Chapter 38

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 38

Tao Te Ching (Dao De Jing) by Lao Tzu

 


Beginning of the Book of the Te (Virtue or Power) of the Daodejing (Tao Te Ching), Classic of the Way and Virtue
Book of the Te
(Virtue, Powers) = Chapters 37-81.   Book of the Dao (Way, Path) =  Chapters 1-37.

 

English and Chinese (Wade-Giles) Terms:  Superior or Highest (shang), Inferior or Low (hsia), Goodness, Tao, Virtue or Power (), Wu Wei, Doing Nothing, Not or Negation (pu), Leaves Nothing Undone, Superior Virtue, Conventionality, Dao, Benevolence or Kindness (jên), Discourse on Virtue, Hiding One's Virtues, Loose or Lost (shih), Unpretentious, Foolish, Justice, Ritual, Anti-Confucian, Fruit, Trouble or Discord (luan), Flower, Propriety, Stop or Stays (ch'u), Kindness, Thin or Flimsy (pao), Pity, Hidden, Action or Make (wei), Sage, Seize or Stretch (jang), Morality or Righteousness (yi), Possesses (yu), Ritual or Ceremony (li), Righteous, Know or Comprehend (shih), Humble, Wit, Loyalty, Benevolence, Ignorance, Fitness, Forces (jêng), Arms/Hands (pi), Profit, Then or After (hou), Conduct, Loyal or Devoted (chung), Superficiality, Origin or Beginning (shih), Flower or Blossom (hua), Answers or Responds (ying), Discarding and Regaining, Before (ch'ien), Virtue or Righteous (yi), Thin or Wane (pao), Inhabit or Occupy (chü), Master (fu), Fruit or Kernel or Full (shih), Without or Void or Empty (wu), Solid or Thick (hou), Foolish or Stupid (), Accepts or Receives (ch'ü),   論德   

Términos en Español:  Superior, Virtud, Bondad, Convencionalidad, Discurso Sobre la Virtud, Sin Pretensiones, Tonto, Justicia, Ritual, Fruta, Flor, Decoro, Generosidad, Decoro, Generosidad, Sabioi, Lástima, Ocultos, Sabio, Humilde, Moral, Justo, Ingenio, Lealtad, Benevolencia, Ignorancia, Aptitud, Lucro, Conducta, Superficialidad, Poder, No, Negación, Poseer, Bajo, Suelto, Vacío, Sin, Mayor, Acción, Hacer, Benevolencia, Bondad, Virtud, Perdido, Ritual, Ceremonia, Respuestas, Responde, Armas, Fuerzas, Entonces, Después, Leal, Devoto, Delgado, Discordia, Antes, Conocer, Comprender, Flor, Problema, Menguar, Aprovechar, Tonto, Estúpido, Origen, Maestro, Parar, Sólido, Grueso, Habitar, Delgada, Endeble, Frutas, Recibir, Acepta.

 

 

 

"A truly good man is not aware of his goodness,
And is therefore good.
A foolish man tries to be good,
And is therefore not good.
A truly good man does nothing,
Yet leaves nothing undone.
A foolish man is always doing,
Yet much remains to be done.
When a truly kind man does something, he leaves nothing undone.
When a just man does something, he leaves a great deal to be done.
When a disciplinarian does something and no one responds,
He rolls up his sleeves in an attempt to enforce order.
Therefore when Tao is lost, there is goodness.
When goodness is lost, there is kindness.
When kindness is lost, there is justice.
When justice is lost, there ritual.
Now ritual is the husk of faith and loyalty, the beginning of confusion.
Knowledge of the future is only a flowery trapping of Tao.
It is the beginning of folly.
Therefore the truly great man dwells on what is real and not what is on the surface,
On the fruit and not the flower.
Therefore accept the one and reject the other."
-  Translated by Gia-fu Feng and Jane English, 1989, Chapter 38  

 

 

"The highest good is not to seek to do good,
but to allow yourself to become it.
The ordinary person seeks to do good things,
and finds that they can not do them continually.

The Master does not force virtue on others,
thus she is able to accomplish her task.
The ordinary person who uses force,
will find that they accomplish nothing.

