret the classics in order to have a chance of grasping them. That way, we may even succeed to reveal new things about them, and come closer to a definitive understanding of them.

Even if we don't, it's by reexamination that we keep them alive and carry them with us into the future. The words of Lao Tzu definitely belong to those that deserve our continued attention and preservation.


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So, here is my version of the Tao Te Ching. Almost twenty years ago, I made a Swedish translation of Lao Tzu's text, the first edition of which was published in Actually, the project started with another goal in mind. In the 's, I was writing a novel and got the idea to begin each chapter with a quote from the Tao Te Ching. That would fit my story in an intriguing way.

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But the few existing Swedish versions of the Chinese classic didn't appeal to me as much as the English versions I had come across. After some struggle, I came to the conclusion that I needed to make my own translations of the quotes I wanted to use. The job was mesmerizing, so I found myself translating the whole book. I was still in doubt about it, until a prominent Chinese poet, Li Li, who lives in Sweden, agreed to proof read.

He approved of my version, with some kind words about it that made me confident enough to have it published. My novel was published later the same year. Since then, I have reexamined and reworked my Swedish version of the Tao Te Ching in several editions. It has become an obsession.

The Tao Te Ching: A New Translation with Commentary

For this English edition, though, I started all over. I wanted to avoid following old trains of thought and any preconceptions. The translation into another language needed a fresh approach. Sure enough, it made me discover new things about the text and coming to new conclusions about its content. So, for me it was again a wonderful journey.

Tao Te Ching (book) - Theosophy Wiki

I hope the reader will share some of my delight. In this version, I have returned to a very old tradition in dealing with the classics, practiced in the East as well as in the West. I let each chapter be followed by my comments about it. An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page.


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  • If the problem persists, please try again in a little while. No cover image. Read preview. Synopsis This incisive, illuminating translation of the Tao Te Ching treats these sacred writings as religious philosophy having as their central message the value of peace. Refreshing and challenging, this is a landmark work for all those investigating Eastern religion and philosophy.

    Excerpt In spite of the more than commentaries Yen Ling-fen, and more than forty translations into English, the Tao Te Ching is still a closed book to many of its readers. Read preview Overview.