Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo, Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Center, Gushen Grove Notebooks, Red Bluff, California
Chapter 3 Chapter 5 Index to All the Chapters Taoism Cloud Hands Blog
Emptiness or Void or Vacant (ch'ung), Tranquil, Nature, Knots or Tangled (fên), Infinite, Tao, The Ten Thousand Things (wan wu), The Ancestor (tsung) of All Things, God, Lord, Order, Likely or Apparently or Perhaps (huo), Chaos, Sharp, Uniting, Birth, Sharpness or Point (jui), Primeval, Great Obscurity, Untangles Knots, Deep Pool, Child or Offspring (tzu), Universe, Identify or Unite (t'ung), First Born, Timeless, Dust, Dao, Fathomless or Profound or Vast (yüan), Appearance, Creative, Used or Applied (yung), Parentless, Bottomless, Totality, Origin, Harmonize or Blend (ho), Cosmos, First Cause, Ocean, Gods, Dust or Common (ch'ên), Noumenon, Thing In Itself, Images or Reflections (hsiang), Resembles or Like or As If (ssu), Permanent, Continuing or Enduring (ts'un), Dulls or Blunts (ts'o), Brightness or Light (kuang), Exhausted or Depleted (ying), Precede or Antecedent (hsien), Hidden, Know (chih), Vessel, Loosen or Unravel or Untangle (chien), Eternal, Earth, Deep or Dark or Serene (chan), 無源
"The Dao appears to be emptiness but it is never exhausted.
Oh, it is profound!
It appears to have preceded everything.
It dulls its own sharpness, unravels its own fetters, softens its own brightness, identifies itself with its own dust.
Oh, it is tranquil!
It appears infinite.
I do not know from what it proceeds.
It even appears to be antecedent to the Lord."
- Translated by Dwight Goddard and Henri Borel, 1919, Chapter 4
"The Tao is full, exhaustless and complete; yet in
operation as though not self-elated.
In its origin it is as it were the Ancestor of All Things.
It chastens asperity; it unravels confusion; it moderates the radiance,
And and it identifies itself with the sordid ones of the earth.
It enables a man to associate with the base without being defiled.
Pellucid like a spreading ocean, it yet has the semblance of permanence.
I know not whose offspring it is.
Its ειδωλον existed before God was."
- Translated by Frederic H. Balfour, 1884, Chapter 4
"Tao, when put in use for its hollowness is not likely to be filled.
In its profundity it seems to be the origin of all things.
In its depth it seems ever to remain.
I do not know whose offspring it is;
But it looks like the predecessor of Nature."
- Translated by Ch'u Ta-Kao, 1904, Chapter 4
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"Tao is without limitation; its depth is the source of whatsoever is.
It makes shard things round, it brings order out of chaos, it obscures the brilliant, it is wholly without attachment.
I do not know who gave it birth; it is more ancient than God."
- Translated by Walter Gorn Old, 1904, Chapter 4
"The Tao is like the emptiness of a vessel; and in our employment of it we
must be on our guard against all fullness.
How deep and unfathomable it is, as if it were the Honored Ancestor of all things!
We should blunt our sharp points, and unravel the complications of things;
We should temper our brightness, and bring ourselves into agreement with the obscurity of others.
How pure and still the Tao is, as if it would ever so continue!
I do not know whose son it is. It might appear to have been before God."
- Translated by James Legge, 1891, Chapter 4
- Chinese characters, Chapter 4, Tao Te Ching
tao ch'ung erh yung chih huo pu ying.
yüan hsi ssu wan wu chih tsung.
ts'o ch'i jui.
chieh ch'i fên.
ho ch'i kuang t'ung ch'i ch'ên.
chan hsi ssu huo ts'un.
wu pu chih shui chih tzu.
hsiang ti chih hsien.
- Wade-Giles transliteration, Chapter 4, Tao Te Ching
dao chang er yong zhi huo bu ying.
yuan xi si wan wu zhi zong.
cuo qi rui.
jie qi fen.
he qi guang tong qi chen.
zhan xi si huo cun.
wu bu zhi shui zhi zi.
xiang di zhi xian.
- Pinyin transliteration, Chapter 4, Daodejing
Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters and English (includes a word by word key) from YellowBridge
Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters, Pinyin transliteration (romanization), English and German by Dr. Hilmar Alquiros.
Laozi Daodejing: Chapters with Chinese characters, seal script, detailed word by word concordance, Pinyin, German, French and English. Excellent!
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 transliteration with Chinese characters, WuWei Foundation
Tao Te Ching in Pinyin transliteration
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 in Chinese characters: Big 5 Traditional and GB Simplified
Convert from Pinyin to Wade Giles to Yale transliterations of Words and Terms: A Translation Tool from Qi Journal
Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters, Pinyin and Wade Giles transliteration spellings, English; a word for word translation of the Guodian Laozi Version.
Lao Zi's Dao De Jing: A Matrix Translation with Chinese Text by Bradford Hatcher.
Tao Te Ching: The Definitive Edition By Jonathan Star. Detailed tables for each verse provide line number, all the Chinese characters, Wade-Giles Romanization, and a list of meanings for each character. An essential desk reference tool for Tao Te Ching students, with word by word transliterations, meanings, interpretations.
"The Tao is empty, yet when applied it is never exhausted.
So deep it is, it seems to be the ancestor of all things.
Blunting sharp edges, resolving confusions,
Diffusing glare, uniting the world:
Such depth, something seems to exist there.