The kind person acts from the heart,
and accomplishes a multitude of things.
The righteous person acts out of pity,
yet leaves many things undone.

The moral person will act out of duty,
and when no one will respond
will roll up his sleeves and use force.

When the Tao is forgotten, there is righteousness.
When righteousness is forgotten, there is morality.
When morality is forgotten, there is the law.
The law is the husk of faith,
and trust is the beginning of chaos.

Our basic understandings are not from the Tao
because they come from the depths of our misunderstanding.
The master abides in the fruit and not in the husk.
She dwells in the Tao,
and not with the things that hide it.
This is how she increases in wisdom."
-  Translated by J. H. McDonald, 1996, Chapter 38

 

 

 

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. 
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. 

 

                             

 

 

 

"Those who possessed in highest degree the attributes of the Tao did not seek to show them, and therefore they possessed them in fullest measure.
Those who possessed in a lower degree those attributes sought how not to lose them, and therefore they did not possess them in fullest measure.
Those who possessed in the highest degree those attributes did nothing with a purpose, and had no need to do anything.  
Those who possessed them in a lower degree were always doing, and had need to be so doing.
Those who possessed the highest benevolence were always seeking to carry it out, and had no need to be doing so.
Those who possessed the highest righteousness were always seeking to carry it out, and had need to be so doing.
Those who possessed the highest sense of propriety were always seeking to show it, and when men did not respond to it, they bared the arm and marched up to them.
Thus it was that when the Tao was lost, its attributes appeared;
When its attributes were lost, benevolence appeared;
When benevolence was lost, righteousness appeared;
When righteousness was lost, the proprieties appeared.
Now propriety is the attenuated form of leal-heartedness and good faith, and is also the commencement of disorder.
Swift apprehension is only a flower of the Tao, and is the beginning of stupidity.
Thus it is that the Great man abides by what is solid, and eschews what is flimsy; dwells with the fruit and not with the flower.
It is thus that he puts away the one and makes choice of the other."
-  Translated by James Legge, 1891, Chapter 38 

 

 

Cloud Hands Blog

 

 

"The superior virtue is not conscious of itself as virtue;
Therefore it has virtue.
The inferior virtue never lets off virtue.
Therefore it has no virtue.
The superior virtue seems inactive, yet there is nothing it does not do.
The inferior virtue acts and yet it leaves things undone.
The superior benevolence acts without a motive.
The superior righteousness acts with a motive.
The superior ritual acts, but at first no one responds to it;
Gradually the people raise their arms and follow it.
Therefore when Tao is lost, virtue follows.
When virtue is lost, benevolence follows.
When benevolence is lost, righteousness follows.
When righteousness is lost, ritual follows.
Ritual therefore, is the attenuation of loyalty and faith and the outset of confusion.
Foreknowledge is the flower of Tao and the beginning of folly.
Therefore, the truly great man keeps to the solid and not to the tenuous;
Keeps to the fruit and not to the flower;
Thus he rejects the latter and takes the former." 
-  Translated by Ch'u Ta-Kao, 1904, Chapter 38 

 

 

 
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

Lifestyle Advice from Wise Persons


                             

 

 

 

"A man of the highest virtue does not keep to virtue and that is why he has virtue.
A man of the lowest virtue never strays from virtue and that is why he is without virtue.
The former never acts yet leaves nothing undone.
The latter acts but there are things left undone.
A man of the highest benevolence acts, but from no ulterior motive.
A man of the highest rectitude acts, but from ulterior motive.
A man most conversant in the rites acts, but when no one responds rolls up his sleeves and resorts to persuasion by force.
Hence when the way was lost there was virtue;
When virtue was lost there was benevolence;
When benevolence was lost there was rectitude;
When rectitude was lost there were the rites.
The rites are the wearing thin of loyalty and good faith
And the beginning of disorder;
Foreknowledge is the flowery embellishment of the way
And the beginning of folly.
Hence the man of large mind abides in the thick not in the thin, in the fruit not in the flower.
Therefore he discards the one and takes the other."
-  Translated by D. C. Lau, 1891, Chapter 38 

 

 

上德不德, 是以有德.
下德不失德, 是以無德. 
上德無為而無以為.
下德為之, 而有以為. 
上仁為之, 而無以為.
上義為之, 而有以為.   
上禮為之.
而莫之應.
則攘臂而扔之. 
故失道而後德. 
失德而後仁.
失仁而後義失義.
而後禮. 
夫禮者, 忠信之薄, 而亂之首.   

