"The five colors combined the human eye will blind;
The five notes in one sound the human ear confound;
The five tastes when they blend the human mouth offend.
Racing and hunting will human hearts turn mad,
Treasures high-prized make human conduct bad.
The holy man attends to the inner and not to the outer.
He abandons the latter and chooses the former."
- Translated by D. T. Suzuki and Paul Carus, 1913, Chapter 12
"Color's five hues from the eyes their sight will take;
Music's five notes the ears as deaf can make;
The flavors five deprive the mouth of taste;
The chariot course, and the wild hunting waste
Make mad the mind;
And objects rare and strange,
Men's conduct will to evil change.
Therefore the sage seeks to satisfy the craving of the belly,
and not the insatiable longing of the eyes.
He puts from him the latter, and prefers to seek the former."
- Translated by James Legge, 1891, Chapter 12
"The five colors
blind our eyes.
The five notes
deafen our ears.
The five flavors
dull our taste.
Racing, chasing, hunting,
drives people crazy.
Trying to get rich
ties people in knots.
So the wise soul
watches with the inner
not with the outward eye,
letting that go,
- Translation by Ursula K. Le Guin, 2009, Chapter 12
"An excess of light blinds the human eye; an excess of noise ruins the ear; an excess of condiments deadens the taste.
The effect of too much horse racing and hunting is bad, and the lure of hidden treasure tempts one to do evil.
Therefore the wise man attends to the inner significance of things and does not concern himself with outward appearances.
Therefore he ignores matter and seeks the spirit."
- Translated by Dwight Goddard and Henri Borel, 1919, Chapter 12
"The fives colours confuse the eye,
The fives sounds dull the ear,
The five tastes spoil the palate.
Excess of hunting and chasing
Makes minds go mad.
Products that are hard to get
Impede their owner's movements.
Therefore the Sage
Considers the belly not the eye.
Truly, “he rejects that but takes this”."
- Translated by Arthur Waley, 1934, Chapter 12
A typical webpage created by Mike Garofalo for each one of the 81 Chapters (Verses, Sections) of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi) includes 25 different English language translations or interpolations for that Chapter, 5 Spanish language translations for that Chapter, the Chinese characters for that Chapter, the Wade-Giles and Hanyu Pinyin transliterations (Romanization) of the Mandarin Chinese words for that Chapter, and 2 German and 1 French translation of that Chapter. Each webpage for each one of the 81 Chapters of the Tao Te Ching includes extensive indexing by key words, phrases, and terms for that Chapter in English, Spanish, and the Wade-Giles Romanization. Each webpage on a Chapter of the Daodejing includes recommended reading in books and websites, a detailed bibliography, some commentary, research leads, translation sources, a Google Translate drop down menu, and other resources for that Chapter.
Chapter 12, Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu. Complied by Mike Garofalo.
Chapter and Thematic Index (Concordance) to the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
English Language Daodejing Translators' Source Index
Spanish Language Daodejing Translators' Source Index
Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices
Taoism: A Selected Reading List