and Difference, Hearing of the Tao, Hidden and Nameless Tao, The Unreality of Appearance,
Path of Contraries and Opposites, Bringing to Completion, Laughing it Off, 同異
"When wise students hear about the Dao,
they follow it with care.
When ordinary students hear about the Dao,
they sometimes believe in it, and sometimes doubt.
When foolish students hear about the Dao,
they laugh at it out loud.
If they did not laugh at it, it would not be the Dao.
There are these age-old sayings:
the brightest way seems dark;
the way forward seems like retreat;
the way that is smooth seems to be rough;
the highest goodness seems quite empty;
the purest whiteness seems to be soiled;
the vastest goodness seems insufficient;
the staunchest goodness seems to be frail;
the most solid reality seems to change.
The greatest square has no corners;
the greatest talents ripen late;
the greatest music has no sound;
the greatest images have no form.
The Dao is hidden, beyond all name;
and yet it is the Dao that nourishes and fulfils all things."
- Translated by Tom Chilcott, 2005, Chapter 41
"When a superior scholar hears of Reason he
endeavors to practise it.
When an average scholar hears of Reason he will sometimes keep it and sometimes lose it.
When an inferior scholar hears of Reason he will greatly ridicule it.
Were it not thus ridiculed, it would as Reason be insufficient.
Therefore the poet says:
"The Reason--enlightened seem dark and black,
The Reason--advanced seem going back,
The Reason--straight-levelled seem rugged and slack.
"The high in virtue resemble a vale,
The purely white in shame must quail,
The staunchest virtue seems to fail.
"The solidest virtue seems not alert,
The purest chastity seems pervert,
The greatest square will rightness desert.
"The largest vessel is not yet complete,
The loudest sound is not speech replete,
The greatest form has no shape concrete."
Reason so long as it remains latent is unnamable.
Yet Reason alone is good for imparting and completing."
- Translated by D.T. Suzuki and Paul Carus, 1913, Chapter 41
"When a superior man hears of the Tao,
he immediately begins to embody it.
When an average man hears of the Tao,
he half believes it, half doubts it.
When a foolish man hears of the Tao,
he laughs out loud.
If he didn't laugh,
it wouldn't be the Tao.
Thus it is said:
The path into the light seems dark,
the path forward seems to go back,
the direct path seems long,
true power seems weak,
true purity seems tarnished,
true steadfastness seems changeable,
true clarity seems obscure,
the greatest are seems unsophisticated,
the greatest love seems indifferent,
the greatest wisdom seems childish.
The Tao is nowhere to be found.
Yet it nourishes and completes all things."
- Translated by Stephen Mitchell, 1988, Chapter 41
Cloud Hands Blog
"When the lofty hear of Way
they devote themselves.
When the common hear of Way
they wonder if it's real or not.
And when the lowly hear of Way
they laugh out loud.
Without that laughter, it wouldn't be Way.
Hence the abiding proverbs:
Luminous Way seems dark.
Advancing Way seems retreating.
Formless Way seems manifold.
High Integrity seems low-lying.
Great whiteness seems tarnished.
Abounding Integrity seems lacking.
Abiding Integrity seems missing.
True essence seems protean.
The great square has no corners,
and the great implement completes nothing.
The great voice sounds faint,
and the great image has no shape.
Way remains hidden and nameless,
but it alone nourishes and brings to completion."
- Translated by David Hinton, Chapter 41
"Scholars of the highest class, when they hear about the
Tao, earnestly carry it into practice.
Scholars of the middle class, when they have heard about it, seem now to keep it and now to lose it.
Scholars of the lowest class, when they have heard about it, laugh greatly at it.
If it were not (thus) laughed at, it would not be fit to be the Tao.
Therefore the sentence-makers have thus expressed themselves:--
'The Tao, when brightest seen, seems light to lack;
Who progress in it makes, seems drawing back;
Its even way is like a rugged track.
Its highest virtue from the vale doth rise;
Its greatest beauty seems to offend the eyes;
And he has most whose lot the least supplies.
Its firmest virtue seems but poor and low;
Its solid truth seems change to undergo;
Its largest square doth yet no corner show
A vessel great, it is the slowest made;
Loud is its sound, but never word it said;
A semblance great, the shadow of a shade.'
The Tao is hidden, and has no name; but it is the Tao which is skilful at imparting
(to all things what they need) and making them complete."
- Translated by James Legge, 1891, Chapter 41
"When the best shih hears Tao, he puts out great effort
to practice it.
When the average shih hears Tao, he will keep it sometimes, and sometimes forget about it.
When the poorest shih hears Tao, he just has a big laugh."
If he does not laugh, it must not quite be Tao.
Yes, the 'Well-Founded Sayings' has it: The bright Tao seems dark the Tao going forward seems to be going backward the smooth Tao seems rough.
The loftiest Te seems like a valley great purity seems sullied abundant Te seems insufficient
Well-founded Te seems flimsy what is pure and natural seems faded the best square has no corners
A great bronze takes long to finish great music has a delicate sound the Great Image has no shape.
Tao is something concealed, nameless.
It is just Tao, good at sustaining a person and completing him."
- Translated by Michael LaFargue, 1992, Chapter 41
"When seers see their nothingness
They never let it out of sight
But others see it now and then
And miss out on its true delight
Still others only laugh it off
And look at it with ridicule
It wouldn't be the real truth
If it weren't laughed at by the fool
The brightest way seems darkness
Just going on seems like retreat
The simple way seems difficult
Capacity seems like defeat
Clarity can seem obscure
And love seem not to care
Totality seems not enough
And truth can seem to err
Awareness doesn't have a name
To all appearances is null
Yet it produces everything
And so this empty place is full."
- Translated by Jim Clatfelter, 2000, Chapter 41
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
"When superior people hear of the Way, they carry it out
When middling people hear of the way, it sometimes seems to be there, sometimes not.
When lesser people hear of the Way, they ridicule it greatly.
If they didn't laugh at it, it wouldn't be the Way.
So there are constructive sayings on this: The Way of illumination seems dark, the Way of advancement seems retiring, the Way of equality seems to categorize; higher virtue seems empty, greater purity seems ignominious, broad virtue seems insufficient,
constructive virtue seems careless.
Simple honesty seems changeable, great range has no boundaries, great vessels are finished late; the great sound has a rarefied tone, the great image has no form, the Way hides in namelessness.
Only the Way can enhance and perfect."
- Translated by Thomas Cleary, 1991, Chapter 41
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
"When great scholars heard of Tao, they diligently followed it.
When mediocre scholars heard of Tao, sometimes they kept it, sometimes they lost it.
When inferior scholars heard of Tao, they laughed at it.
Whether they laugh or whether they follow, Tao remains active.
Therefore the poets have said:
Brightness of Tao seems to be dark,
Progress in Tao seems going back,
The aim of Tao seems confused.
The highest Tao seems lowliest,
Great purity seems full of shame,
The fullest Teh seems incomplete.
Teachers of Teh have lost their zeal
And certain Truth appears to change.
A great square with inner angles,
A great vase unfinished,
A great voice never heard,
A great Image with inner form.
Tao is hid within its Name,
But by Tao the Masters bless,
And all things bring to perfectness."
- Translated by Isabella Mears, 1916, Chapter 41
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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 41 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 41 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 41, 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 Grove, Gushen Grove Notebooks, Red Bluff, California
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