前識者, 道之華而愚之始. 
是以大丈夫處其厚, 不居其薄.
處其實, 不居其華. 
故去彼取此. 
-  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 38

 

 

shang tê pu tê, shih yi yu tê.
hsia tê pu shih tê, shih yi wu tê.
shang tê wu wei erh wu yi wei.
hsia tê wei chih, erh yu yi wei.
shang jên wei chih, erh wu yi wei.
shang yi wei chih, erh yu yi wei.
shang ki wei chih.
erh mo chih ying.
tsê jang pi erh jêng chih.
ku shih tao erh hou tê. 
shih tê erh hou jên.
shih jên erh hou yi shih yi.
erh hou li.
fu li chê, chung hsin chih pao, erh luan chih shou. 
ch'ien shih chê, tao chih hua erh yü chih shih.
shih yi ta chang fu ch'u ch'i hou, pu chü ch'i pao.
ch'u ch'i shih, pu chü ch'i hua.
ku ch'ü pi ch'ü tz'u.
-  Wade-Giles Romanization, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 38 

 

 

Audio Version in Chinese of Chapter 38 of the Tao Te Ching

 

 

shang de bu de, shi yi you de.
xia de bu shi de, shi yi wu de.
shang de wu wei er wu yi wei.
xia de wu wei, er you yi wei.
shang ren wei zhi, er wu yi wei.
shang yi wei zhi, er you yi wei.
shang li wei zhi.
er mo zhi ying.
ze rang bi er reng zhi.
gu shi dao er hou de.
shi de er hou ren.
shi ren er hou yi shi yi.
er hou li.
fu li zhe, zhong xin zhi bo, er luan zhi shou.
qian zhi zhe, dao zhi hua er yu zhi shi.
shi yi da zhang fu chu qi hou, bu ju qi bo.
chu qi shi, bu ju qi hua.
gu qu bi qu ci.
-  Pinyin Romanization, Daodejing, Chapter 38  
 
 
 
 
 

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. 

 

 
"Superior energy is non-action, hence it is energy.
Inferior energy will not resign action; hence, it is not energy.
Superior energy is actionless because motiveless.
Inferior energy acts from motive.
Superior magnanimity is active but motiveless.
Superior equity is active from motive.
Superior propriety is active; is bares its arm and asserts itself when it meets with no response.
Thus as the Tao recedes there are energies; as the energies recede there is magnanimity; as magnanimity recedes there is equity; as equity recedes there is propriety.
Inasmuch as propriety is the attenuation of conscientiousness it is the origin of disorder.
The beginnings of consciousness are flower of Tao, but the commencement of delusion.
Therefore the men who are great live with that which is substantial, they do not abide with realities, they do not remain with what is showy. The one they discard, the other they hold." - Translated by C. Spurgeon Medhurst, 1905, Chapter 38
 
 

 

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 - The Way  Translated by Lionel and and Herbert Giles.  
Taoism: An Essential Guide  By Eva Wong. 

 

                                 

 

 
 

"The Master doesn't try to be powerful;
thus he is truly powerful.
The ordinary man keeps reaching for power;
thus he never has enough.

The Master does nothing,
yet he leaves nothing undone.
The ordinary man is always doing things,
yet many more are left to be done.

The kind man does something,
yet something remains undone.
The just man does something,
and leaves many things to be done.
The moral man does something,
and when no one responds
he rolls up his sleeves and uses force.

When the Tao is lost, there is goodness.
When goodness is lost, there is morality.
When morality is lost, there is ritual.
Ritual is the husk of true faith,
the beginning of chaos.

