Reduce Desires, Attend to the Inner Not the Outer, Insatiable Longing of
Avoid Racing and Hunting, Excesses Offend the Senses, 檢欲
"The five colors combined the human eye will blind;
The five notes in one sound the human ear confound;
The five tastes when they blend the human mouth offend.
Racing and hunting will human hearts turn mad,
Treasures high-prized make human conduct bad.
The holy man attends to the inner and not to the outer.
He abandons the latter and chooses the former."
- Translated by D. T. Suzuki and Paul Carus, 1913, Chapter 12
"Color's five hues from the eyes their sight will take;
Music's five notes the ears as deaf can make;
The flavors five deprive the mouth of taste;
The chariot course, and the wild hunting waste
Make mad the mind;
And objects rare and strange,
Men's conduct will to evil change.
Therefore the sage seeks to satisfy the craving of the belly,
and not the insatiable longing of the eyes.
He puts from him the latter, and prefers to seek the former."
- Translated by James Legge, 1891, Chapter 12
"The five colours blind the eyes of man.
The five musical notes deafen the ears of man.
The five flavours dull the taste of man.
Violent running and hunting disturb the emotions of man.
Greed for rare objects is hurtful to the actions of man.
That is why the self-controlled man occupies himself with the unseen, he does not occupy himself with the things visible, he puts away the latter and seeks the former."
- Translated by Isabella Mears, 1916, Chapter 12
"The five colors
make a man's eyes blind;
Horseracing and hunting make a man's mind go mad;
Goods that are hard to obtain make a man's progress falter;
The five flavors make a man's palate dull;
The five tones make a man's ears deaf.
For these reasons, In ruling, the sage attends to the stomach, not to the eye.
Therefore, He rejects the one and adopts the other."
- Translated by Victor H. Mair, 1990, Chapter 12
"The fives colours
confuse the eye,
The fives sounds dull the ear,
The five tastes spoil the palate.
Excess of hunting and chasing
Makes minds go mad.
Products that are hard to get
Impede their owner's movements.
Therefore the Sage
Considers the belly not the eye.
Truly, “he rejects that but takes this”."
- Translated by Arthur Waley, 1934, Chapter 12
"An excess of light blinds the human eye; an excess of
noise ruins the ear; an excess of condiments deadens the taste.
The effect of too much horse racing and hunting is bad, and the lure of hidden treasure tempts one to do evil.
Therefore the wise man attends to the inner significance of things and does not concern himself with outward appearances.
Therefore he ignores matter and seeks the spirit."
- Translated by Dwight Goddard and Henri Borel, 1919, Chapter 12
Tao Te Ching Translated by Stephen Addiss and Stanley Lombardo
Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching Translated by John C. WuLao-Tzu and the Tao-Te-Ching Translated by Livia Kohn
Dao De Jing: The Book of the Way Translated by Moss Roberts
"Light will blind a man, sound will make him deaf, taste
will ruin his palate, the chase will make him wild, and precious things will
Therefore the wise man provides for the soul and not for the senses.
He ignores the one and takes the other with both hands."
- Translated by Walter Gorn-Old, 1904, Chapter 12
Walking the Way: 81 Zen Encounters with the Tao Te Ching by Robert Meikyo Rosenbaum
The Tao of Zen by Ray Grigg
Tao Te Ching: Zen Teachings on the Taoist Classic by Takuan Soho
Buddhism and Taoism Face to Face: Scripture, Ritual, and Iconographic Exchange in Medieval China by Christine Mollier
"The five colors
blind our eyes.
The five notes
deafen our ears.
The five flavors
dull our taste.
Racing, chasing, hunting,
drives people crazy.
Trying to get rich
ties people in knots.
So the wise soul
watches with the inner
not with the outward eye,
letting that go,
- Translation by Ursula K. Le Guin, 2009, Chapter 12
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Chapter and Thematic Index to the Tao Te Ching
Tao Te Ching
Commentary, Interpretations, Research Tools, Resources
Tao Te Ching: The Definitive Edition By Jonathan Star. Translation, commentary and research tools. New York, Jeremy P. Tarcher, Penguin, 2001. Concordance, tables, appendices, 349 pages. A new rendition of the Tao Te Ching is provided, then a verbatim translation with extensive notes. Detailed tables for each verse provide line number, all the Chinese characters, Wade-Giles romanization, and a list of meanings for each character. An excellent reference tool!
Yellow Bridge Dao De Jing Comparison Table, Chapter 12 Provides side by side comparisons of translations of the Tao Te Ching by James Legge, D. T. Suzuki, and Dwight Goddard. Chinese characters for each paragraph in the Chapter are on the left; place your cursor over the Chinese characters to see the Pinyin romanization of the Chinese character and a list of meanings.
The Complete Works of Lao Tzu: Tao Teh Ching & Hua Hu Ching Translation and elucidation by Hua Ching Ni.
Tao Te Ching Commentaries - Google Search
Translators' Index, Tao Te Ching Translators Sorted Alphabetically by Translator, Links to Books and Online Versions
Tao Te Ching: A Bibliography and Index of Translations on the Web
Chapter 12 in the Rambling Taoist Commentaries by Trey Smith. The Rambling Taoists are Trey Smith and Scott Bradley.
The Philosophy of the Daodejing By Hans-Georg Moeller. Columbia University Press, 2006, 176 pages.
Valley Spirit, Gu Shen, Concept, Chapter 6
Das Tao Te King von Lao Tse The largest collection of very nicely formatted complete versions of the Tao Te Ching. The collection includes 209 complete versions in 27 languages, plus 28 Chinese versions. There are 112 English language versions of the Tao Te Ching available at this website. A variety of search methods and comparision methods are provided, as well a a detailed index.
Offline on May 11, 2013.
Tao Te Ching English Translations from Terebess Asia Online. Over 30 translations.
Lao-tzu's Taoteching Translated by Red Pine (Bill Porter). Includes many brief selected commentaries for each Chapter draw from commentaries in the past 2,000 years. Provides a verbatim translation and shows the text in Chinese characters. San Francisco, Mercury House, 1996, Second Edition, 184 pages. An invaluable resource for commentaries.
Reading Lao Tzu: A Companion to the Tao Te Ching with a New Translation By Ha Poong Kim. Xlibris, 2003, 198 pages.
Chapter 6, Line by Line Comparisons of 27 Translations of the Tao Te Ching Compiled by the St. Xenophon Wayist Seminary
Dao De Jing: A Philosophical Translation By Roger T. Ames and David T. Hall. Ballantine, 2003, 256 pages.
Thematic Index to the 81 Chapters of the Tao Te Ching
Lao Tzu: Te-Tao Ching - A New Translation Based on the Recently Discovered Ma-wang-tui Texts (Classics of Ancient China) Translated with and introduction and detailed exposition and commentary by Professor Robert G. Henricks. New York, Ballantine Books, 1992. Includes Chinese characters for each chapter. Bibliography, detailed notes, 282 pages.
Gushen Grove Notebooks for the Tao Te Ching
Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Grove, Gushen Grove Notebooks, Red Bluff, California
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