Dao House...
Laozi (Lao Tzu)
Daodejing Sampler: (Verses 1-37)   (Verses 38-81)
All 81 verses, each from a different rendition, each linked to a relevant website.
The Tao Te King
Gia-fu Feng's translation.  HTML edition by Dan Baruth.  My personal favorite of texts online.
Das Tao Te King von Lao Tse
This site offers scores of Daodejing versions in German, Russian, Hungarian, Czech, Spanish and other languages, including 112 in English!  Also offers split-screen comparisons between texts.
AleX from the Geekfarm site provides side-by-side translations for all 81 verses of the Daodejing, from 15 online versions.
Tao of...
Tau Teh Ching
The Wayists offer line-by-line comparisons of 28 versions, including Red Pine, Brian Browne Walker, and Leon Wieger (translated from the French by Derek Bryce).   And here's the index to each separate version.   From the St. Xenophon Library site.
Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching (100+ Translations of Chapter 1)
Yes, over 100 English renditions of the opening verse, from John Chalmers's 1868 version to recent internet interpretations.  Includes some great commentary by Jonathan Star.  Super cool!  From Ken Knabb's Bureau of Public Secrets site (Berkeley).
Laozi Daodejing
Wulf Dieterich (Germany) provides English and German translations, with each character linked to a dictionary.  Characters are in GIF (no special program needed to see them), including the ancient "sealscript" characters.
The Guodian Laozi (Dao De Jing)
Nina Correa (Los Angeles) provides photos of the Bamboo Slips of the Goudian Laozi, and adds simplified characters, Pinyin and Wade-Giles spellings, and brief English definitions for each character.  Presented on 20 pages, 4 slips per page.  From her DaoIsOpen website.  See also her Daodejing A-Z concordance starting here.
Laozi: Dao De Jing, Chapter One Translation Guide
In this word-by-word guide to Chapter 1, Alan Fox (University of Delaware, Philosophy) provides alternate meanings for each character.  And here's Fox's "alternative translation."
Pathless path, nameless name.  Translating Laozi
Imre Galambos (University of California, Berkeley) analyzes the first two lines of the Daodejing, in light of the Mawangdui and Guodian discoveries (see below).
"All the material says that the word 'chang' for 'enduring' or 'common' was actually written as 'hang' which means 'constant.'  The substitution took place during the Han dynasty as part of putting into practice the name taboo for the emperor's personal name."
Approaching Chinese, Approaching the Dao
This "look at the first chapter," by Geoffrey Barto (Michigan State University, French), is one page from his Dao-9 Project, "a language course for the aspiring sage."
"The Dao tells us to cease striving and simply do what needs doing because it needs to be done.  This is at the heart of the message that the enduring way cannot be spoken, the enduring name cannot be named.  The way cannot be captured : it must be lived."
Brief assessments of some of the English translations of the Tao Te Ching
Crispin Sartwell (Dickinson College, Political Philosophy) offers opinions of 15 translations.  He's partial to Rasmussin's.  And here's Sartwell's own version.
DDJ 5 Comparison
A line-by-line comparison of verse 5 (the "straw dog" verse), as translated by 15 scholars.  Douglas Henderson contributed this to the alt.philosophy.taoism discussion group.
"...[Wu] Heaven-and-Earth is not sentimental
[Chan] Heaven and Earth are not humane.
[Lau] Heaven and Earth are ruthless,
[Feng and English] Heaven and Earth are impartial;..."
Wei Wu Wei: Ancient Paradox Mocks Docs
Ceci Lumley, staff writer for the Magellon's Log site, presents 20 versions of the opening statement of Chapter 63: "wei wu wei" ("action not action").
"A translator undertaking the Tao Te Ching faces all the usual problems of grammar, syntax, rhetoric, prosody, etc.  In addition, she has to deal with the brutal fact that even the Chinese, after 2500 years of study, still don't understand the little book with its brief chapters."
