Origin of the Law, Oneness, Wholeness, Power of the Dao, Root of Order,
Unity, Source of Authority, 法本
"The things which from of old have got the One, the Tao, are:
Heaven which by it is bright and pure;
Earth rendered thereby firm and sure;
Spirits with powers by it supplied;
Valleys kept full throughout their void
All creatures which through it do live
Princes and kings who from it get
The model which to all they give.
All these are the results of the One, the Tao.
If heaven were not thus pure, it soon would rend;
If earth were not thus sure, it would break and bend;
Without these powers, the spirits soon would fail;
If not so filled, the drought would parch each vale;
Without that life, creatures would pass away;
Princes and kings, without that moral sway,
However grand and high, would all decay.
Thus it is that dignity finds its firm root in its previous meanness, and what is lofty finds its stability in the lowness from which it rises.
Hence princes and kings call themselves 'Orphans,' 'Men of small virtue,' and as 'Carriages without a nave.'
Is not this an acknowledgment that in their considering themselves mean they see the foundation of their dignity?
So it is that in the enumeration of the different parts of a carriage we do not come on what makes it answer the ends of a carriage.
They do not wish to show themselves as elegant-looking as jade, but prefer to be coarse-looking as an ordinary stone."
- Translated by James Legge, 1891, Chapter 39
"From of old these things have obtained oneness:
Heaven by oneness becometh pure.
Earth by oneness can endure.
Minds by oneness souls procure.
Valleys by oneness repletion secure.
All creatures by oneness to life have been called.
And kings were by oneness as models installed.
Such is the result of oneness.
Were heaven not pure it might be rent.
Were earth not stable it might be bent.
Were minds not ensouled they'd be impotent.
Were valleys not filled they'd soon be spent.
When creatures are lifeless who can their death prevent?
Are kings not models, but on haughtiness bent,
Their fall, forsooth, is imminent.
Thus, the nobles come from the commoners as their root, and the high rest upon the lowly as their foundation.
Therefore, princes and kings call themselves orphaned, lonely, and unworthy.
Is this not because they take lowliness as their root?
The several parts of a carriage are not a carriage.
Those who have become a unity are neither anxious to be praised with praise like a gem, nor disdained with disdain like a stone."
- Translated by Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki and Paul Carus, 1913, Chapter 39
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"xi zhi de yi zhe
tian de yi yi qing,
di de yi yi ning,
shen de yi yi ling,
gu de yi yi ying,
wan wu de yi yi sheng,
hou wang de yi yi wei tian xia zhen.
qi zhi zhi ye,
tian wu yi qing jiang kong lie;
di wu yi ning jiang kong fa;
shen wu yi ling jiang kong xie;
gu wu yi ying jiang kong jie;
wan wu wu yi sheng jiang kong mie;
hou wang wu yi gui gao jiang kong jue.
gui yi jian wei ben,
gao yi xia wei ji.
shi yi hou wang zi wei gu gua bu gu.
ci fei yi jian wei ben ye?
zhi shu yu wu yu.
bu yu lu lu ru yu,
luo luo ru shi."
- Pinyin Romanization
"In mythical times all things were whole:
All the sky was clear,
All the earth was stable,
All the mountains were firm,
All the riverbeds were full,
All of nature was fertile,
And all the rulers were supported.
But, losing clarity, the sky tore;
Losing stability, the earth split;
Losing strength, the mountains sank;
Losing water, the riverbeds cracked;
Losing fertility, nature disappeared;
And losing support, the rulers fell.
Rulers depend upon their subjects,
The noble depend upon the humble;
So rulers call themselves orphaned, hungry and alone,
To win the people's support."
- Translation by Peter Merel, 1992, Chapter 39
"In harmony with the Tao,
the sky is clear and spacious,
the earth is solid and full,
all creature flourish together,
content with the way they are,
endlessly repeating themselves,
When man interferes with the Tao,
the sky becomes filthy,
the earth becomes depleted,
the equilibrium crumbles,
creatures become extinct.
The Master views the parts with compassion,
because he understands the whole.
His constant practice is humility.
He doesn't glitter like a jewel
but lets himself be shaped by the Tao,
as rugged and common as stone."
- Translated by Stephen Mitchell, Chapter 39
"The ancients attained oneness.
Heaven attained oneness and became clear.
Earth attained oneness and became stable.
Spirits attained oneness and became divine.
The valleys attained oneness and became fertile.
Creatures attained oneness and lived and grew.
Kings and nobles attained oneness and became leaders.
What made them so is oneness.
Without clarity, heaven would crack.
Without stability, the earth would quake.
Without divinity, spirits would dissipate.
Without fertility, the valleys would be barren.
Without life and growth, creatures would die off.
Without leadership, kings and nobles would fall.
Therefore humility is the basis for nobility,
and the low is the basis for the high.
Thus kings and nobles call themselves
orphans, lonely, and unworthy.
Do they not depend upon the common people for support?
Dismantle the parts of a chariot, and there is no chariot.
Rather than tinkle like jade, rumble like rocks."
- Translated by Sanderson Beck, 1996, Chapter 39
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
of life has, from of old, been made manifest in its parts:
Clarity has been made manifest in heaven,
Firmness in earth,
Purity in the spirit,
In the valley conception,
In the river procreation;
And so in a leader ate the people made manifest
For wholeness of use.
But for clarity heaven would be veiled,
But for firmness earth would have crumbled,
But for purity spirit would have fumbled,
But for conception the valley would have failed,
But for procreation the river have run dry;
So, save for the people, a leader shall die:
Always the low carry the high
On a root for growing by.
What can stand lofty with no low foundation?
No wonder leaders of a land profess
Their stature and their station
To be servitude and lowliness!
If rim and spoke and hub were not,
Where would be the chariot?
Who will prefer the jingle of jade pendants if
He once has heard stone growing in a cliff!"
- Translated by Witter Bynner, 1944, Chapter 39
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"These are they which from of Old have obtained Unity.
Heaven obtained Unity by purity;
he earth obtained Unity by repose;
Spiritual beings obtained Unity by lack of bodily form;
The valleys obtained Unity by fulness;
All beings obtained Unity by life;
Princes and people obtained Unity by being under the rule of Heaven.
These all obtained permanence by Unity.
The innermost of Heaven is purity, if not so, it would be obscured;
The innermost of Earth is repose, it not so, it would disintegrate;
The innermost of spiritual beings is lack of bodily form, if not so, they would die;
The innermost of valleys is fulness of water, if not so, they would be sterile;
The innermost of creatures is life, if not so, they would perish.
The high honour of prince and people is in their being together under the rule of Inner Life, if not so, they would soon lose harmony,
The root of honour is in humility,
The standpoint of high estate is in lowliness.
That is why prince and people call themselves orphans, solitary men, chariots without wheels.
The active principle of their Unity is in lowliness.
Who can deny this?
If you take a chariot to pieces, you have no chariot (it has lost its Unity).
Do not desire to be isolated as a single gem, nor to be lost in a crowd as pebbles on the beach."
- Translated by Isabella Mears, 1916, Chapter 39
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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 39 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 commentary on each Chapter.
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 39 in the Rambling Taoist Commentaries by Trey Smith. The Rambling Taoists are Trey Smith and Scott Bradley.
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 39, 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.
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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.
Gushen Grove Notebooks for the Tao Te Ching
Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Grove, Gushen Grove Notebooks, Red Bluff, California
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