Therefore the Master concerns himself
with the depths and not the surface,
with the fruit and not the flower.
He has no will of his own.
He dwells in reality,
and lets all illusions go."
-  Translated by Stephen Mitchell, Chapter 38

 

 

"High virtue is not virtuous;
Therefore it has virtue.
Low virtue is always virtuous;
Therefore it has no virtue.
High virtue does nothing
And has no ulterior ends.
Low virtue does something,
Also has ulterior ends.
High ceremony does something,
And when it gets no response
It rolls up its sleeves and takes to force.
When Tao is lost, there is virtue.
When virtue is lost, there is humaneness.
When humaneness is lost, there is morality.
When morality is lost there is ceremony.
Now ceremony is the shell
Of loyalty and trust
And the beginning of befuddlement.
As to foreknowledge,
It is a blossomy path
And the beginning of folly.
Therefore,
The fulfilled man holds to
The solid rather than the shell,
The fruit rather than the blossom.
He avoids the outward, accepts the inward."
-  Translated by Herrymoon Maurer, 1985, Chapter 38 

 

 

 

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

 

                                       

 

 

 

"People with integrity
don't even think about it.
That's how you can tell
they have integrity.
Other people talk about
how much integrity they have,
when they really don't have much,
If any.

Truly powerful people
don't do anything,
but they get the job done. 
Other people are always busy
doing something,
but nothing ever gets done.

When kind people act,
they do so without thinking about it. 
When the just act,
they're always sure
they're doing the right thing.

But when the righteous act,
and nobody reacts, 
they try to force everyone
to do things their way.

If you're not in touch with Tao,
at least you can still have integrity. 
If you don't have integrity,
there's always kindness.

If you don't have kindness,
there's always justice. 
If you don't have justice,
all you have left is righteousness.

Righteousness is an pale imitation
of true faith and loyalty, 
and always leads to trouble.
If you've already made up your mind, 
you don't know the first thing about Tao,
and you never will.

The Masters pay attention
to what's beneath the surface.
They'll look at a tree's leaves,
but eat the fruit.
They turn all that down,
so they can accept this.
-  Translated by Ron Hogan, Chapter 38

 

 

"To give without seeking reward
To help without thinking it is virtuous
Therein lies the great virtue
To keep account of your action
To help with the hope of gaining merit
Therein lies no virtue
The highest virtue is to act without a sense of self
The highest kindness is to give without condition
The highest justice is to see without preference
When Tao is lost one must learn the rules of virtue
When virtue is lost, the rules of kindness
When kindness is lost, the rules of justice
When justice is lost, the rules of conduct
And when the high-blown rules of conduct are not followed people are seized by the arm and it is forced on them
The rules of conduct are just an outer show of devotion and loyalty
Quite confusing to the heart
And when men rely on these rules for guidance
Oh, what ignorance abounds!
The great master follows his own nature and not the trappings of life
It is said, he stays with the fruit and not the fluff
Stays with the firm and not the flimsy
Stays with the true and not the false."
-  Translated by Johathan Star, 2001, Chapter 38 

 

 

 

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

 

                             

 

 

 

"Superior virtue is unvirtue.
Therefore it has virtue.
Inferior virtue never loses sight of virtue.
Therefore it has no virtue.  
Superior virtue is non-assertion and without pretension.
Inferior virtue asserts and makes pretensions. 
Superior benevolence acts but makes no pretensions.
Superior justice acts and makes pretensions. 
Superior propriety acts and when no one responds to it, it stretches its arm and enforces its rules. 
Thus one loses Reason and then virtue appears.
One loses virtue and then benevolence appears.
One loses benevolence and then justice appears.
One loses justice and then propriety appears.
The rules of propriety are the semblance of loyalty and faith, and the beginning of disorder. 
Traditionalism is the flower of Reason, but of ignorance the beginning. 
Therefore a great organizer abides by the solid and dwells not in the external.
He abides in the fruit and dwells not in the flower. 
Therefore he discards the latter and chooses the former." 
-  Translated by Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki and Paul Carus, 1913, Chapter 38 

 

 


