The Tao Te Ching was written by Lao Tsu (Lao Tzu) around 6th century BC. The Tao translated from Chinese to English is “Way.” This English translation by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English is the first translation I purchased. My old 70’s copy is water stained, mildewed, torn, pages falling out and overall in sad condition. The Tao Te Ching introduced me to the world of the Tao.
Even though I have other English translations, the Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English version is the one that I usually reach for. The Tao Te Ching consists of 81 short chapters full of wisdom. This is not the type of book to sit and read in one night. One should slowly enjoy each chapter like drinking wine. No Rush! Read a chapter, come back a week or month later and read another chapter. In fact, over the years, I have gone back over and over to read a chapter. I’m always surprised how I pick up another nugget of wisdom after each time I sit holding the Tao Te Ching and revisiting a chapter. The Tao will slow down your life. The Tao Te Ching should be required reading for all students.
Before listing three excerpt example translations, I would also like to point out that the Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English version is illustrated with black and white photographs taken by Jane English. The combination of the translations and photographs have provided me many hours of relaxation.
Chapter Thirty-Three (First four lines excerpt only)
Knowing others is wisdom;
Knowing the self is enlightenment.
Mastering others requires force;
Mastering the self needs strength.
Chapter Fifty-Eight (First four lines excerpt only)
When the country is ruled with a light hand
The people are simple.
When the country is ruled with severity,
The people are cunning.
Chapter Sixty-Eight (First four lines excerpt only)
A good soldier is not violent.
A good fighter is not angry.
A good winner is not vengeful.
A good employer is humble
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