No understanding of Chinese civilization is possible without a grasp of Taoism, the philosophy that has shaped not just Chinese spirituality but also art, science
and politics. And it was in the Tao Te Ching, written around 300BC, that the fundamental beliefs of Taoism were first gathered. This short, wise but very humble book went on to influence on philosophy, religion and politics.
In a compellingly simple rhetorical style the book addresses how to live a simple, peaceful and harmonious life, how to rid oneself of desires and free society of institutions that promote greed.
This dual-language edition of Tao Te Ching presents the original Chinese characters with a new translation on the facing page. With a new introduction that
discusses the questioned authorship of the text and editorial notes, all 81 brief chapters are included, ranging from advice for politicians to wise words for the
Of immense influence across millennia, Tao Te Ching is a classic text richly deserving this exquisite edition.
James Trapp is the author of Chinese Characters: The Art and Meaning of Hanzi, Chinese Proverbs and also has translated a new edition of Sun Tzu's The Art of War. A Chinese language graduate of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, he teaches Mandarin and is an Education Officer on the China Collection at the British Museum.
Introduction 6 1. The Mystery of the Dao 2. Not-doing 3. Removing Desire 4. The Infinite Dao 5. Cultivating Emptiness 6. The Spirit of the Valley 7. Self Through Selflessness 8. Avoiding Conflict 9. Recognizing Sufficiency 10. Potential of the Dao 11. The Power of Insubstantial 12. Subjugation of Desire 13. Avoidance of Danger 14. The Essence of the Dao 15. Qualities of the Dao 16. Returning to Origin 17. The Natural Order 18. Neglecting the Dao 19. Diminishing the Self 20. Different from Others 21. The Origin of All Things 22. Restraint and Completion 23.Trust in the Dao 24. Left-over Food and Aimless Journeys 25. Natural Order 26. Gravity and Temperance 27. Deftness and Enlightenment 28. A River Valley to the World 29. Avoiding Extremes 30. Accordance with the Dao 31. The Sorrow of War 32. The Harmonious Dao 33. Longevity 34. The Pervasive Dao 35. The Inexhaustible Dao 36. Maintaining the Mystery of the Dao 37. Tranquility 38. Avoidance of Chaos 39. Wisdom of the Ancients 40. Non-being 41. The Paradox of the Dao 42. The Basis of My Teaching 43. Achieved by Very Few 44. Ensuring Longevity 45. Order Under Heaven 46. At One With the Dao 47. Knowing Without Moving 48. Loss Upon Loss 49. The Enlightened Man 50. Life and Death 51. The Mysterious Process 52. Understanding the Infinite 53. The Winding By-ways 54. Cultivating Virtue 55. Purity of the New-Born 56. Honouring the Dao 57. Benefits of Simplicity 58. Sharp but Not Dangerous 59. Thrift 60. Doing No Harm 61. The Power of Receptiveness 62. Honouring the Dao 63. By Means of the Dao 64. Being Cautious 65. The Great Congruence of the Dao 66. Taking the Lower Position 67. Three Treasures 68. Following the Ancient Wisdom 69. Regretting Aggression 70. A Precious Jade 71 Recognizing One's Faults 72. Treasuring the Self 73. The Net of the Dao 74. Accepting Responsibility 75. Restraint 76. The Supple and the Soft 77. Like Drawing a Bow 78. Straightforward but Paradoxical 79. Impartiality 80. The Enlightened Ruler 81. The Universal Dao Index 96