|10-15-2007, 08:03 PM||#1|
Join Date: May 2007
Location: South Wales, UK
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Lao-Tse: The Tao Teh King (Tr. Legge), v1, 16 Oct 2007.
Lao-Tse: The Tao Teh King, or The Tao and its Characteristics
Translated by James Legge.
A translation of the great Taoist classic.
It takes the form of numbered aphorisms, some in verse.
(Because the Way of the Tao is notoriously difficult to translate, I shall also upload a different translation by Lionel Giles.)
Laozi's work, the Tao Te Ching, is one of the most significant treatises in Chinese philosophy. It is his magnum opus, covering large areas of philosophy from individual spirituality and inter-personal dynamics to political techniques. According to esoteric adherents, the book contains specific instructions for Taoist adepts relating to qigong meditations, and in veiled preachings the way to revert to the primodial state, that supported the view Taoism was a religion in the quest of immortality. Two central concepts to the Tao Te Ching are the Dao (the "Way") and wu wei ("non-action").
The Tao Te Ching, often called simply the Laozi after its author, emphasizes the Dao. In the text, it is the source, and ideal, of all existence. It is unseen, but not transcendent, being the root of all things. According to the Tao Te Ching, humans have no special place within the Dao, being one of many things. People have desires and free will, able to alter their own nature. This leads to many acting "unnaturally", upsetting the natural balance of the Dao. The Tao Te Ching intends to lead students to a "return" to their natural state, in harmony with Dao. Ivanhoe & Van Norden state that the work presents a form of "philosophical therapy", rather than focusing on the coherent presentation of a theory. They say the arguments it makes are secondary to the paradoxes, images and poetic cadence, meant to move and challenge the reader.
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