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Laotzu's Tao and Wu Wei

By Dwight Goddard and Henri Borel


Contents    Start Reading    Page Index    Text [Zipped]

Why post yet another translation of the Tao te Ching? This one is by Dwight Goddard, the author of A Buddhist Bible, and it is a very transparent and readable version. This translation was the predecessor of one which Goddard slipped into later editions of the Buddhist Bible, one of the few explicitly non-Buddhist texts in that collection. The versions of the Tao te Ching already online are by 19th century scholars who, although very capable, tend to be a bit pedantic. The concepts of Taoism are very lucid, and wrapping them in too much verbiage, as Legge et al did, add an unneeded layer of obscurity. Goddard, who was a Zen Buddhist and studied eastern philosophy extensively, comes much closer to the essence of the text, even if he occasionally moves portions of it around. This book also includes a translation of an extended essay by Henri Borel on Taoist philosophy and aesthetics.

--John Bruno Hare, September 17th, 2004.

Note: the second edition of this book, published in 1939, with a very different translation of the Tao te Ching, is also available at this site.

Tao Teh King [Goddard]    Wu Wei [Borel]

Title Page
All we know about Laotzu

Tao Teh King

I. What is the Tao
II. Self-Development
III. Quieting People
IV. Tao, Without Origin
V. Impartiality
VI. The Infinitude of Creative Effort
VII. Humility
VIII. The Nature of Goodness
IX. Moderation
X. What is Possible
XI. The Value of Non-Existence
XII. Avoiding Desire
XIII. Loathing Shame
XIV. In Praise of the Profound
XV. That Which Reveals Teh
XVI. Returning to the Source
XVII. Simplicity of Habit
XVIII. The Palliation of the Inferior
XIX. Return to Simplicity
XX. The Opposite of the Commonplace
XXI. The Heart of Emptiness
XXII. Increase by Humility
XXIII. Emptiness and Not-Doing (Wu Wei)
XXIV. Troubles and Merit
XXV. Describing the Mysterious
XXVI. The Virtue (Teh) of Dignity
XXVII. The Function of Skill
XXVIII. Returning to Simplicity
XXIX. Not Forcing Things (Wu Wei)
XXX. Be Stingy of War
XXXI. Avoiding War
XXXII. The Virtue (Teh) of Holiness
XXXIII. The Virtue (Teh) of Discrimination
XXXIV. The Perfection of Trust
XXXV. The Virtue (Teh) of Benevolence
XXVI. Explanation of a Paradox
XXXVII. Administering the Government
XXXVIII. A Discussion About Teh
XXXIX. The Root of Authority
XL. Avoiding Activity
XLI. The Unreality of Appearance
XLII. The Transformation of Tao
XLIII. The Function of the Universal
XLIV. Precepts
XLV. The Virtue (Teh) of Greatness
XLVI. Limitation of Desire
XLVII. Seeing the Distant
XLVIII. To Forget Knowledge
XLIX. The Virtue (Teh) of Trust
L. Esteem Life
LI. Teh As A Nurse
LII. Return to Origin
LIII. Gain By Insight
LIV. To Cultivate Intuition
LV. To Verify the Mysterious
LVI. The Teh of the Mysterious
LVII. The Habit of Simplicity
LVIII. Adaptation to Change
LIX. To Keep Tao
LX. To Maintain Position
LXI. The Teh of Humility
LXII. The Practice of Tao
LXIII. A Consideration of Beginnings
LXIV. Consider the Insignificant
LXV. The Teh of Simplicity
LXVI. To Subordinate Self
LXVII. Three Treasures
LXVIII. Compliance With Heaven
LXIX. The Function of the Mysterious
LXX. The Difficulty of Understanding
LXXI. The Disease of Knowledge
LXXII. To Cherish One's Self
LXXIII. Action is Dangerous
LXXIV. Overcoming Delusions
LXXV. Loss By Greediness
LXXVI. Beware of Strength
LXXVII. Tao Of Heaven
LXXVIII. Trust and Faith
LXXIX. Enforcing Contracts
LXXX. Contentment
LXXXI. The Nature of the Essential
Valedictory. Part of the 20th Sonnet

Wu Wei

Contents of Wu Wei, by Henri Borel
Chapter I. Tao
Chapter II. Art
Chapter III. Love