Lao Zi zhi Dao De Jing (Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching)
The introductory notes from Bradford Hatcher's (Ridgway, CO) "word for word" rendering discusses translation issues.  Also includes his translation of Sima Qian's (Ssu-Ma Ch'ien, 145-86 BCE) biography of Laozi, footnotes, and a useful annotated bibliography of some 100 translations.  (This is Hatcher's "simple version"; a "scholar's version" is available here as a download.)
"...most of the readers within this market know next to nothing about the Old Chinese language.  They seem to trust that publishing house editors, or the reviewers quoted on the covers, are more knowledgeable. This is not the case.  But there is a still deeper source of confusion: the original work is not that much better understood in Chinese than in English."
Laozi Debate
News brief by Spencer P. M. Harrington, from Archaeology ("An Official Publication of the Archaeological Institute of America") on the Guodian texts, discovered in an ancient tomb in China's Hubei province in 1993 - the oldest version of the Daodejing known to exist (late 4th century BCE).
"The three bundles include material from 32 of the modern text's 81 chapters... The sequence of the material on the bamboo slips is also totally different from all other known versions.  Equally perplexing is an entirely new text Chinese scholars are calling The Great One Generated Water that was found attached to one of the Laozi's bundles..."
Ancient Script Rewrites History
Andrea Shen's article on the Guodian texts, from the Harvard University Gazette.
"The Guodian version of the Tao Te Ching reveals far more tolerant views toward Confucian idealogy than previously seen... the element 'xin' - a pictographic image of the human heart - appears over and over again as part of several Chinese characters..."
Laozi [Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy]
By Alan K. L. Chan (National University of Singapore).  Lengthy sections on: The Laozi Story, Date and Authorship of the Laozi, Commentaries, Approaches to the Laozi, and Bibliography.
"...Heshanggong's Laozi zhangju occupied the position of preeminence in traditional China, at least until the Song dynasty.  For a long period, Wang Bi's work was relatively neglected... Is it fair to say that the Laozi is inherently 'polysemic' (Robinet, 1998), open to diverse interpretations?"
Laozi [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy]
Ronnie Littlejohn's (Belmont University, Nashville, Philosophy) entry from this non-profit, all-volunteer online encyclopedia includes sections on early sources, biographical/historical accounts, basic concepts/teachings, and the later deification of Laozi.
"Assuming that Lao Tan and Laozi are the same figure and counting the one dialogue in Mixed Ch 27 attributed to Lao Laizi as Laozi, then there are eighteen (18) passages in which Laozi plays a role in the Zhuangzi...  Inner Chapter 3...makes the identification of Lao Tan and Laozi clear."
Daode jing, Scripture of the Dao and Its Virtue
Entry from The Encyclopedia of Taoism by Isabelle Robinet (noted Daoist scholar, 1932-2000) gives a history of the text and its major themes.
"The main contribution of the Daode jing to Taoism and Chinese thought lies in the new meaning given to the word dao.  Usually and broadly understood as 'way,' or 'rule of life,' dao takes on for the first time in the Daode jing the meaning of Ultimate Truth..."
Laozi (Lao Tzu) [Hansen]
Good stuff from Chad Hansen (Hong Kong University), one of the strongest voices of "philosophical Daoism." 
"We would not naturally desire things, for example, simply because they are rare.  Socially instilled desires motivate a thirst for status and power.  Our natural desires are few and simple."
Dao De Jing: The Book of the Way, Introduction
In his lengthy introduction to his translation of the Daodejing, Moss Roberts (New York University, Chinese) provides a wealth of historical and cultural background for the text.  This page also includes his translations of, and comments on, the first four verses, plus excellent notes.  Full translation here.
"Laozi's Dao transcends visible heaven itself.  It is unseen and unnamed--a modest, retiring female, unmarried.  The virtue that accompanies it is dark (xuan), not shining (ming) like light from the sky (stanzas 10, 15, 65).  Laozi challenged the basic Confucian term mingde (illuminating virtue) with a hidden virtue that follows the Way alone."
