Oct 19, 2009

Review: Tao Te Ching

Countless words
count less
than the silent balance
between yin and yang

For this reading challenge, I went to the translation by Ralph Alan Dale, Tao Te Ching: A New Translation and Commentary illustrated with photographs by John Cleare, published 2002, Barnes and Noble.

I thought book bloggers would appreciate the above lines from verse 5. From the Commentaries, page 172,

"Ying and yang, like heaven and earth, is a metaphor for all that exists.... Thus - Countless words (our exhortations) count less than the silent (existential) balance between yin and yang."

Amazon product description:

The Tao Te Ching is a great treasure house of wisdom. Written by Lao Tzu as early as the sixth century B.C. and composed of only 5,000 characters, it has become one of the classic works of spiritual enlightenment.

This is a wonderful book, though not the most recent edition, nicely illustrated and the translation is easier to understand than I thought it would be. The commentaries are also helpful to divine the meaning.

Here is another quote:

The wise
teach without telling,
allow without commanding,
have without possessing,
care without claiming.

(from Verse 2, Relativity)

My first read for the China Challenge.
Bookmark and Share


  1. Thanks for sharing this version of the Tao Te Ching-I read another translation many years ago-I recently signed up for the "Old Classics Challenge (pre 1600)-this book would get me credit in two challenges!

  2. Good Luck on this challenge. I really liked the quotes you shared with us!

  3. One of my all-time favorite books. Have read bits 'n' pieces of it in various translations over many years. It always touches me. Loved the tantalizing bits you shared! ☺


I love getting comments and your thoughts...