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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Religions & Faiths > Taoism

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  #1  
Old 08-04-2020, 10:52 PM
Hawaiian Dreams Hawaiian Dreams is offline
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Help: Which Version of Tao Te Ching

I didn't realize there were so many versions, but I guess I should have expected that given there's so many English versions of the Bible. Which version would you recommend and why? Thanks!!
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  #2  
Old 09-04-2020, 01:27 AM
FallingLeaves FallingLeaves is offline
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it is like looking at yourself in a mirror. Most choose the most flattering mirror though...
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  #3  
Old 09-04-2020, 01:43 AM
ketzer ketzer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawaiian Dreams
I didn't realize there were so many versions, but I guess I should have expected that given there's so many English versions of the Bible. Which version would you recommend and why? Thanks!!
Good question. Given that the first verse more or less warns you that the Tao that can be written, spoken, thought, is not the true Tao, about the only thing we know is no matter who translates it or doesn't translate it at all, it is going to be wrong......well at least as far as describing the Tao. Yet people will still try to argue about which version is the "right one". My advice would be to be a Tao Te Ching surfer. If one interpenetration doesn't suit you try a few others, see if you pick up a common thread. It is about the best one can hope for in terms of trying to understand the Tao through written words. I found most verses sounded (some still do) like jibberish, but they do grow on you and eventually, the meanings seem to come though, but of course as the Tao that can be spoken is not the true Tao, I could not tell you what they mean, even to me. I have had some people become quite indignant about their interpretation being the right one. All I could say is, "That is not how I understand it."
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  #4  
Old 15-04-2020, 10:28 PM
Starjumper7 Starjumper7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ketzer
Good question. Given that the first verse more or less warns you that the Tao that can be written, spoken, thought, is not the true Tao, about the only thing we know is no matter who translates it or doesn't translate it at all, it is going to be wrong......well at least as far as describing the Tao.

I think there is some confusion here. Chapter one says that the name of the Tao is not the eternal name. This simply means that words and names, as well as the words used for explanations, change with time, and will be interpreted differently. However the book in general does a pretty god job of desicribing how the Tao functions.

but your in luck! I have devised the best explanation for what the Tao is, so here goes, are you ready"

Tao is the way the universe works.

You could say it is the set of operating instructions for how the universe works, which includes the known and unknown laws of physics and spirit.

It has no personality, no feelings, no desires. It appeared prior to the big bang. Tao begot one (the big bang) The one differentiated into two (matter and energy, with matter being Yin and energy being yang) The two interacted to create the ten thousand things. Out universe and everything in it.
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  #5  
Old 16-04-2020, 01:05 AM
ketzer ketzer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starjumper7
I think there is some confusion here. Chapter one says that the name of the Tao is not the eternal name. This simply means that words and names, as well as the words used for explanations, change with time, and will be interpreted differently. However the book in general does a pretty god job of desicribing how the Tao functions.

but your in luck! I have devised the best explanation for what the Tao is, so here goes, are you ready"

Tao is the way the universe works.

You could say it is the set of operating instructions for how the universe works, which includes the known and unknown laws of physics and spirit.

It has no personality, no feelings, no desires. It appeared prior to the big bang. Tao begot one (the big bang) The one differentiated into two (matter and energy, with matter being Yin and energy being yang) The two interacted to create the ten thousand things. Out universe and everything in it.
Not bad, not bad at all. The Tao is the way the universe works. I would include include quantum mechanics, relativity, and physics yet unknown and perhaps unknowable along in there as well. However, perhaps there is a bit more inflation in my imagination as I am not so sure that it has no personality, feelings, or desires. I think that perhaps it has all conceivable personalities, feelings, and desires somewhere in there as well. As to the rest of that definition, I actually posted something along those lines myself just a few days ago, only I sort of had me doing all those things, albeit I would be following that set of operating instructions in order to do so. As to whether or not this is the best definition, I still hold that the Tao itself is ineffable and unknowable through thought, so I really can't give that statement a fair hearing as I have no standard of my own to measure against. Anyway, it seems as good as any attempt I have seen so far.
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  #6  
Old 16-04-2020, 08:03 AM
sky123 sky123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starjumper7
I think there is some confusion here. Chapter one says that the name of the Tao is not the eternal name. This simply means that words and names, as well as the words used for explanations, change with time, and will be interpreted differently. However the book in general does a pretty god job of desicribing how the Tao functions.

but your in luck! I have devised the best explanation for what the Tao is, so here goes, are you ready"

Tao is the way the universe works.

You could say it is the set of operating instructions for how the universe works, which includes the known and unknown laws of physics and spirit.

It has no personality, no feelings, no desires. It appeared prior to the big bang. Tao begot one (the big bang) The one differentiated into two (matter and energy, with matter being Yin and energy being yang) The two interacted to create the ten thousand things. Out universe and everything in it.



The concept of ' Wuji ' might interest you..
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  #7  
Old 17-04-2020, 04:43 PM
Starjumper7 Starjumper7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sky123
The concept of ' Wuji ' might interest you..

I'm familiar with some aspects of wuji. Which aspect did you have in mind?
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  #8  
Old 17-04-2020, 07:35 PM
sky123 sky123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starjumper7
I'm familiar with some aspects of wuji. Which aspect did you have in mind?


The Tao in stillness....
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  #9  
Old 09-04-2020, 05:32 PM
Hawaiian Dreams Hawaiian Dreams is offline
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Thank you to both of you. I decided to rely on my guides to pick the right one. There was one that gave me a greater vibration when I looked at the titles than others, and that is the one I chose.
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  #10  
Old 10-04-2020, 04:43 PM
Starjumper7 Starjumper7 is offline
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My favorite version is the one translated by Gia Fu Feng and with photos by Jane English.

I has the beautiful poetic and mystical feeling of the original, and it is translated in a way, which like the original, embodiess different levels that can be seen by different people, depending on their awareness of and advancement along the Way.

Many of what are called translations are instead interpretations, and a lot of these interpretations are done by people with not too much advancement. Therefore they lack poetic beauty and interpret the chapterss at a low level of awareness, which can restrict a reader's potential to see deeply into the meanings.

Another thing to know is that the translations or interpretations which are done by Westerners can easily miss the all important inflections which a native Chinese speaker will be aware of. This is another reason why I consider this version to be very good.

Tere is a free online version of the Gia Fu Feng translation which you can find by entering Tao Te Ching Gia Fu Feng in to a search engine, and the site is named Terebess Asia Online
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