Review Essay: Ames, Roger and David Hall, Laozi, Dao De Jing: A Philosophical Translation
2003 book review by Eric Sean Nelson (University of Massachusetts Lowell, Philosophy).  From Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy.
"Ames and Hall reject many traditional translations of key terms in the Dao De Jing, because they impose distant religious and metaphysical assumptions that close off rather than open up the work.  Although informed by western process philosophy, and thus open to the same charge, their translations of key words often provide a salutary fresh perspective on them.  In the introduction, they provide their reasons for interpreting dao as having the character of a field and of being underway.  They translate dao as 'way-making' in order to emphasize that it is an interconnected and dynamic process of transformation."
On the Dao De Jing (Tao Te Ching)
Book chapter by Tang Yi-Jie (Beijing Institute for the Study of the Daoist Religion), from his online book Confucianisn, Buddhism, Daoism, Christianity and Chinese CultureSome basics, from a Chinese perspective.  From the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy site (Washington DC).
"According to the traditional ideology of Confucianism, Heaven is always a willful and distinctly higher and sovereign power.  But from the beginning Laozi (Lao Tzu) did not believe this.  In chapter 4 of the Dao De Jing (Tao Te Ching) Laozi (Lao Tzu) said clearly that the Dao, the ancestor of all things, seems to have existed before the lord.  It is very important to state the question in this way, because it is the first time that someone denied the consistent belief that all things were created by a God in Heaven and on purpose."
Who Was Laozi?
Nicholas F. Gier's (University of Idaho, Philosophy) lecture notes.  Interesting combination of myth, legend, and cross-cultural comparisons.
"La Fargue, by the way, does not agree with Mair that the recent textual discoveries that place it nearer the first writing are superior to the second writings."
The "Ancient Child" Fallacy
Writer/translator Derek Lin of the True Tao site asserts that academics and others who translate Laozi as "Old Child" or "Ancient Child" are flat wrong.
"...some may shrug and say: 'Whatever.  I'll just let the scholars fight it out.'  This assumes the point is a matter of scholarly debate, but it's not.  It's simply a matter of logic and actual (as opposed to imagined) linguistic meaning.  To a native speaker of Chinese, there is no controversy."
A Stratification of Lao Tzu
John J. Emerson's (Oregon Health and Sciences University, retired) scholarly analysis of the text as a layered anthology, identifying Early, Middle, Late, and Added layers.  With extensive appendices, notes, and bibliography.  Also see this November 2003 follow-up paper, based on the Guodian findings.  And Emerson's further speculations on "the Authorship of the Tao Te Ching" can be found here.
"Early layer Lao Tzu rejected the pursuit of wealth, glory, and high position, whether or not public service was entirely rejected.  Contemplation and cultivation of life were the positive focusses at this stage, and it is probable that there was a mythic, ritual foundation to these practices.  Even in this early stage, the attainment of social peace by indirect methods was a definite theme."
Lao Tzu's Metaphysics and His Critique of Confucian Ethics
Book chapter by Vincent Shen (National Chengchi University, Taipei, Philosophy), from the online book Morality, Metaphysics and Chinese Culture, places Laozi "much later than Confucius," and sees the Daodejing "as a vehement critique of the 'Too Human,' that is, too anthropocentric ethical orientation in Confucianism."   Interesting discussions of Laozi's "metaphysics... ontology... cosmology... anthropology," with copious quotes from the Daodejing, as translated by Shen.
"In pushing the meaning of 'Tao' further to its most speculative level, it becomes, not only the ways followed by some things and some persons, but the Way itself, the Ultimate Reality or Being itself.  Here the concept of 'Being' does not mean negatively, as in the case of Hegel's Logic, mere 'beingness', the most impoverished ontological determination without any positive content.  It represents rather the act of existence, like the Ipsum Esse according to St. Thomas, or the self-manifesting Being, according to M. Heidegger."
