Chapter 21

Tao Te Ching (Dao De Jing)
Classic of the Way and Virtue



By Lao Tzu (Laozi)


Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo, Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Center, Gushen Grove Notebooks, Red Bluff, California

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Chapter 21

Tao Te Ching (Dao De Jing) by Lao Tzu


English and Chinese (Wade-Giles) Terms:  Emptying the Heart, Indistinct or Evasive or Eluding (hu), Everything or All (chung), Vitality or Essence or Spirit Eluding Sensations, Things or Objects (wu), Deep and Obscure, Never Vanishing, Profound, Vague, Now or The Present (chin), Eluding, Tao, Quintessential Energy, Illusive, Being, Heart of Emptiness, Quality or Manner (jung), Beyond Sense, Unending, Purity, Truth or Evidence or Proof (hsin), Change, Hidden or Deep or Profound (yao), Present, Past, Doorway, Future, Beauty, Unfathomable, Nebulous, Grand Integrity, Elusive or Vague or Nebulous (huang), Knowledge, Origin or Creation or Beginning (fu), Middle or Center or Withing (chung), Essence, Vast or Great (k'ung), Dao, Seed, Obscure or Dim or Dark (ming), Form or Substance (hsiang), Watch or See or View (yüeh), Departed or Gone (ch'ü), Unformed, Origin, Nameless, Antiquity or Olden Days (hsin), Real or Genuine (chên), Knowledge Through the Dao, Virture or Power (),  虛心 


Términos en Español: 
Vaciado del corazón, Todo, Vitalidad, Escencia, Cosas, Profundo, Oscuro, Vago, Ahora, Eludiendo, Ilusorio,  Quntessential, Energía, Calidad, Manera, Sin Fin, Pureza, Verdad, Evidencia, Cambio, Oculto, Profunda, Presente, Pasado, Portal, Futuro, Belleza, Insondable, Nebuloso, Esquiva, Vagos, Conocimiento, Origen, Creación, Medio, Centro, Semilla, Forma, Ver, Vista, Infiltrados, Sin Nombre, Antigüedad, Real, Genuino, Poder. 

 

 

"Vast virtue's form
Follows Reason's norm.
And Reason's nature
Is vague and eluding.
How eluding and vague
All types including!
How vague and eluding,
All beings including!
How deep and how obscure.
It harbors the spirit pure,
Whose truth is ever sure,
Whose faith abides for aye
From of yore until to-day.
Its name is never vanishing,
It heeds the good of everything.
Through what do I know that "it heeds the good of everything"?
In this way, verily: Through it."
-  Translated by Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki and Paul Carus, 1913, Chapter 21   

 

 

"The appearance of Virtue in its fullest exuberance is no more than the result of compliance with the Tao. 
Tao, considered as an entity, is obscure and vague.
Vague and obscure!
Yet within it there is Form.
Obscure and vague!
Yet within it there is Substance.
Vacuous and unfathomable!
Yet within it there is Quintessential Energy—and this is supremely real.
Within it, too, there is Trustworthiness.
From from ancient down to modern times its name has never been lost
By it I can include in the range of my observation the whole of animate nature.
How am I cognizant of the acquiescence of animate nature in the Tao?
By the Tao itself." 
-  Translated by Frederic H. Balfour, 1884, Chapter 21 

 

 

"The capacity of Grand Virtues is obtained only by following Dao.
Dao is a matter, even though it is indistinct and elusive.
It is elusive and indistinct, yet within it All Images are formed;
It is indistinct and elusive, yet within it All Things are created;
It is shadowy and obscure, yet within it All Vitalities are produced.
It's own vitality is real and valid.
Throughout the past and present the name of Dao has never been dropped.
It observes All Origins.
How do we know that All Origins are so?
By these observations."
-  Translated by Tang Zi Chang, Chapter 21 

 

 

"A virtuous person comes into being only according to the Tao.
Tao is something which is obscure and indistinct.
Indistinct and obscure —
yet there is an appearance.
Obscure and indistinct —
yet there is a substance.
Vague and dim —
yet there is an essence within it.
This essence is genuine.
There is truth within it.
Since ancient times until now, its name never forsaken,
it stands there to guard all the good deeds.
How do I know all the good deeds are guarded by this Tao?
I know.
-  Translated by Chao-Hsiu Chen, 2004, Chapter 21 

 

 

Creative Commons License
This webpage work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Created by Michael P. Garofalo, Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Center, Gushen Grove Notebooks, Red Bluff, California, © 2015 CCA 4.0

 

 

 

