This is topic Tao te Ching in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

To visit this topic, use this URL:;f=2;t=060225

Posted by RivalOfTheRose (Member # 11535) on :
Any have a read? What are your thoughts?
Posted by JanitorBlade (Member # 12343) on :
I haven't but I would love to hear your thoughts on it.
Posted by Szymon (Member # 7103) on :
It's super complex, as far as my recolection goes. I had two semesters on it, and my professor was a demanding one. It needs to be read with commentary, like the Bible, otherwise too much is lost and in basically makes no sense to a non-Chinese. Like I imagine reading Plato would be - cave and the shadows and whatnot.

And make sure your book follows one transcription only. You wrote "tao te ching" rather than "dao de jing", so your copy doesn't use pinyin which is not that great a thing. Mainland China (and Taiwan more and more) uses pinyin which is in my opinion much simpler than wade-giles which, to me, sounds obsolete.
Posted by RivalOfTheRose (Member # 11535) on :
@JB: I've only read through the first few verses. It covers the basics of defining everything into two terms, the known and unknown (or manifested and not manifested). From my VERY limited understanding, the source of both is call the Tao (The Way).

I've just finished Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. My brain is naturally looking for any similarities between Quality and The Way. Both topics also remind me of how Hesse describes Brahman in Siddhartha (my favorite book).

@ Szymon: It does have subtexts, but I skipped the 'boring' parts describing where they came from. Hopefully reading through the wrong transcription doesn't cause any lasting damage, haha. I've read somewhere that parts of the book weren't meant to come from a religious/philosophical standpoint, but on how to run or perceive government and ruling things.

I'll update my thoughts further as I get deeper into the book. This is the first book I've bought where I've been taking notes in the margins and circling things and whatnot. It's kind of fun. I like to only read one verse a night, and ruminate on it for a day or two. Give the thoughts some time to digest.
Posted by FibonacciBits (Member # 13602) on :
Go into it with as much of a blank slate as possible. When you come across something that stands out, check out other translations. Read many different translations. Go into it assuming it's easy to read. Then, argue with yourself over the seemingly "obvious" meanings behind various sections.

Or don't.

Also, there is a neat parallel/comparative text I found online. I'm hesitant to post a link since I'm unsure of copywrong stuff. However, I just "googled" something like "tao te ching comparative translation" and it was one of the first results.

PS: All of the above suggestions (not mine) are sound.

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2