"The man of highest “power” does not reveal himself as a possessor of “power”;
Therefore he keeps his “power”.
The man of inferior “power” cannot rid it of the appearance of “power”;
Therefore he is in truth without “power”.
The man of highest “power” neither acts nor is there any who so regards him;
The man of inferior “power” both acts and is so regarded.
The man of highest humanity, though he acts, is not regarded;
Whereas a man of even the highest morality both acts and is so regarded;
While even he who is best versed in ritual not merely acts,
But if people fail to respond
Then he will pull up his sleeves and advance upon them.
That is why it is said:
“After Tao was lost, then came the 'power';
After the 'power' was lost, then came human kindness.”
After human kindness was lost, then came morality,
After morality was lost, then came ritual.
Now ritual is the mere husk of loyalty and promise-keeping
And is indeed the first step towards brawling.”
Foreknowledge may be the “flower of doctrine”,
But it is the beginning of folly.
Therefore the full-grown man takes his stand upon the solid substance
And not upon the mere husk,
Upon the fruit and not upon the flower.
Truly, “he reject that and takes this”."
-  Translated by Arthur Waley, 1934, Chapter 38 

 

 

 

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  

 

                                     

 

 

 

"To assume virtue without being really virtuous is to be virtuous from duty;
To be less virtuous, yet not to lose real virtue, is to be virtuous from Inner Life.
Supreme virtue comes through activity of Inner Life; then let us actively seek Inner Life.
TO be less virtuous and to practice it, let us be active in the performance of duty.
To assume benevolence and practice it let us actively seek Inner Life.
To assume right conduct and practice it let us be active in the performance of duty.
To assume expediency and practice it is to find that no one honours it; then it bares the arm, and asserts itself by force.
Therefore, when Tao is lost, follow Virtue; when virtue is lost, follow benevolence; when benevolence is lost, follow right conduct; when right conduct is lost, follow expediency.
Those who are Masters of expediency have in the heart only the shadow of faith; and in the mind only confusion.
Those who are Leaders of politeness have only the husk of Tao, which is the source of ignorance.
That is why the greatest of the Masters abide in the real,
They do not abide in the shadow.
They hold to the fruit, they do not hold to the husk.
Therefore they put away the latter and take hold of the former."
-  Translated by Isabella Mears, 1916, Chapter 38

 

 

"The man of superior character is not (conscious of his) character.
   Hence he has character.
The man of inferior character (is intent on) not losing character.
   Hence he is devoid of character.
The man of superior character never acts,
   Nor ever (does so) with an ulterior motive.
The man of inferior character acts,
   And (does so) with an ulterior motive.
The man of superior kindness acts,
   But (does so) without an ulterior motive.
The man of superior justice acts,
   And (does so) with an ulterior motive.
(But when) the man of superior li acts and finds no response,
   He rolls up his sleeves to force it on others.

Therefore:
After Tao is lost, then (arises the doctrine of) humanity.
After humanity is lost, then (arises the doctrine of) justice.
After justice is lost, then (arises the doctrine of) li.
Now li is the thinning out of loyalty and honesty of heart.
   And the beginning of chaos.
The prophets are the flowering of Tao
   And the origin of folly.
Therefore the noble man dwells in the heavy (base),
   And not in the thinning (end).
He dwells in the fruit,
   And not in the flowering (expression).
Therefore he rejects the one and accepts the other."
-  Translated by Lin Yutang, 1955, Chapter 38  

 

 

 

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

 

                                  

 

 

 

"The highest virtue is un-virtue, therefore it has virtue,

Inferior virtue virtue loses not, and so has none,

The highest virtue is non-action, and thereby does nothing,

Inferior virtue acts it, and exists by acting done.

The highest benevolence acts it, but thereby does nothing,

The highest righteousness acts it, and acting has thereby,

The highest propriety acts it, and then, when none respond,

It stretches forth its arm, and enforces its reply.

 

So, when the Tao is lost to sight, its attributes are shown,

When these are lost to sight, we find Benevolence appear,

When Benevolence is lost to sight, then Righteousness comes on,

And when Self-righteousness is lost, Propriety is here.

Now, these propriety-things are shams of loyalty and faith,

Forerunners of disorder, which soon will come to be,

Quick-wittedness is but the flimsy flower of the Tao,

And is the first beginning of man's incapacity.