Lieh-Tzu: A Taoist Guide to Practical Living  Translated by Eva Wong
The Daodejing of Laozi   Translated by Philip Ivahoe 
Daoism: A Beginner's Guide   By James Miller
Early Daoist Scriptures  Translated by Stephen Bokencamp
Lifestyle Advice from Wise Persons
Simple Taoism: A Guide to Living in Balance  By Alexander and Annellen Simpkins
Practical Taoism  Translated by Thomas Cleary
Daoism and Chinese Culture  By Livia Kohn

 

                                       

 

 

 

"The grandest forms of active force
From Tao come, their only source.
Who can of Tao the nature tell?
Our sight it flies, our touch as well.
Eluding sight, eluding touch,
The forms of things all in it crouch;
Eluding touch, eluding sight,
There are their semblances, all right.
Profound it is, dark and obscure;
Things' essences all there endure.
Those essences the truth enfold
Of what, when seen, shall then be told.
Now it is so; 'twas so of old.
Its name, what passes not away;
So, in their beautiful array,
Things form and never know decay.
How know I that it is so with all the beauties of existing things?
By this nature of the Tao."
-  Translated by James Legge, 1891, Chapter 21 

 

 

Cloud Hands Blog

 

 

"The grandest aspects of producing force

Find Tao their energizing way and source;

In Tao things move unseen, impalpable,

Yet in it form and semblance brood and dwell;

Impalpable, invisible, yet things

Float forth within on transcendental wings;

Dark and profound, yet lo! within it there,

Are the pure essences which aeons bear;

It holds the truth, it keeps its ancient name,

And watches all that from the beginning came;

From the Beginning! How know I this is so?

By this, it is the Tao, by this I know!"
-  Translated by Isaac Winter Heysinger, 1903, Chapter 21

 

 

"The Teh follows Tao.
Tao is like a dream: invisible; intangible; obscure.
It is invisible yet there is form to it. It is intangible yet there is a feel to it.
It is obscure yet there is method to it.
The method is true and so there are signs of it.
From ancient times until now the signs have never ceased by which we can see the beginning.
How can I know the nature of the beginning?
By these signs!"
-  Translated by Frank J. MacHovec, 1962 

 

 

"The impression made by magnificent Te comes only from Tao.
Tao is a something but elusive, but evasive.
Evasive, elusive, inside it lies the mind's true form.
Elusive, evasive, inside it lies something substantial.
Shadowy, dim.
Inside it lies vital energy.
This energy is very strong inside it lies true genuineness.
From ancient times until today
Its name has not been forgotten allowing us to see the beginnings of everything.
How do I recognize the form of the beginnings of everything?
By this low in the cycle of Change, which is Love and Beauty.
How do I know this?
By my comprehension of the Dao."
-  Translated by Michael LaFargue, 1992, Chapter 21 

 

 

 

Tao Te Ching  Translated by Stephen Addiss and Stanley Lombardo  

Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching  Translated by John C. Wu

Lao-Tzu and the Tao-Te-Ching  Translated by Livia Kohn

Dao De Jing: The Book of the Way Translated by Moss Roberts

 

                             

 

 

 

"The sole source of energy is the Tao.
Who may declare its nature?
It is beyond Sense, yet all form is hidden within it.
It is beyond Sense, yet all Perceptibles are hidden within it.
It is beyond Sense, yet all Being is hidden within it.
This Being excites Perception, and the Word thereof.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, its Name operateth continuously,
causing all to flow in the cycle of Change, which is Love and Beauty.
How do I know this?
By my comprehension of the Tao."
-  Translated by Aleister Crowley, 1918, Chapter 21

 

 

孔德之容, 唯道是從.
道之為物, 唯恍唯惚.
兮恍兮, 其中有象.
恍兮忽兮, 其中有物.
窈兮冥兮, 其中有精.
其精甚,  其中有信.
自古及今其名不去.
以閱衆甫.
吾何以知衆甫之狀哉.
以此.
-  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 21

 

 

k'ung tê chih jung, wei tao shih ts'ung.
tao chih wei wu, wei huang wei hu.
hu hsi huang hsi, ch'i chung yu hsiang.
huang hsi hu hsi, ch'i chung yu wu.
yao hsi ming hsi, ch'i chung yu ching.
ch'i ching shên, chên ch'i chung yu hsin. 
tzu ku chi chin ch'i ming pu ch'ü.
yi yüeh chung fu.
wu ho yi chih chung fu chih jan tsai.
yi tz'u.
-  Wade-Giles Romanization, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 21

 

 

Audio Version in Chinese of Chapter 21 of the Tao Te Ching

 

 

kong de zhi rong, wei dao shi cong.
dao zhi wei wu, wei huang wei hu.
hu xi huang xi, qi zhong you xiang.
huang xi hu xi, qi zhong you wu.
yao xi ming xi, qi zhong you jing.
qi jing shen, zhen qi zhong you xin.
zi gu ji jin qi ming bu qu.
yi yue zhong fu.
wu he yi zhi zhong fu zhi zhuang zai.
yi ci.
-  Pinyin Romanization, Daodejing, Chapter 21

 

 

 

 

 

Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters and English (includes a word by word key) from YellowBridge

Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters, Pinyin Romanization, English and German by Dr. Hilmar Alquiros. 

