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Tao Te Ching- Lao Tzu, A Translation Paperback – September 5, 2012
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I was wondering how authentic this particular translation was, so I purchased another translation, by a Chinese authority on the Tao – Hua Ching Ni. I found the Hua Ching Ni book to have essentially the same message, though the words are very different. In some cases, the Waller translation elaborates a bit more, I believe to clarify items that the native Chinese might understand more intuitively.
Here is a randomly chosen example, from Verse 62:
If someone is lost, offer fine words to awaken him, offer good deeds to him, repay his unkindness with kindness. Do not discard the man but do discard his evil wayward ways. Let your gift to him be living in the way of the Tao.
Therefore on the day a leader is elected, do not offer your expertise or wealth to him. Rather help him by staying in the way of the Tao and teach him the way of the Tao. Let your way serve as an example for him to follow.
Hua Ching Ni:
Good words will find their market. Good deeds may be presented as a gift to another. Though a person has strayed from the right path, the all-encompassing subtle essence of the universe will never abandon him.
Thus, at the enthronement of an emperor, or the appointment of the three highest ministers of the empire, rather than present them with discs of jade and teams of fine horses, show them the priceless subtle way of the universe.
Summary: I highly recommend the Dennis Waller translation for native English readers. Easy to understand for the Western world, and the message, though not the words, is pure Tao.
*That said, I will also give the Hua Ching Ni translation 5 stars.
"The Thirty spokes connect at the center of the wheel at the hub
It is within the center of this emptiness of the hub that makes the wheel useful
When shaping clay it is the emptiness that creates the vase
It is in the emptiness that makes it useful
Rooms are made to have doors and windows
The usefulness of the room depends on what's not there
Without a door a room cannot be entered. Without a window there is no light.
The usefulness of what exists depends on what doesn't exist.
Such is the essence of non-existence."
I very much enjoyed this translation and would recommend it to other readers.
This book is very easy to read and to understand like drawing a sketch in black and white, no touching up nor coloring, reflecting the most original of itself. Dennis Waller has used simple examples to explain what is difficult to understand or abstracting.
"five color blind the eyes
five sounds deafen the ears
five flavors deaden the taste
excessive desires will madden the mind
excessive possessions preoccupy the mind with fear
the more your desire, the more you'll be discontented from what you have
the Sage fills his belly, not his eyes
the Sage satisfies his inner desires with what cannot be seen, not with the external temptation of the world"
There are eighty-one verses. I will be honest with you, some verses had me confused, and I knew those were ones I would need to revisit to understand more clearly. Other verses, were crystal clear in their meaning and I could visualize the images they conveyed; the essence of their message.
I am a huge believer in seeing oneself as they truly are...being authentic and reconnecting to the Divine. Although I know not everyone believes in the same Divine, I think that centering oneself and reading these verses will bring each person on the path they are destined for. Beautiful book.