Dynamic Tao and Its Manifestation
Wayne L. Wang (independent researcher) shares excerpts from his book linking the Daodejing with quantum field theory.  Includes the author's complete translation of Laozi here.
"Tao and physics represent opposite ways of searching for  the untimate truth.  It is wonderful to see that they come so close in their conclusions about our universe and our inner universe.  Our current understanding of the universe brings new light to our analysis of Tao philosophy, especially the relationship between Wu and Yu [nonbeing and being]."
"Philosophical" and "Religious" Daoism: Two Commentaries on Daode Jing
Song Ren (Reed College, Portland, OR) compares and contrasts Wang Bi's and Xiang'er's interpretations of the text.
"The differences between the 'philosophical' Daoism of Wang Bi and the religious Daoism of the Xiang'er are indeed vast, but both are essentially trying to answer the same question, as are all religions and philosophies: how to live well within the cosmos."
Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching [Rexroth]
Kenneth Rexroth's (1905-1982, poet, essayist, social critic) essay from his Classics Revisited.  From the Bureau of Public Secrets site.
"The lesson is simple, and, once learned, easy to paraphrase.  The Tao is like water.  Striving is like smoke."
Lao Tzu [topics]
Rex Pay's synthesis and adaptation of ten versions of the Daodejing, organized under four topics: Origination, Personal Conduct, Government, and War.  From his Humanistic Texts site.
Tao Te Ching [categories]
David Tuffley (Griffith University, Australia, Computing) presents Daodejing verses organized into six categories: nature, awareness, projection, leadership, organization, and non-interference, with some additional comments from Tuffley.
"It is better to hide your light under a bushel than it is to display it like a beacon... Because such a display in Nature is excessive, and excess is reduced through natural attrition."
Introductory Notes to Stan Rosenthal's Tao Te Ching
Lengthy selections from Rosenthal's (British School of Zen Taoism) introductory notes to his translation of the Daodejing.  Discussion of background and terms, Dao and Zen.  See Rosenthal's translation here.
"Consider a thing such as a strawberry.  If we wish to find the word 'strawberry,' we look in a dictionary; if we wish to find a description of a strawberry, we look in an encyclopedia.  But if we are hungry, we do not go to the library, but to the field where fine strawberries may be found.  If we do not know where there is such a field, we might seek guidance as to where fine strawberries may be found.  A book on the Tao is like such a guide."
Lao Zi's The Classics of the Dao and De
This is the introduction to Lu-cheng Chong's (Director, Chinese Cultural Learning Center, Seattle) line-by-line translation, which includes Chinese characters and pinyin.  The translation is presented thematically, in 14 parts.
"Lao Zi's (Lao Tsu) book is now commonly divided into 81 chapters, but these divisions did not appear in the Ma Wang Dui manuscript."
Preface, Laozi Daodejing
Hilmar Klaus (writer, translator, chess whiz; Aachen, Germany) offers word-for-word and expanded versions of the Daodejing in English and German, introduced by this literary preface.
"According to legend, [Laozi] created [the Daodejing] on request of a border guard when leaving the country.  This border guard himself was immortalized in poetic form (with a grain of humour!) by Bertold BRECHT."  [footnote includes a link to Brecht's poem]
Comments on the Tao Te Ching
Kelley L. Ross (Los Angeles Valley College, Philosophy), from "The Prodeedings of the Friesian School... a peer-reveiwed electronic journal [which] seeks to promote the further development of the Critical Philosophy of Immanuel Kant."
"Verse 28: 'The five colours make men's eyes blind.'  The classic Taoist paradox.  One might think that without the colors, one would be blind; but Taoism says that the colors themselves are blinding if you are thinking about them rather than seeing them."
A Look at  Lao Tzu and the Tao Te Ching
Commentary by Jorn K. Bramann (Frostburg State University, MD, Philosophy) on the meaning of various verses, and links with Greek philosophy.