Laozi Daodejing: Chapters with Chinese characters, seal script, detailed word by word concordance, Pinyin (tone#), German, French and English. 

Chinese and English Dictionary, MDGB

Chinese Character Dictionary

Dao De Jing Wade-Giles Concordance by Nina, Dao is Open

Dao De Jing English and Wade-Giles Concordance by Mike Garofalo

Tao Te Ching in Pinyin Romanization with Chinese characters, WuWei Foundation

Tao Te Ching in Pinyin Romanization

Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters and English

Tao Te Ching: English translation, Word by Word Chinese and English, and Commentary, Center Tao by Carl Abbott

Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters, English, Word by word analysis, Zhongwen

Tao Te Ching: The Definitive Edition  Chinese characters, Wade-Giles Romanization, and a list of meanings for each character by Jonathan Star 

Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters: Big 5 Traditional and GB Simplified

Convert from Pinyin to Wade Giles to Yale Romanizations of Words and Terms: A Translation Tool from Qi Journal

Chinese Characters, Wade-Giles and Pinyin Romanizations, and 16 English Translations for Each Chapter of the Daodejing by Mike Garofalo. 

Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters, Pinyin and Wade Giles Romanization spellings, English; a word for word translation of the Guodian Laozi Dao De Jing Version. 

Lao Zi's Dao De Jing: A Matrix Translation with Chinese Text by Bradford Hatcher. 

 

 

"The complete manifestation of things visible proceeds only from Life.
In its nature Life is always coming into activity, yet in itself it eludes our sight and tough.
Eluding sight! eluding touch!
Within it are hid the plane of created things.
Eluding touch! eluding sight!
Within it are hid all created beings.
It is profound! It is obscure!
Within it is hid pure Spirit.
It is pure Spirit, enfolding Truth!
Within it is hid an infallible witness.
Free of Old until Now
Its Name remains unchanged.
Through its Doorway comes the Universe into existence.
How do I know that the Universe is coming to full perfection through Life?
The witness is in Life itself."
-  Translated by Isabella Mears, 1916, Chapter 21   

 

 

"Those of magnificent character (de)
Are committed to way-making (dao) alone.
As for the process of way-making,
It is ever so indefinite and vague.
Those vague and indefinite,
There are images within it.
Those indefinite and vague,
There are events within it.
Those nebulous and dar,
There are seminal concentrations of qi within it.
These concentrations of qi are authentic,
And have within them true credibility.

From the present moment back into antiquity,
Praise for way-making has never ceased,
And it is through way-making that we can act in accordance with
    the sire of the many.
How do I know that the sire of the many is so?
By this."
-  Translated by Roger Ames and David Hall, 2003, Chapter 21 

 

 

 

Simple Taoism: A Guide to Living in Balance  By Alexander Simkins. 
The Tao of Daily Life: The Mysteries of the Orient Revealed  By Derek Lin. 
Everyday Tao: Living with Balance and Harmony   By Ming-Dao Deng. 

The Feminine Tao: Early Women Masters East and West  

Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices
The Tao of Pooh   By Benjamin Hoff. 
Scholar Warrior: An Introduction to the Tao in Everyday Life  By Ming-Dao Deng. 
Vitality, Energy, Spirit: A Taoist Sourcebook  Translated by Thomas Cleary. 

 

                             

 

 

 

"The greatest virtue is in simply following Tao, the intangible, inscrutable.
Inscrutable, intangible, and yet containing forms.
Intangible, inscrutable, and yet containing things.
Profound and obscure, but having an essence, a veritable essence in which is consistence.
From eternity until now its nature has remained unchanged.
It inheres in all things from their beginnings.
How do I know of the origin of things?
I know by Tao."
-  Translated by Walter Gorn Old, 1904, Chapter 21

 

 

All of the beings which play a role, in the great manifestation of the cosmic theater,
Have come from the Principle, through its virtue.
The Principle is indistinct and indeterminate, mysterious and obscure.
In its indistinction and indetermination there are types, a multitude of beings.
In its mystery and obscurity there is an essence which is reality.
From ancient times until the present, its name (its being) has stayed the same, all beings have come from it.
How do I know that it was the origin of all beings?
By objective observation of the universe, which reveals that contingencies must have come from the absolute."
-  Translated by Derek Bryce, 1999, Chapter 21

 

 