With the solid dwells the solid man, not with the empty shell,

With the mature fruit he abides, but with the flower not he,

The latter he avoids, that the former his may be."
-  Translated by Isaac Winter Heysinger, 1903, Chapter 38 

 

 

"When conduct is of high virtue, one is unconscious of virtue, thus he can accomplish virtue.
When conduct is of low virtue, one is conscious of virtue, thus he cannot accomplish virtue.
High virtue does not contrive and has no desire for gain.
Low virtue also does not contrive but has desire for gain.
High benevolence does contrive yet it has no desire for gain.
High righteousness does contrive and also has desire for gain.
High ritual does not only contrive and desire, but is also violent:
if it finds no response at all, it resorts to fighting its way out with stretched arms.
Hence when Dao is losing, then its virtues are losing.
When virtues are losing, benevolence is encouraged.
When benevolence is losing, the righteousness is encouraged.
When righteousness is losing, then rituals are encouraged.
Rituals stand for the lack of loyalty and reliability and are the beginning of disorder.
Divination stands for the emotional performance of Dao and is the beginning of stupidity.
Therefore the superior man prefers to possess few things rather than an abundance, to have insight rather than to see superficially.
Thus he prefers insight to superficiality."
-  Translated by Tang-Zi Chang, Chapter 38

 

 

 

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

 

                                              

 

 

 

"A man of sure fitness, without making a point of his fitness,
Stays fit;
A man of unsure fitness, assuming an appearance of fitness,
Becomes unfit.
The man of sure fitness never makes an act of it
Nor considers what it may profit him;
The man of unsure fitness makes an act of it
And considers what it may profit him.
However a man with a kind heart proceed,
He forgets what it may profit him;
However a man with a just mind proceed,
He remembers what it may profit him;
However a man of conventional conduct proceed, if he be not complied with
Out goes his fist to enforce compliance.
Here is what happens:
Losing the way of life, men rely first on their fitness;
Losing fitness, they turn to kindness;
Losing kindness, they turn to justness;
Losing justness, they turn to convention.
Conventions are fealty and honesty gone to waste,
They are the entrance of disorder.
False teachers of life use flowery words
And start nonsense.
The man of stamina stays with the root
Below the tapering,
Stays with the fruit
Beyond the flowering:
He has his no and he has his yes."
-  Translated by Witter Bynner, 1944, Chapter 38 

 

 

"Intelligent control appears as uncontrol or freedom.
And for that reason it is genuinely intelligent control.
Unintelligent control appears as external domination.
And for that reason it is really unintelligent control.
Intelligent control exerts influence without appearing to do so.
Unintelligent control tries to influence by making a show of it.
The generous giver gives because he wants to give.
The dutiful giver gives because he wants to receive.
Whenever a regulation is imposed from above, it is not willingly obeyed.
Then effort is used to enforce it.
But when Nature's spontaneous activity disappears, then intelligent action is called for.
But when intelligent action is unavailable, then intuitive generosity may be appealed to.
But when intuitive sympathy is lacking, principles of morality may be invoked.
But where morality is ineffective, laws are enacted.
But where law is enforced, spontaneous and sincere loyalty declines, and disintegration of the harmonious society sets in.
Thus valuing law as an end in itself results in minimizing fidelity to Nature itself.
Knowledge of law appears at once as a flowering of Nature's way and as the source of error.
Therefore the intelligent man adheres to the genuine and discards the superficial.
He keeps the fruit rather than the flower,
Naturally preferring the one to the other."
-  Translated by Archie J. Bahm, 1958, Chapter 38

 

 

 

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


Lao Tsé Tao Te Ching   Traducido al español por Anton Teplyy

Tao Te Ching   Traducido por Stephen Mitchell, versión española  

Tao Te Ching   Traducido al español por el Padre Carmelo Elorduy

Lifestyle Advice from Wise Persons   Consejos de Estilo de Vida de Sabios

Tao Te Ching en Español

Lao Tzu-The Eternal Tao Te Ching   Traducido al español por Yuanxiang Xu y Yongjian Yin 

Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices   By Mike Garofalo    Maduración Duraznos: Estudios y Prácticas Taoístas por Mike Garofalo

Tao Te Ching - Wikisource

Tao Te Ching   Traducido al español por William Scott Wilson. 