"Some scholars may say that in spite of their agreement in practical matters, Taoists and the followers of Socrates have a quite different view of reality, a different ontology.  With regard to some details that may be so.  Their over-all vision of the universe, however, may not have been all too incompatible, after all."
Faces of Laozi
An amazing assortment of over 150 online images of Laozi, each enlargeable.  From Yuri Kanchukov's site (Sergiev Posad, Russia).  The text is in Russian, so I can't say much more, but the graphics are marvelous.  This is the one-page version, or it's split into 16 pages starting  here, if you prefer.  And if you're wondering (as I did) what actor Jack Elam's photo is doing here, apparently he's part of a "dream cast" (to play Laozi) for a hypothetical Phantasy Star Gaiden video game. 
Comments on Dao De Jing
Tormod Byrn's existentialist take on Laozi.  Quirky commentary on the Daodejing, translation issues, and alchemy.
"We can state: Where Charlie Brown's dog appears in the text, there is Tao..."
The feminine and the Tao: an interview with Ursula K. LeGuin
Excerpt from writer Brenda Peterson's book Face to Face: Women's Stories of Faith, Mysticism, and Awakening.  From the Embrace the Moon School for Taijiquan and Qigong site (Seattle, WA). 
"Lao Tzu feminized mysteries in a different way from anybody else.  These are not 'feminine mysteries,' but he makes mystery itself a woman.  This is profound, this goes deep.  And the most mystical passages in the book are the most feminine.  This is something women need, I think, and long for, often without knowing it."
Feminine Tao: Women Masters in the Tao Te Ching
Sarah L. Whitworth's Early Women Masters site presents samples from the "gender inclusive" translations of Stephen Mitchell and Ursula K. Le Guin.
"I felt it would be untrue to present a male archetype, as other versions have, ironically, done.  Ironically, because of all the great world religions the teaching of Lao Tzu is by far the most female." [Stephen Mitchell]
Summary of the Tao Te Ching
"Sifu" Bevan Bell gives short summaries of all 81 verses on his martial arts site.
"Chapter 23: Open yourself to the Tao, then trust your natural responses; and everything will fall into place."
Jade Purity
Raymond Larose (writer, martial artist, Derry, NH) presents "Siji Tzu's" interpretation of the 81 verses, focusing on tea and simplicity.
"6.  As told by the ages, everything is of the Dao.  Everything is not the Dao.  We are all born with it.  We are all born without it.  If you will use it, then use it."
Tao Te Ching: Qualities of Compassion
Jos Slabbert's (Namibia) long essay discusses these qualities under such headings as non-discrimination, tolerance, detachment, and freedom from desire.  Uses Stephen Mitchell's rendition of the Daodejing.  See also Slabbert's essay "Tao Te Ching: How to Deal With Suffering" here.
"Desire actually destroys compassion... It is in fact nothing but an impulse to feed the own ego."
24 ways of looking at Dao De Ching 33
John Cowan (programmer, NY) presents two dozen versions of the verse that concludes, "One who dies and does not perish is truly long-lived" (Michael LaFargue's rendition).
Chapter 63
Canadian curmudgeon Peter Franke's schoolish treatment of Chapter 63 (and 64, and 11, and 1...) and terms in the Daodejing.  If you like his style, you can move on to Chapters 71 and 40.
"If you spend some time on the first chapter, you will find out, the hard way, that it is not intended for beginners.  I have spent more time on it than on any other chapter.  I am almost 60 now.  Had I listened to what Lao Tzu has said here, I could have saved years of my life."
On the Taoist Utopia: Chapter 80 of the Tao Te Ching
Ben Guaraldi's speculations on what Laozi had in mind focuses on Le Guin's version of Chapter 80 ("Let there be a little country..."), then compares hers to those of Robert Henricks, D. C. Lau, and Arthur Waley.