"The greatest power is the gift of following the Way alone.
How the Way does things is hard to grasp, elusive.
Elusive, yes, hard to grasp, yet there are thoughts in it.
Hard to grasp, yes elusive, yet there are things in it.
Hard to make out, yes, and obscure, yet there is spirit in it, veritable spirit.
There is certainty in it.
From long, long ago till now it has kept its name.
So it saw the beginning of everything. 
How do I know anything about the beginning?
By this."
-  Translated by Ursula K. Le Guin, 1998, Chapter 21

 

 

"The great virtue as manifested is but following the Tao.
Tao is a thing that is both invisible and intangible.
Intangible and invisible, yet there are forms in it;
Invisible and intangible, yet there is substance to it;
Subtle and obscure, there is essence in it;
This essence being invariably true, there is faith in it.
From of old till now, it has never lost its nameless name,
Through which the origin of all things has passed.
How do I know it is so with the origin of all things?
By this Tao."
-  Translated by Ch'u Ta-Kao, 1904, Chapter 21

 

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

 

 

 

Revealing the Tao Te Ching: In-Depth Commentaries on an Ancient Classic  By Hu Xuzehi
Tao Te Ching  Annotated translation by Victor Mair  
Reading Lao Tzu: A Companion to the Tao Te Ching with a New Translation  By Ha Poong Kim
The Philosophy of the Daodejing  By Hans-Georg Moeller  

Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices   By Mike Garofalo

Dao De Jing: A Philosophical Translation  By Roger T. Ames and David T. Hall
Tao Te Ching on The Art of Harmony   By Chad Hansen. 
The Way and Its Power: Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching and Its Place in Chinese Thought   By Arthur Waley

 

                             

 

 

 

"All the innumerable forms of teh correspond to the norm of Tao,
but the nature of the Tao's activity is infinitely abstract and illusive.
Illusive and obscure, indeed, but at its heart are forms and types.
Vague and illusive, indeed, but at its heart is all being.
Unfathomable and obscure, indeed, but at its heart is all spirit, and spirit is reality.
At its heart is truth.
From of old its expression is unceasing, it has been present at all beginnings.
How do I know that its nature is thus?
By this same Tao."
-  Translated by Dwight Goddard, 1919, Chapter 21  

 

 

"One of deep virtue cherishes the subtle essence of the universe.
The subtle essence of the universe is elusive and evasive.
Though it is elusive and evasive,
it unveils itself as images and forms.
Evasive and elusive,
it discloses itself as indefinable substance.
Shadowy and indistinct,
it reveals itself as impalpable subtle essence.
This essence is so subtle, and yet so real.
It is the subtle origin of the whole of creation and non-creation.
It existed prior to the beginning of time as the single deep and subtle reality of the universe.
It brings all into being."
-  Translated by Ni Hua Ching, 1995, Chapter 21

 

 

"The comprehensiveness of supreme energy is its conformity to the Tao.
The Tao considered as an entity is impalpable, indefinite. Indefinite, impalpable, within are concretions.
Impalpable, indefinite, within are shapes.
Profound, obscure, within there is essence.
This essence being supremely real, within is sincerity.
From the beginning until now it has not changed, and thus it has watched all the essentials.
How do I know it has been thus will all principles?
By what has just been said."
-  Translated by C. Spurgeon Medhurst, 1905, Chapter 21

 

 

 

The Complete Works of Lao Tzu: Tao Teh Ching & Hua Hu Ching   Translation and elucidation by Hua Ching Ni
The Tao Te Ching of Lao Tzu   Translated by Brian Walker
Tao Te Ching  Translated by Arthur Waley
Tao - The Way   Translated by Lionel and and Herbert Giles
Taoism: An Essential Guide   By Eva Wong

 

                             

 

 

 

"The appearance of grand integrity is that it follows the Way alone.
The Way objectified is blurred and nebulous.
How nebulous and blurred!
Yet within it there are images.
How blurred and nebulous!
Yet within it there are objects.
How cavernous and dark!
Yet within it there is an essence.
Its essence is quite real;
Within it there are tokens.
From the present back to the past,
Its name has been imperishable.
Through it we conform to the father of the masses.
How do I know what the father of the masses is like?
Through this."
-  Translated by Victor H. Mair, 1990, Chapter 21 

 

 

"Forgiveness of great virtue
Flows from the Way alone.
The Tao may appear as a being.
Yet is just vague, only obscure.
Obscure it is! It is vague!
In its midst, some appearance.
Vague it is! It is obscure!
In its midst, some being. 
Serene it is! It is profound!
In its midst, some essence. 
True this essence, nothing but so true!
In its midst, some trust!
From the old to today
Its name never vanished,
To open the beginnings of all.
How do I know what those beginnings are?
From this alone."
-  Translated by Livia Kohn, 1993, Chapter 21

 

 

