Author Topic: Most Accurate Tao Te Ching  (Read 8532 times)

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August 07, 2014, 10:30:28 AM
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I am interested in studying more in depth Taoist philosophy through the Tao Te Ching. If anyone has information on the most accurate translation as of yet, I would greatly appreciate you sharing it.

Also, I've come across the book The Complete Works of Lao Tzu: Tao Teh ching and Hua hu ching by Hua-Ching Ni who is a Taoist Priest. I am highly interested in this because the Hua Hu Ching seems like a very interesting read, even if the elusive " Lao Tzu" is questioned as the actual author. So, does anyone have any information regarding the validity of this book in particular, because as of right now it seems to be the one I will begin with.

August 08, 2014, 12:30:28 AM
Reply #1


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I don't know about accuracy, but personally I would opt for Aleister Crowley's translation of the Tao Te Ching.
~ Io Daimon Eriounes Theon ~

"Success is thy proof: argue not; convert not; talk not over much!" ~ Aleister Crowley, Liber AL vel Legis

To Know, To Dare, To Will, To Be Silent, and To Liberate

November 07, 2014, 04:40:21 PM
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Hey guys. First time poster here. Ah, the good old Tao Te Ching and its many translations. I'm quite familiar with most of them. For this Hua-Ching Ni translation, it's definitely less poetic and both more interpretive and wordy than most translations. Personally, I read these types of books a meditation, so I prefer the more poetic translations like Stephen Mitchell's version. If you want a more in your face and direct version, go with the David Hinton translation. And you can't go wrong with the D.C. Lau (my first read one) or John C.H. Wu versions either. I suggest you go to a bookstore or check out the Amazon previews side by side and see which style you like best.

Bottom line, in every translated version of this book, is that if these writings were given a literal "word-for-word" translation, the book would make no sense. Both explanation and poetic license are needed. Even if you did know Chinese and read the original text, you would still be confused because of the way the language and culture evolved over time. It all comes down to a personal preference since all translations convey the same idea. It's like if a bunch of your friends go see a comedian and independently try to tell you the funniest joke afterwards. You'll get the gist, but some will tell it better than others based on your personal tastes. Hope this helps.  :cool:

November 08, 2014, 01:09:02 PM
Reply #3


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Each translation is so different from one another it is best to read multiple versions. Each one will explain things differently and each one comes from a different author with various backrounds. I have never read Crowley's version, but I would be so bold as to guess it is from a Yoga/Ceremonial Magic viewpoint, some are from philosophical viewpoints, some are from nei gong viewpoints, and some are from martial arts viewpoints.

The more you meditate on the passages the more you will gain understanding. Especially meditating on void and taking notice of the modern world and how true or false the messages seem to be regarding social values and systems will help the manuscript make more sense on a multi-dimensional level which will help you choose the right translation. Like any spiritual text, the words only convey a metaphor for a deeper truth that is only found through personal experience with the concepts.
"Spirit is in a state of grace forever.
Your reality is only spirit.
Therefore you are in a state of grace forever."

"As relfections of the Source, we are little gods."

"...part of me doesn't want to believe that auto-eroticism while crushing on a doodle (sigil) could manifest a check in the mail box, but hey, it did."

"Everybody laughs the same language."