"The Waley for me reads as if Shakespeare was representing a Utopia through a character sketch of a remarkable king in a distant land.  Lau's seems to be a speech from a minister of the US Cabinet that begins with sound advice and descends into wild predictions.  Henrick's sounds to me like a John Lennon song: a flowery patchwork that shines with a golden braid of wisdom.  I found in Le Guin's a retired prophet; his deceptively simple words lull us into imagining with him the future that he wistfully envisions."
The Tao Te Ching, An Esoteric Commentary
William Gillies (UK) comments on each line of verses 1 - 37 from a "transpersonal" perspective, as a guide to directing attention back to itself (satori) on the path to enlightenment.  Uses D. C. Lau's translation.
"Who is it that produces these [storms]?  Heaven and earth... The translator has interestingly used Who instead of What implying that heaven and earth are not impersonal forces.  Heaven and earth are aspects of the personalized consciousness.  Heaven is the unseen aspects - our unconscious drives and emotions we're not aware of - and earth is those aspects that we're conscious of including the world of people and things which we regard as 'out there.'  These are what produce the storms that blow us away from Here and drown us in there.  They cannot last forever." [comment on verse 23]
Reading Grandfather Lao
In his blog, Mike Dickman (translator, Paris) presents the Feng version of all 81 verses, with notes on other translations, and commentary by Wang Bi and Cheng Man-ch'ing, along with his own.  Yum!  Click through the Nov. '05 to Jan. '06 archives for successive pages.
"...what these texts are saying... is exactly the same thing: No matter what you want, the root of it lies in sorting out yourself first."
Excerpts from the Taoteching
Selected verses from Bill Porter's (aka Red Pine) translation, with some of his notes and quotes from various classic commentators.  From Karmablue's (Clearwater, FL) site.
"Li Hsi-Chai says, 'What passes for learning in the world never ends.  For every truth found, two are lost.'"
The Layman's Tao
John Gathercole (educator, AZ) translates and comments on the first 19 verses in a down-to-earth way.  Part 1 here.
"...many passages speak of the TTC's Way as being very easy to follow, in particular 53 and 70, although both add that despite its easiness, most people don't have the good sense to follow it.  Indeed, that's the whole essence of the TTC's Way: it's easy to follow, but impossible to describe."
Tao Te Ching
Rendition and commentary on the first 19 verses, by William P. Coleman (mathematics consultant, writer, photographer, Annapolis).
The opening lines might be saying that the (expression) ways are not the same as the (essence) ways.  If so, it's not necessarily implied that the essences reside in some separate, far-off heaven--the way that Plato's forms are vulgarly supposed to.  The essence might be immanent in the things we sense, as direct and intimate a part of them as the expression is."
Thomas Meyer's Daode Jing: A Test of Translation
Essay from Asheville poet Jeff Davis's blog compares several translations of chapters 5 and 17-18-19, and gives the nod to Meyer's contemporary version, which includes, for chapter 5:
"...the replacement of 'bellows' by 'flute.'   The original term seems to have denoted 'bagpipe'... 'Flute', though, captures the musical dimension of 'bagpipe', while 'bellows', which conveys its mechanicalness, does not - and is likewise an instrument of air."
Tao Te Ching Commentary
Notes from group discussions at The Center for Taoist Thought and Fellowship (Santa Cruz, CA) on D. C. Lau's version.  There's also a forum for further discussion here.
"Block the openings is hard to do in wealthy times.  There are so many things pulling me to action.  It's like leaving the water tap of life on all the time, and I easily run dry."
"The Highest Virtue is Like the Valley"
Journal article by John J. Emerson (Oregon Health and Sciences University, retired). Interesting  philological analysis of Laozi's use of te (virtue/power) and ku/kuk (valley) as "mutually polar principles." 
" I have also systematically ignored scholarly attempts motivated by graphic essentialism, to fix the correct written forms (thereby choosing a single interpretation).  I believe that these attempts are often quite harmful, since the exploitation of significant verbal ambiguities and double meanings is one of Lao Tzu's most powerful devices."