"The surest test if a man be sane
Is if he accepts life whole, as it is,
Without needing by measure or touch to understand
The measureless untouchable source
Of its images,
The measureless untouchable source
Of its substances,
The source which, while it appears dark emptiness,
Brims with a quick force
Farthest away
And yet nearest at hand
From oldest time unto this day,
Charging its images with origin:
What more need I know of the origin
Than this?"
-  Translated by Witter Bynner, 1944, Chapter 21

 

 

 

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 features (yung) of the vast (k'ung) Te,
Follows entirely (wei) from Tao.
Tao as a thing,
Is entirely illusive (huang) and evasive (hu).
Evasive and illusive,
In it there is image (hsiang).
Illusive and evasive,
In it there is thinghood (wu).
Dark and dim,
In it there is life seed (ching).
Its life seed being very genuine (chen),
In it there is growth power (hsin).
As it is today, so it was in the days of old (ku),
Its name goes not away (ch'ü),
So that we may survey (yüeh) the origins of the many (chung fu).
How do I know that the origins of the many are such?
Because of this."
-  Translated by Ellen Marie Chen, 1989, Chapter 21

 

 

"In every movement one of great virtue follows Tao and Tao alone. 
Tao is elusive and intangible. 
Intangible and elusive, yet within it is an image.
Elusive and intangible, yet within it is a form.
Deep and obscure, yet within it is an essence.
The essence is very real, and therein, is something that can be tested.
From the ancient times till now its manifestations have never ceased.
It is that by which we may see the beginning of all things.
How do I know what is at the beginnings of all things?
Because of this."
-  Translated by Kari Hohne, 2009, Chapter 21 

 

 

"Such the scope of the All-pervading Power.
That it alone can act through the Way.
For the Way is a thing impalpable, incommensurable.
Incommensurable, impalpable.
Yet latent in it are forms;
Impalpable, incommensurable
Yet within it are entities.
Shadowy it is and dim;
Yet within it there is a force,
Is none the less efficacious.
From the times of old till now
Its charge has not departed
But cheers onward the many warriors.
How do I know that the many warriors are so?
Through this."
-  Translated by Arthur Waley, 1934, Chapter 21 

 

 

 

Further Teachings of Lao-Tzu: Understanding the Mysteries (Wen Tzu)   By Thomas Cleary

The Lunar Tao: Meditations in Harmony with the Seasons   By Deng Ming-Dao

Awakening to the Tao   By Lui I-Ming (1780) and translated by Thomas Cleary

Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices   By Mike Garofalo

Zhuangzi: The Essential Writings with Selections from Traditional Commentaries   Translation and commentary by Brook Ziporyn

The Inner Chapters of Chuang Tzu (Zhuangzi)   Translated by A. C. Graham

 

                                  

 

 

 

"A Quintessential Energy, supremely real.
The Life Seed, growing, genuine, overflowing.
Yet Within the Within, a spacious void,
Dark and Obscure, vague and unfathomable.
As Sure as Something, as nebulous as nothing.
As Clear as Light, as profound as darkness.
Grasped and Touched, released and beyond reach.
Fragrant as springtime orange blossoms, scentless as the winter fig.
The Essentials and the Unknown, the One and the ten thousand things.
Coming into Being, returning to infinite emptiness. 
The Names are Spoken, the unnamed is silent.
Profound Doorways Open to the Way, old men reflect on the journey."  
-  Interpolation by Michael P. Garofalo, 2013, Chapter 21 

 

 

"Des großen Lebens Inhalt
folgt ganz dem Sinn.
Der Sinn bewirkt die Dinge
so chaotisch, so dunkel.
Chaotisch, dunkel
sind in ihm Bildes.
Dunkel, chaotisch
sind in ihm Dinge.
unergründlich finster
ist in ihm Same.
Dieser Same ist ganz wahr.
In ihm ist Zuverlässigkeit.
Von alters bis heute
sind die Namen nicht zu entbehren,
um zu überschauen alle Dinge.
Woher weiß ich aller Dinge Art?
Eben durch sie."
-  Translated by Richard Wilhelm, 1911, Chapter 21

 

 

"The manifestation of vast virtue
Flows only from Tao.
Tao in itself,
Is vague and chaotic.
Chaotic it is and vague, within it are shapes:
Vague it is and chaotic, within it are things:
Profound it is and dark, within it is essence:
This essence is absolutely genuine, within it is truth —
From ancient times till now, its name has never ceased.
It presides over all beginnings.
How do I know that all beginnings are so?
By this."
-  Translated by P. J. Maclagan, 1899, Chapter 21

 

 

 

Tao Te Ching
 Chapter Number Index


Standard Traditional Chapter Arrangement of the Daodejing
Chapter Order in Wang Bi's Daodejing Commentary in 246 CE
Chart by Mike Garofalo
Subject Index
 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40
41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50
51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60
61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70
71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80
81                  

