The Ancestor of All Things, Great Obscurity, 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
er yong zhi huo bu ying.
si wan wu zhi zong.
Cuo qi rui,
jie qi fen;
he qi guang,
tong qi chen;
si huo cun.
Wu bu zhi shui zhi zi,
xiang di zhi xian."
- Pinyin romanized transliteration, 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
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 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
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
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
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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.
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
Tao Te Ching: A Bibliography and Index of Translations on the Web
Chapter 4 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.
Das Tao Te King von Lao Tse The largest collection of very nicely formatted complete versions of the Tao Te Ching. The collection includes 209 complete versions in 27 languages, plus 28 Chinese versions. There are 112 English language versions of the Tao Te Ching available at this website. A variety of search methods and comparision methods are provided, as well a a detailed index. Offline on 5/12/2013.
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.
Gushen Grove Notebooks for the Tao Te Ching
Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Grove, Gushen Grove Notebooks, Red Bluff, California
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