Reciprocity and Reversal in Lao Tzu
John J. Emerson discusses reciprocity as a social and cosmological principle, and the concept of reversal, "the peculiarly Taoist interpretation of reciprocity," as it functions in the Daodejing.
"The appearances of reciprocity in its various forms in the text of Lao Tzu are unmistakable.  Some form of this principle can be found in every layer of the text, though I believe that 'reversal' (and the derivative principles of the equality of opposites and 'strangeness') are characteristic of the early layer, and 'retribution' especially of a very late added layer."
Readings for Discussion: On Lao-tzu (Laozi) and the Tao-te Ching (Daodejing)
A page of quotes from several Daoist scholars, on Jeffrey F. Meyer's (UNC Charlotte, Religious Studies) site.
"The Dao is 'an untended field, one that is left to grow on its own.'  This is an important point.  For the Daoists employ such natural vegetative metaphors to convey their ideal state of being and this distinguishes them from the Confucians who use agricultural metaphors--i.e., carefully cultivated and tended fields--as symbols for their ideal."  [Csikszentmihalyi and Ivanhoe, citing Henricks]
Daoist Philosophy
Steven Marsh's (translator-writer, Taipei) thesis argues that the "openness" of the Daodejing and its metaphysical viewpoint have contributed to the development of various schools of Chinese thought.  Presented on Blogger (to read the 2-page thesis sequentially, start with the first entry at the bottom of page one.)
"The crux of Lao Zi's philosophy brings about the harmony of opposites; through learning we come to know differences, but through the Dao we come to know their harmony... But learning does not lead to the insight that opposites are essentially two sides of the same coin, as the goal of pursuing knowledge is to value the differences."
The Philosophy of the Daodejing
Kile Jones (University of Glasgow, Philosophy) examines the paradoxical terms dao, Ziran and Wu Wei as they are used in the Daodejing.
"...the Daodejing presents us with a unique perspective on life and its apparent meaning.  It promotes a serene and tranquil self-cultivation with the passivism of a Gandhi and the spontaneity of a Dadaist."
Poetry and Philosophy in the Lao-zi
Chapter from Madison Morrison's (Thailand) online book Particular and Universal: Essays in Asian, European and American Literature presents the Daodejing as "what we might call a poetry of wisdom."
"The poetic means employed in the Lao-zi are manifold, ranging from simple simile ('Governing a large state is like boiling a small fish' [LX]) to commentated parable (the description of utopia in LXXX).  Its quintessential poetry, however, is... a kind of anti-poetry; it lies not in conventional figures but in their subversion."
Lao Tzu [essay]
From the Theosophy Library Online, an essay about the historical Laozi and the  Daodejing, from a theosophical point of view.
"Self-knowledge involves stripping away all that one thinks one is - the carvings of the block which obscure the ontological priority of the block itself - until one is like the zero in the number system.  One becomes increasingly like the Tao itself, which is not one but zero, the critical factor implicit in all numbers but not itself one of them."
The Sayings of Lao Tzu
1905 rendition by Lionel Giles (1875-1958) includes an introduction by the noted sinologist.  A recent addition to the Sacred Texts site.
"Lao Tzu...was undoubtedly the first man to preach the gospel of peace and intelligent inaction, being in this, as in many other aspects, far in advance of the age."
Introduction, Laotzu's Tao
Interesting 1919 intro by Dwight Goddard (Buddhist scholar, 1861-1939) to his translation of Laozi, which begins "I LOVE LAOTZU!  That is the reason I offer another interpretive translation..."  He had no idea how many were to follow his!  The second edition (1939) gives "a very different interpretation of the text."
"Although for two thousand years he has been misunderstood and derided, to-day the very best of scientific and philosophic thought, which gathers about what is known as Vitalism, is in full accord with Laotzu's idea of the Tao.  Every reference that is made to-day to a Cosmic Urge, Vital Impulse, and Creative Principle can be said of the Tao."