 

 

 

"The greatest virtue you can have
comes from following only the Tao;
which takes a form that is intangible and evasive.
Even though the Tao is intangible and evasive,
we are able to know it exists.
Intangible and evasive, yet it has a manifestation.
Secluded and dark, yet there is a vitality within it.
Its vitality is very genuine.
Within it we can find order.
Since the beginning of time, the Tao has always existed.
It is beyond existing and not existing.
How do I know where creation comes from?
I look inside myself and see it."
-  Translated by John H. McDonald, 1996, Chapter 21  

 

 

"The mightiest manifestations of active force flow solely from Tao.
Tao in itself is vague, impalpable, how impalpable, how vague!
Yet within it there is Form.
How vague, how impalpable!
Yet within it there is Substance.
How profound, how obscure!
Yet within it there is a Vital Principle.
This principle is the Quintessence of Reality, and out of it comes Truth.
From of old until now, its name has never passed away.
It watches over the beginning of all things.
How do I know this about the beginning of things?
Through Tao."
-  Translated by Lionel Giles, 1905, Chapter 21

 

 

Creative Commons License
This webpage work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Created by Michael P. Garofalo, Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Center, Gushen Grove Notebooks, Red Bluff, California, © 2015 CCA 4.0

 

 

 

Tao Te Ching: An Illustrated Journey   Translated by Stephen Mitchell

Tao Te Ching   Translated by David Hinton

The Book of Tao: Tao Te Ching - The Tao and Its Characteristics   Translated by James Legge

Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices

Taoism: Growth of a Religion   By Isabelle Robinet

Zhuangzi (Chuang Tsu), Daoist Scripture: Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotations, Notes

Zhuangzi: Basic Writings   Translated by Burton Watson

Zhuangzi Speaks: The Music of Nature   An illustrated comic by Chih-chung Ts'ai

Lifestyle Advice from Wise Persons

 

                                              

 

 

 

"The form of great virtue is something that only the Tao can follow.
The Tao as a "thing" is only vague and obscure.
How obscure! How vague! In it there is form.
How vague! How obscure! In it are things.
How deep! How dark! In it there is an essence.
The essence is so real--therein is belief.
From the present to antiquity, its name has never left it, so we can examine all origins.
How do I know the form of all origins?
By this."
-  Translated by Charles Muller, 1891, Chapter 21

 

 

"The manifestations of her great power follow from Way alone.
Way is a thing utterly unapparent, utterly unsubstantial.
Utterly unsubstantial, utterly unapparent, yet at her heart are appearances;
utterly unapparent, utterly unsubstantial, yet at her heart are substantial things.
An abyss she is and dark, yet at her heart are vital forces;
dark she is, an abyss, yet at her heart are reliable powers.
From of old till now, the vital forces of these (apparent and substantial beings)
have been genuine in the extreme; and that destiny of theirs has never departed
whereby they are to accord with the source-that-supports-all."
-  Translated by Richard Gotshalk, Chapter 21 

 

 

"In his every movement a man of great virtue
Follows the way and the way only.
As a thing the way is
Shadowy and indistinct.
Indistinct and shadowy,
Yet within it is an image;
Shadowy and indistinct,
Yet within it is a substance.
Dim and dark,
Yet within it is an essence.
This essence is quite genuine
And within it is something that can be tested.
From the present back to antiquity,
Its name never deserted it.
It serves as a means for inspecting the fathers of the multitude.
How do I know that the fathers of the multitude are like that?
By means of this."
-  Translated by D. C. Lau, 1963, Chapter 21 

 

 

"Les formes visibles de la grande Vertu émanent uniquement du Tao.
Voici quelle est la nature du Tao.
Il est vague, il est confus.
Qu'il est confus, qu'il est vague!
Au-dedans de lui, il y a des images.
Qu'il est vague, qu'il est confus!
Au-dedans de lui il y a une essence spirituelle.
Cette essence spirituelle est profondément vraie.
Au-dedans de lui, réside le témoignage infaillible de ce qu'il est ; depuis les temps anciens jusqu'à aujourd'hui, son nom n'a point passé.
Il donne issue naissance à tous les êtres.
Comment sais-je qu'il en est ainsi de tous les êtres?
Je le sais par le Tao."
-  Translated by Stanislas Julien, 1842, Chapter 21

 

 

 

Spanish Language Versions of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing)
Tao Te Ching en Español

 

Lao Tsé. Tao Te Ching   Translated into Spanish by Anton Teplyy  

Tao Te Ching   Translated by Stephen Mitchell, Spanish version

Tao Te Ching   Translated into Spanish by Father Carmelo Elorduy

Lifestyle Advice from Wise Persons  

Tao Te Ching en Español

Lao Tzu-The Eternal Tao Te Ching   Translated by Yuanxiang Xu and Yongjian Yin 

Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices   By Mike Garofalo

Tao Te Ching - Translations into the Spanish Language

Tao Te Ching   Translated by William Scott Wilson. 

