Tao Te Ching: A Window to the Tao through the Words of Lao Tzu

Tao Te Ching dates to about 400 B.C.E. and is traditionally held to have been composed by the Chinese Sage Lao Tzu. Tao Te Ching is at the foundation of both philosophical and religious Taoism, and is part of the core of all Chinese religion and philosophy. Tao Te Ching has been translated more frequently than any other book except the Bible. What Tao Te Ching is about is the universe, life, and how to live.

Tao Te Ching was originally an oral work. It was meant to be recited out loud, memorized. So is this adaptation. The text has been rearranged and reworked to make it easy to remember and memorize in English. In addition, there are new interpretations of many verses. Many verses make sense that have been unintelligible in all prior translations.

Tao Te Ching is presented here in four versions that differ only by whether Sage/Master is translated as Sage or Master, and by whether the associated pronouns are masculine or feminine. Chinese pronouns do not have gender, and Taoist tradition includes both male and female Sages and Masters. So all versions are legitimate. Tao Te Ching is a window to the Tao. Each of these four versions are slightly different windows. Each reader can choose the window through which he or she can see most clearly.

Tao Te Ching is non-dualistic. It speaks of oneness, wholeness, continuum, inclusion, cooperation, complementation. In Tao Te Ching everything is connected. In Tao Te Ching, the world is a sacred vessel, more easily harmed than improved or controlled. Tao Te Ching speaks of practicing restraint, achieving balance, and learning to know how little we know. In Tao Te Ching there is female and male, part of each thing and person, part of the natural order of things, essential and complementary. In Tao Te Ching, human and nature are continuous with each other, cooperating naturally, all part of the pattern.

Tao Te Ching is a powerful vision of an entirely different frame of reference.