Tao Te Ching

Discussion on literature other than by the Star of Azazel.
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Nahumatarah
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Tao Te Ching

Post by Nahumatarah »

Tao Te Ching, Chapter 23 wrote:"To be sparing of words is natural.
A violent wind cannot last a whole morning; pelting rain cannot last a whole day.
Who have made these things but heaven and earth?
Inasmuch as heaven and earth cannot last forever, how can man?
He who engages himself in Tao is identified with Tao.
He who engages himself in virtue is identified with virtue.
He who engages himself in abandonment is identified with abandonment.
Identified by Tao, he will be well received by Tao.
Identified with virtue, he will be well received by virtue.
Identified with abandonment, he will be well received by abandonment."
- Translated by Ch'u Ta-Kao, 1904
At the beginning of my spiritual path, Tao Te Ching was heavily influential on me. Is there anyone here who can recommend good English or Finnish translations to this book? I'm mainly looking for translations that seek to translate its meaning, rather than give exact word to word translation, but all recommendations (also commentaries) are welcome. My favorite so far is the one I quoted by Ch'u Ta-Kao. I have also read the Finnish translation by Taoling and the English translation by Stephen Mitchell.

I'm also interested to hear your recommendations or opinions on chapters that could be especially relevant to the practice, and philosophy of the Star of Azazel.
"The time has come to turn your heart into a temple of fire."

- Jalāl ad-Dīn Mohammad Rūmī
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Nefastos
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Re: Tao Te Ching

Post by Nefastos »

Nahumatarah wrote: Mon Nov 15, 2021 10:09 pmIs there anyone here who can recommend good English or Finnish translations to this book?

When I presented this question about the translations to a friend who is well versed in Taoism and is able to read the original, the judgment was cruel: there are no good translations... But I think this is part of the "what adds to knowledge, adds to pain" while "ignorance is bliss." I too love Tao Te Ching, or maybe I should say, its translations, in case they are completely different books than the original. My own favourite is Annikki Arponen's Finnish edition (Wsoy 1985) that is based on Gia-fu & Jane English' version (Random House 1972). It's a beautiful book aesthetically. Although I am by no means well versed in different translations, I have glimpsed ten at most in my life, while there most be a huge number of those available.

Nahumatarah wrote: Mon Nov 15, 2021 10:09 pmI'm also interested to hear your recommendations or opinions on chapters that could be especially relevant to the practice, and philosophy of the Star of Azazel.

I will come back to this later, for it's an interesting as well as useful avenue of thought. Like so many of the other sacred texts, there are completely fascinating parts (like the beginning) and some that offer a practice of thought-wrestling and thinking hard the best way to place the correspondences. And whether to agree at all, of course.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Nefastos
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Re: Tao Te Ching

Post by Nefastos »

After quite a long pause, I once again leafed through Tao Te Ching. After such a break it was interesting to note how similar the ideas of Polyharmonia are to those of the first part (the book consists of two parts: stanzas 1-37 and 38-81), and how much of the second part can be seen from how I have considered societal working in the SoA.

The latter notion makes one think how much one's possibility to take the Taoist (or perhaps pseudo-Taoist) view on work on communal level is tied to the Oriental idea of traditions. When there is a strong idea of traditions and how things should archetypically and societally go, it is much easier to adopt the "water-like" calm of letting things go & affecting them from the level of nuances. In the West, there is very little such tradition bound to concepts of honor and doing things in a right way, respecting one's place, dharma and teacher, and so on. When there is already order, dance can be let into it, but when there is only dance and not order (the Western idea of individuals defining themselves completely alone and by making personal choices of parties which can be disintegrated again whenever one wants), making the dance a joint effort is quite a feat.

In case anyone would be willing to discuss any particular stanza, I would be glad to participate.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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