Lao Tzu - Tao Te Ching   Translated by Javier Cruz

Tao te king   Translated by John C. H. Wu


 

                                      

 

 

 

"La virtud se expresa siguiendo al Tao.
Tao es evasivo e intengible
Pero expresa toda forma y sustancia;
Tao es oscuro y sútil
Pero expresa toda la Naturaleza;
La Naturaleza no cambia,
Pero expresa toda sensación.

Desde antes del conocimiento
El Tao ha expresado todas las cosas.
¿Cómo puedo saber?
Confiando en mis sentidos."
-  Translated by Antonio Rivas, 1998, Capítulo 21

 

 

"La gran fuerza activa se manifiesta, siguiendo de cerca al Tao.
La naturaleza del Tao es vaga a indistinta; pero, aunque vaga a indistinta; hay formas en su seno.
Aunque misteriosas e incomprensibles, hay existencias en su seno.
Tan profundas y sutiles son!
En su seno está la esencia, y siendo su esencia veraz, la razón de su veracidad está en su seno.
Desde el tiempo de los tiempos hasta hoy, no se detienen sus manifestaciones.
De él surgió lo primordial.
¿Cómo sé que así fue lo primordial?
Por estas formas."
Translation from Logia Medio Dia, 2015,
Capítulo 21

 

 

"El Sabio adquiere el Conocimiento al seguir al Tao.
El Tao es algo confuso e intangible.
Es confuso e intangible, pero adquiere formas.
Es confuso pero poderoso porque abarca muchas cosas.
Es profundo y caótico pero contiene una esencia.
Esta esencia es la Verdadera Naturaleza.
Desde los tiempos más remotos hasta hoy,
jamás se ha podido prescindir de los nombres
para entender las cosas.
¿Cómo se puede entonces conocer la Verdadera Naturaleza?
A través de ella misma."
-  Translation from Wikisource, 2013,
Capítulo 21 

 

 

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Created by Michael P. Garofalo, Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Center, Gushen Grove Notebooks, Red Bluff, California, © 2015 CCA 4.0

 

 

 

 

Lao Tzu, Laozi

 

 

Next Chapter of the Tao Te Ching #22

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Chapter and Thematic Index to the Tao Te Ching 

 

 

 

 

Tao Te Ching
Commentary, Interpretations, Research Tools, Resources
Chapter 21

 

Tao Te Ching, Translations into English: Terebess Asia Online (TAO).  124 nicely formatted complete English language translations, on separate webpages, of the Daodejing.  Alphabetical index by translators.  Each webpage has all 81 chapters of the Tao Te Ching translated into English.  An outstanding collection─ the Best on the Internet. 


Daodejing by Laozi: Chapters with Chinese characters, seal script, detailed word by word concordance, Pinyin (tone#), German, French and English.  This is an outstanding resource for serious students of the Tao Te Ching


Yellow Bridge Dao De Jing Comparison Table   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. 


Center Tao.  Includes a brief commentary on each Chapter.  A keyword glossary for each chapter is provided. 


Tao Te Ching Commentaries - Google Search 


Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters, Pinyin Romanization, English and German by Dr. Hilmar Alquiros. 


Translators' Index, Tao Te Ching Translators Sorted Alphabetically by Translator, Links to Books and Online Versions


Taoism and the Tao Te Ching: Bibliography, Resources, Links


Concordance to the Daodejing


The Feminine Tao: Early Women Masters East and West    A webpage for each chapter provides multiple translations, and Chinese-English translation chart, and seal scripts.  An attractive layout makes comparisons between different translations easier to view. 


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 print reference tool! 


Chinese Reading of the Daodejing  Wang Bi's Commentary on the Laozi with Critical Text and Translation.  By Professor Rudolf G. Wagner.  A SUNY Series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture.  English and Mandarin Chinese Edition.  State University of New York Press; Bilingual edition (October 2003).  540 pages.  ISBN: 978-0791451823.  VSCL.  Wang Bi (Wang Pi, Fusi)  226-249 CE  Commentary on the Tao Te Ching.


Chapter 21 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 


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 21, 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. 


Lieh-Tzu: A Taoist Guide to Practical Living.  Translated by Eva Wong.  Lieh-Tzu was writing around 450 BCE.  Boston, Shambhala, 2001.  Introduction, 246 pages. 


Revealing the Tao Te Ching: In Depth Commentaries on an Ancient Classic.  By Hu Huezhi.  Edited by Jesse Lee Parker.  Seven Star Communications, 2006.  240 pages. 


