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Daoism/Taoism stands alongside Confucianism as one of the two great religious/philosophical systems of China. Traditionally traced to the mythical Laozi “Old Philosopher,” Philosophical Daoism owes more to “philosopher Zhuang” (Zhuangzi) (4th Century BC). Daoism is an umbrella that covers a range of similarly motivated doctrines. The term “Daoism” is also associated with assorted naturalistic or mystical religions. Sometimes the term “Lao-Zhuang Philosophy” is used to distinguish the philosophical from the more religious “Huang-Lao” (Yellow Emperor-Laozi) strain of Daoist thought.


Hansen, Chad, "Taoism", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2008 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2008/entries/taoism/

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The Tao Te Ching


"The Tao Te Ching was written in China roughly 2,500 years ago at about the same time when Buddha expounded the Dharma in India and Pythagoras taught in Greece. The Tao Te Ching is probably the most influential Chinese book of all times. Its 81 chapters have been translated into English more times than any other Chinese document. The Tao Te Ching provides the basis for the philosophical school of Taoism, which is an important pillar of Chinese thought. Taoism teaches that there is one undivided truth at the root of all things."


Taken from ABOUT THE BIG VIEW.COM (in line with their fair and good faith copyright use)


Tao Te Ching Written by Lao-tzu From a translation by S. Mitchell



I don’t have anything to add about the first chapter, but would like to mention another good translation of the Tao (by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English). What I appreciate about Stephen Mitchell’s version is that he alternates using male and female pronouns in the text, while this one does not, though it often has more depth or poetic language--anyway here is the link if anyone wants to compare them --


The Tao Te Ching by Lao TzuSource: The Complete Tao Te ChingTranslated by Gia-fu Feng and Jane English, Vintage Books, 1989


Another site recommended this translation for beginners


Taoism Virtual Library: Stan Rosenthal's Tao Te Ching Introduction by Stan Rosenthal and The Translation



Does the yin yang symbol help at all?


Yin-Yang: Polarization, Recursion, and Transcendence in Daoism and Tantra


The Tao seems not only helpful but necessary as a complement to the bible – especially since quoting from scripture seems so liable to be misconstrued as literalism, even among progressives. ... Accepting this view might bring a certain contentment if not hope and inspiration. Somewhere between the Taoist and Christian perspectives there is a balance that feels more fully human than either one by itself.


This website has much commentary, a forum, blog etc-- Center Tao


Marsha, you had mentioned other translations – there’s a sentence by sentence comparison here


Tao Teh Ching - Index of Chapters


and an author by author comparison on this site, if you scroll down to the part on the Tao


Index of Terebess Asia Online (TAO)


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