I do not know whose child it is.
It seems to have existed before the Ancestor."
- Translated by Tam C. Gibbs, 1981, Chapter 4
Parent of the universe,
It smoothes rough edges,
Unties hard knots,
Tempers the sharp sun,
Lays blowing dust,
Its image in the wellspring never fails.
But how was it conceived?--this image
Of no other sire."
- Translated by Witter Bynner, 1944, Chapter 4
"The way is empty, yet use will not drain it.
Deep, it is like the ancestor of the myriad creatures.
Blunt the sharpness;
Untangle the knots;
Soften the glare;
Let your wheels move only along old ruts.
Darkly visible, it only seems as if it were there.
I know not whose son it is.
It images the forefather of God."
- Translated by D. C. Lau, 1963, Chapter 4
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"The Way is like an empty vessel
That yet may be drawn from
Without ever needing to be filled.
It is bottomless; the very progenitor of all things in the world.
In it all sharpness is blunted,
All tangles untied,
All glare tempered,
All dust soothed.
It is like a deep pool that never dries.
Was it too the child of something else?
We cannot tell.
But as a substanceless image it existed before the Ancestor."
- Translated by Arthur Waley, 1934, Chapter 4
"The Tao is like an empty container:
it can never be emptied and can never be filled.
Infinitely deep, it is the source of all things.
It dulls the sharp, unties the knotted,
shades the lighted, and unites all of creation with dust.
It is hidden but always present.
I don't know who gave birth to it.
It is older than the concept of God."
- Translated by John H. McDonald, 1996, Chapter 4
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
"The Way is empty, yet never refills with use;
Bottomless it is, like the forefather of the myriad creatures.
It files away sharp points,
mingles with the dust.
Submerged it lies,
seeming barely to subsist.
I know not whose child it is,
only that it resembles the predecessor of God."
- Translated by Victor H. Mair, 1990, Chapter 4
"The Way is a void,
Used but never filled:
An abyss it is,
From which all things come.
It blunts sharpness,
It tempers light,
A deep pool it is,
Never to run dry!
Whose offspring it may be
I do not know:
It is like a preface to God."
- Translated by Raymond Blackney, 1955, Chapter 4
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
"Tao is infinite.
If we use It, we find It inexhaustible,
It appears to be Ancestor of all things.
It rounds our angles. It unravels our difficulties. It harmonizes our Light. It brings our atoms into Unity.
It appears to be everlasting in principle.
I do not know whose Son It is,
It existed before God was manifest in Form."
- Translated by Isabella Mears, 1916, Chapter 4
"Nature contains nothing but natures; and these natures are nothing over and above Nature.
In Nature, all natures originate,
all conflicts are settled, all differences are united, all disturbances are quieted.
Yet no matter how many natures come into being, they can never exhaust Nature.
To look for an external source of Nature is foolish, for Nature is the source of all else."
- Translated by Archie J. Bahm, 1958, Chapter 4
"The Tao appears as emptiness, with unreplenished hands,
And in its vast profundity is like the sire of all,
It smoothes the angles in our path, unravels twisted strands,
Softens the glaring light, and fills the clouds of dust that fall.
How pure and still the Tao is! as if it would endure
Forever and forever, oh! whose offspring can it be?
I do not know whose son it is, its birth is so obscure
It seems it might have been before
God, in eternity!"
- Translated by Isaac Winter Heysinger, 1903, Chapter 4
"The Tao resembleth the emptiness of Space; to employ it, we must avoid
Oh Tao, how vast art Thou, the Abyss of Abysses, thou
Holy and Secret Father of all Fatherhoods of Things!
Let us make our sharpness blunt; let us loosen our complexes; let us
tone down our brightness to the general obscurity.
Oh Tao, how still art thou, how pure, continuous One beyond Heaven!
This Tao hath no Father; it is beyond all other conceptions, higher than the highest."
- Translated by Aleister Crowley, 1918, Chapter 4
"The Tao is as emptiness, so are its
It resembles non-fullness.
It seems to be the ancestor of all form.
It removes sharpness, unravels confusion, harmonizes brightness, and becomes one with everything.
It bears the appearance of permanence.
I know not whose son it is.
Its Noumenon was before the Lord."
- Translated by C. Spurgeon Medhurst, 1905, Chapter 4
"The Way is like an empty vessel which, in spite of being used, is
How bottomless it is, like the progenitor of the ten thousand things!
How deep it is, as if it will last forever!
Generated by I know not what, it is the Image of what was before the Emperors".
- Translated by Jan J. L. Duyvendak, 1954, Chapter 4
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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 4 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
Concordance to the Daodejing
Chapter 4 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. Offline as of 25 May 2013.
Tao Te Ching English Translations from Terebess Asia Online. Over 30 translations.
Lao-tzu's Taoteching Translated by Red Pine (Bill Porter). Includes many brief selected commentaries for each Chapter draw from commentaries in the past 2,000 years. Provides a verbatim translation and shows the text in Chinese characters. San Francisco, Mercury House, 1996, Second Edition, 184 pages. An invaluable resource for commentaries.
Reading Lao Tzu: A Companion to the Tao Te Ching with a New Translation By Ha Poong Kim. Xlibris, 2003, 198 pages.
Chapter 4, 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.
Gushen Grove Notebooks for the Tao Te Ching
Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Center, Gushen Grove Notebooks, Red Bluff, California
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