Cloud Hands Blog   Mike Garofalo writes about Taoism, Gardening, Taijiquan, Walking, Mysticism, Qigong, and the Eight Ways.


Tao Te Ching: A New Translation and Commentary.  By Ellen Chen.  Paragon House, 1998.  Detailed glossary, index, bibliography, notes, 274 pages. 


The Tao and Method: A Reasoned Approach to the Tao Te Ching.  By Michael Lafargue.  New York, SUNY Press, 1994.  640 pages.  Detailed index, bibliography, notes, and tables.  An essential research tool. 


The Whole Heart of Tao: The Complete Teachings From the Oral Tradition of Lao Tzu.
By John Bright-Fey.  Crane Hill Publishers, 2006.  376 pages.

 

 

Commentary and Notes Regarding Chapter 21 of the Tao Te Ching:

 

"For effective contrast, this chapter is best read together with chapter 14.  Both chapters call Tao, the illusive and evasive (hu-huang), i.e., the primal Chaos or Hun-tun described in chapter 25.  In chapter 14, Tao recedes and becomes the nothing; here in chapter 21 the same illusive and evasive Tao moves forward to become the realm of beings.  There Tao is nameless; here Tao is the name that never goes away.  There Tao is the formless form, the image of nothing; here Tao contains the seeds and images of all beings that are to be.  The dominant character of Tao in chapter 14 is wu, nothing; in this chapter it is yu, being or having.  The conclusion of chapter 14 traces Tao to the beginning of old; this chapter arrives at the realm of the many in the now."
-  Ellen M. Chen, The Tao Te Ching: A New Translation with Commentary, 1989, p.107

 

    "Way-making is participatory, and is this influenced by the character of those who would act to extend it.  While fluid and processual, it contains within it the eventful phenomena we identify as those "things" and "images" that make up our lives, including of course ourselves.  The emerging field of experience is auto-generative, with the energy of transformation residing within it.  The seminal concentration of qi are fecund, give birth to the myriad things around us, transforming as one thing becomes another.  The under-determinacy of these unique constituents makes their boundaries every porous, but even more so at the beginning of their ascendancy and in their decline. 
    Way-making as the unfolding field of experience is the unsummed totality of things and events.  It is unsummed because it is unbounded, and can only be know from one perspective or other.  There is no single-ordered whole, no perspective outside of it.  Each of the foci that in total constitute experience is holographic in construing its own field of dynamic, transforming relationships."
-  Roger T. Ames and David L. Hall, Dao De Jing: A Philosophical Translation "Making Life Significant", 2003, p.107

 

 

 

                                               

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Laozi, Dao De Jing

 

 

Gushen Grove Notebooks for the Tao Te Ching

Research by
Michael P. Garofalo

Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Center, Gushen Grove, Red Bluff, California, © 2011-2015
 

This webpage was last modified or updated on August 1, 2015.  
 
This webpage was first distributed online on February 2, 2011

 

Creative Commons License
This webpage work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Created by Michael P. Garofalo, Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Center, Gushen Grove Notebooks, Red Bluff, California, © 2015 CCA 4.0

 

Michael P. Garofalo's E-mail

Brief Biography of Michael P. Garofalo, M.S.

Valley Spirit Center, Red Bluff, California

Study Chi Kung or Tai Chi with Mike Garofalo

 

 

 


Ripening Peaches: Daoist Studies and Practices

Taoism: Resources and Guides

Cloud Hands Blog

Valley Spirit Qigong

Ways of Walking

The Spirit of Gardening

Months: Cycles of the Seasons

Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu, Zhuang Zhou, Master Chuang)  369—286 BCE

Chan (Zen) and Taoist Poetry

Yang Style Taijiquan

Chen Style Taijiquan

Taoist Perspectives: My Reading List

Meditation 

Bodymind Theory and Practices, Somaesthetics

The Five Senses

How to Live a Good Life: Advice from Wise Persons

Grandmaster Chang San Feng

Virtues

Qigong (Chi Kung) Health Practices

One Old Daoist Druid's Final Journey: Notebooks of the Librarian of Gushen Grove

Cloud Hands: T'ai Chi Ch'uan

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

Index to Cloud Hands and Valley Spirit Websites

 

Gushen Grove Notebooks for the Tao Te Ching 

Introduction

Bibliography  

Index to English Language Translators of the Tao Te Ching

Thematic Index 1-81  

Chapter Index 1-81    

Concordance to the Daodejing

The Tao Te Ching (Dao De Jing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi) circa 500 BCE

 

 

Cloud Hands Blog

 

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Tao Te Ching
 Chapter Number Index


Standard Traditional Chapter Arrangement of the Daodejing
Chapter Order in Wang Bi's Daodejing Commentary in 246 CE
Chart by Mike Garofalo
Subject Index
 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40
41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50
51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60
61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70
71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80
81