Ethos in the Tao, or Reaching Agreement at Three in the Morning
2000 conference presentation by Deanya Lattimore (Syracuse University, Writing Program) addresses the "rhetorical aims" of the Daodejing.
"I believe that the Lao Tzu is a rhetoric of preparation.  It is a work of agreement to prepare the quietness of the heart, so that the True words of the Tao, the words which cannot be spoken, may enter in.  From this point of view, the compilers of the Lao Tzu were talking to themselves."
Spinoza and Lao Tzu
Fu Pei-jung's (National Taiwan University) chapter from the online book Morality, Metaphysics and Chinese Culture argues that the two philosophers attained "similar insights so strikingly close as to have been evolved from the same school."
"Putting Spinoza and Lao Tzu side by side, we find that Spinoza justifies the immanence of Substance through its 'infinite creativity' which belongs primarily to the nature naturing, while Lao Tzu emphasizes the 'eternal return' of Tao which sufficiently expresses the dynamic process within and of the Tao.  Both Spinoza and Lao Tzu in their theories leave no room for a purposeful world."
Lao-Tzu and Husserl: A Comparative Study of Lao-Tzu's Method of Negation and Husserl's Epoche
Book chapter by Peter Kun-yu Woo (National Taiwan University), from Psychology, Phenomenology and Chinese Philosophy.
"Of course, the real significance of Lao-tzu's unconsciousness lies in "Fasting of the Heart" (Chuang-tzu's Theory).  This means doing nothing with one's own consciousness and letting the Tao work in the universe and at the same time in man's heart.  In consequence, the working Tao elevates the human heart into Tao's realm so that the human being can unify with Tao in order to fulfill the philosophical purpose: transcendental, or more exactly, authentic subjectivity.  Here, Husserl's concern is directed to personal intuition, while Lao-tzu's endeavor is oriented toward the impersonal wu-wei."
Heidegger and the Tao Te Ching
Student paper by David York (Ferrum College, VA, Philosophy) compares Heidegger's and Laozi's conceptions of Being.
"Both see the fundamental meaning of Being as generally misguided by Being-in-the-World, particularly amid one's Being-with-others - though Heidegger describes it as part of the fundamental ontological structure of Being, something which cannot be altogether avoided.  The Tao Te Ching addresses what is very likely the same phenomenological pattern, though its manner of conceptual interpretation is different.  It instead states that action and emotional involvement are the primary origin of this misdirection."
Tao and Communication: Lao Tzu Versus J. Habermas
The first half of Vincent Shen's (National Chengchi University, Taipei, Philosophy) chapter from Chinese Cultural Traditions and Modernization presents his thesis on Laozi as social critic, and the second half tries "to construct a dialectical complementarity between Lao Tzu's and Habermas's theories of communication."
"As a whole, Lao Tzu criticizes, as does Habermas, man's domination over nature and society.  But Habermas differs from Lao Tzu for whom domination can be avoided only by communication with Tao.  Habermas much emphasizes the argumentational, and therefore dialogical, aspect of communication."
Paper 4 [Laozi and Cixous]
1996 student paper by John Morris (University of Texas, Mathematics), for his Introduction to Literary Criticism class, finds correspondence between Laozi and feminist writer Helene Cixous.
"Laozi and Cixous have developed ideologies similar in many respects.  Their essence comes from within, a deep, dark hole which contains everything, infinite, and of a feminine nature."
The Tao Te Ching [and the Gospel]
Final page from Masahito Koishikawa's extensive website on "The Paradigm of Christ: Decoding the Metaphorical System Sealed in the Gospel," a phenomenological treatment of the New Testament books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  Compares verses and offers brief commentary.
"The moment when the Tao does not function well is rather the time when a genuine mind gets self-conciously miss-oriented.  At such an occasion, as it hinders the function of the Tao, the mind falls into the ontological evil."
Lao Tzu: The Tao of Reality
Paul Harrison asks, "Was Lao Tan/Li Erh [Laozi] a Pantheist?" [A: yup]. 
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