Suggestions on a straightforward translation of Tao

Discussion in 'Tao' started by A Cup Of Tea, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    I wish to read up on the tao but I find it rather daunting. There are so many books and ways to describe the tao that I keep prosponing finding a suitable book.
    Poetry and elaborate symbolism don't do much for me. I found Lionel Giles translation of the Art of War spoke to me so perhaps something in that fashion.
    I wish Vajradhara was more active nowadays, he/she/it seems very knowledgeable in this area.
     
  2. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    Ron Hogan's simple English Tao Te Ching, freely translated
     
  3. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    I'm sure she'll be around again. In the meantime, you may find The New Lao Tzu - A Contemporary Tao Te Ching by Ray Grigg fits the bill.
     
  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Any thoughts on the Tao of Pooh or the Te of Piglet?

    Note while this may not sound serious it is, I heard these two are a great light introduction and tease/enticement/preparation for serious inquiry.

    Oh bother.
     
  5. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    I seem to remember enjoying the Pooh more, but it was a long time ago and I don't have them any more. Anyway it looks like they've been combined into one paperback now.
     
  6. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    Hehe, thanks seattlegal, it doesn't get any more straightforward than that I think. It wasn't what I had in mind but it's really cool and I will keep this and compare other works to it.

    And thank you Snoopy and wil. Pooh and piglet, as in winnie the pooh? I have only seen the cartoon as a kid but I think I remember a simple sort of philosophy that might meld well with the tao.

    I will also see if I can find a copy of Ray Grigg.
     
  7. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    Yah, Winnie.

    I like the Hogan one too. He's said he might attempt to do the same for the Book of Changes (I Ching).
     
  8. Etu Malku

    Etu Malku Mercur├Žn

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    I must say, besides the fact that I am much interested in the "WAY", this thread has become a truly enlightening one . . . if only all threads could be this "WAY"!
     
  9. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    If he can do it for Chuang Tzu, that would really be something!
    Thomas Merton has some good stuff out on Chuang Tzu.

    Hogan seems more of the Zen persuasion, so he prolly won't try to tackle anything like Secret of the Golden Flower.
     
  10. jungleturtle

    jungleturtle a buddha

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    Tao of Pooh is great, Te of Piglet is good, in my opinion. I know Tao of Pooh is sometimes used in university settings as an introduction to Taoism. Another good one is Watercourse Way by Alan Watts. Not his best book, but good.

    There's so many translations of the Tao Te Ching, I've never been able to settle on one. I just read many translations and tumble the words around in my mind to get the "flavor" of them.
     
  11. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    Yes, that's an excellent notion. There can be considerable variations between translations. None could be considered to be the definitive.
     
  12. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    I bought the package Tao of Pooh and Te of Piglet for my girlfriend, I think she needs some taoist non-action influence. I wrapped it as soon as I got home (I haven't decided when to give it to her yet) so I haven't had a chance to sneak a peek.

    I bought The Sayings of Lao Tzu translated by Lionel Giles, whos translation of the Art of War I really liked. I haven't even opened this one either, but I'm looking forward.

    Oh I wish I had the attention span, but I seldom finish books as it is.
     
  13. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Cup of Tea, what have you learned about the Tao?
     
  14. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    Oh but the Tao Te Ching is in nice short verses! Ideal for just such a reader!

    And no-one reads slower than me! :)
     
  15. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    Nothing yet, I flow in and out of hobbies and interests, I picked up figure drawing again. But now I have the material at my fingertips and I have also learned that:

    That's good news!
    Seattlegal pointed me to chapter 38 just yesterday, I didn't pay attention to the book as a whole, but now I know.
     
  16. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    I think the Dhammapada is so popular because it is concise and consists of short chapters broken into short verses.
     
  17. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Graham's translation of the Inner Wings of Chuangzi is great for first 14 cahpters (the ones which were probably original). Watson's classic 68-70 edition of entire corpus is sufficient for the rest (actually overall still the best for the copmplete Chungzi). Watson get from library (expensive, if I remember). Graham is < $20 and not a bad intro.

    Pax et amore vincunt omnia.
     
  18. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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  19. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    You think I should complement Tao with Buddhism?

    First I thought Chuangzi was an odd spelling of Confucius. I found Watson at an online shop for about < $20. Thanks to seattlegal I can try it out before I make up my mind. I'll look for Graham's as well. I appreciate your suggestions.

    Thank you, you are very handy. Where can I download a seattlegal for offline use?
     
  20. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    Only if you found it of value. It was not my intention to evangelise; rather to simply note the similar format and popularity of two items of which I am aware.
     

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