Lao Tzu - Tao Te Ching   Traducido al español por Javier Cruz

Tao te king   Translated by John C. H. Wu, , versión española  

Daodejing   Español, Inglés, y Chino Versiones Lingüísticas de la Daodejing


 

                                      

 

 

 

"La virtud superior no se precia de virtuosa,
esa es su virtud.
La virtud inferior aprecia su propia virtud,
por eso no tiene virtud.
La virtud superior no actúa por intereses personales.
La virtud inferior sí actúa por intereses personales.
La bondad actúa sin requerir de motivaciones para hacerlo.
La justicia actúa, pero requiere de motivaciones para hacerlo.
El ritual actúa
y, al no hallar respuesta, la impone por la fuerza.
Así, perdido el Tao, queda la virtud.
Perdida la virtud, queda la bondad.
Perdida la bondad, queda la justicia.
Perdida la justicia, queda el ritual.
El ritual es sólo la apariencia de la fe y la lealtad,
pero es en realidad el origen de todo desorden y confusión.
La precognición es sólo una flor del Tao
y suele dar origen a la necedad.
Así, el sabio
observa lo profundo y no lo superficial.
Se atiene al fruto y no a la flor,
rechaza esto y prefiere aquello."
-  Translation from Wikisource, 2013, Capitulo 38

 

 

"La virtud superior no se precia de virtuosa,
esa es su virtud.
La virtud inferior aprecia su propia virtud,
por eso no tiene virtud.
La virtud superior no actúa
ni tiene objetivos que alcanzar.
La virtud inferior actúa
y tiene objetivos que alcanzar.

La bondad superior actúa
y no tiene objetivos.
La justicia superior actúa
y tiene objetivos.
El rito superior actúa
y, si no halla respuesta, la fuerza.

Así, perdido el Tao, queda la virtud.
Perdida la virtud, queda la bondad.
Perdida la bondad, queda la justicia.
Perdida la justicia, queda el rito.

El rito es sólo apariencia de fidelidad
y origen de todo desorden.
El conocimiento es sólo flor del Tao
y origen de la necedad

Así, el hombre grande
observa lo profundo y no lo superficial.
Se atiene al fruto y no a la flor,
rechaza esto y prefiere aquello."
-  Spanish Version Online at RatMachines, Capitulo 38 

 

 

 

 

Lao Tzu, Laozi

 

Next Chapter of the Tao Te Ching #39

Previous Chapter of the Tao Te Ching #37

Chapter and Thematic Index to the Tao Te Ching 

 

 

 

 

Tao Te Ching
Commentary, Interpretations, Research Tools, Resources
Chapter 38

 

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


Spanish Language Translations of the Tao Te Ching, Daodejing en Español


Concordance to the Daodejing


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! 


Two Visions of the Way: A Study of the Wang Pi and the Ho-Shang Kung Commentaries on the Lao-Tzu.  By Professor by Alan Kam-Leung Chan.   SUNY Series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture.  State University of New York Press, 1991.  Index, bibliography, glossary, notes, 314 pages.  ISBN: 0791404560.     


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.  Wang Bi (Wang Pi, Fusi), 226-249 CE, Commentary on the Tao Te Ching.


Chapter 38 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 comparison methods are provided, as well a a detailed index


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 38, 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.

 

"The study of nature does not create men who are fond of boasting and clamoring or who show off the education that impresses the many, but rather men who are strong and self-sufficient, and who take pride in their own personal qualities not in those that depend on external circumstances."

Epicurus, #45, Vatican Sayings  

 

 

 

                                               

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Laozi, Dao De Jing

 

 

Gushen Grove Notebooks for the Tao Te Ching


Research and Indexing by
Michael P. Garofalo

Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Center, Gushen Grove Notebooks, Red Bluff, California
Green Way Research, 2011-2015. 
Indexed and Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo

 

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


This webpage was last modified or updated on November 12, 2014. 
This webpage was first distributed online on April 13, 2011. 
 

 

Michael P. Garofalo's E-mail

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

Valley Spirit Center, Red Bluff, California

 

 


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

One Old 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

Recurring Themes (Terms, Concepts, Leimotifs) in the Tao Te Ching

Spanish Language Translations of the Tao Te Ching

Resources

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
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