Friday, May 05, 2017

Dao De Jing, Chapter 1

Tao Te Ching  by Lao Tzu
Chapter 1

"Existence is beyond the power of words
To define:
Terms may be used
But are none of them absolute.
In the beginning of heaven and earth there were no words,
Words came out of the womb of matter;
And whether a man dispassionately
Sees to the core of life
Or passionately
Sees the surface,
The core and the surface
Are essentially the same,
Words making them seem different
Only to express appearance.
If name be needed, wonder names them both:
From wonder into wonder
Existence opens."
-  Translated by Witter Bynner, 1944, Chapter 1

"The way that can be spoken of
Is not the constant way;
The name that can be named
Is not the constant name.
The nameless was the beginning of heaven and earth;
The named was the mother of the myriad creatures.
Hence always rid yourself of desires in order to observe its secrets;
But always allow yourself to have desires in order to observe its manifestations.
These two are the same
But diverge in name as they issue forth.
Being the same they are called mysteries,
Mystery upon mystery -
The gateway of the manifold secrets."
- Translated by D. C. Lau, 1963, Chapter 1

"The Tao that is the subject of discussion is not the true Tao.
The quality which can be named is not its true attribute.
That which was before Heaven and Earth is called the Non-Existent.
The Existent is the mother of all things.
Therefore doth the wise man seek after the first mystery of the Non-Existent, while seeing in that which exists the Ultimates thereof.
The Non-Existent and Existent are identical in all but name.
This identity of apparent opposites I call the profound, the great deep, the open door of bewilderment."
-  Translated by Walter Gorn Old, 1904, Chapter 1

"Nature can never be completely described, for such a description of Nature would have to duplicate Nature.
No name can fully express what it represents.
It is Nature itself, and not any part or name or description abstracted from Nature, which is the ultimate source of all that happens, all that comes and goes, begins and ends, is and is not.
But to describe Nature as "the ultimate source of all" is still only a description, and such a description is not Nature itself.
Yet since, in order to speak of it, we must use words, we shall have to describe it as "the ultimate source of all."
If Nature is inexpressible, he who desires to know Nature as it is in itself will not try to express it in words
Although the existence of Nature and a description of that existence are two different things, yet they are also the same.
For both are ways of existing.
That is, a description of existence must have its own existence, which is different from the existence of that which it describes.
And so again we have to recognize an existence which cannot be described."
-  Translated by Archie J. Bahm, 1958, Chapter 1   

道可道, 非常道.
名可名, 非常名.
故常無, 欲以觀其妙.
常有, 欲以觀其徼.
此兩者, 同出而異名.
 -  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 1

tao k’o tao, fei ch’ang tao.
ming k’o ming, fei ch’ang ming.
wu ming t’ien ti chih shih.
yu ming wan wu chih mu.
ku ch’ang wu, yü yi kuan ch’i miao.
ch’ang yu, yü yi kuan ch’i chiao.
tz’u liang chê, t’ung ch’u erh yi ming.
t’ung wei chih hsüan.
hsüan chih yu hsüan.
chung miao chih mên.
-  Wade Giles Romanization, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 1  

"The Tao that can be trodden is not the enduring and unchanging Tao.
The name that can be named is not the enduring and unchanging name.
Conceived of as having no name, it is the Originator of heaven and earth;
Conceived of as having a name, it is the Mother of all things. 
Always without desire we must be found,
If its deep mystery we would sound;
But if desire always within us be,
Its outer fringe is all that we shall see. 
Under these two aspects, it is really the same;
But as development takes place, it receives the different names.
Together we call them the Mystery.
Where the Mystery is the deepest is the gate of all that is subtle and wonderful."
-  Translated by James Legge, 1891, Chapter 1 

"The Tao that can be spoken of is not the constant Tao.
The name that can be named is not the constant name.
The nameless is the beginning of life.
It is the mother of the ten thousand things.
Remove your desires and you will see the mystery.
Be filled with desire
And you will see only the manifestation.
These two are the same
yet, they diverge in nature
as they issue forth.
Being the same, they are the source
but the source remains a mystery.
Mystery upon mystery,
The gateway of Tao's manifold secrets."
-  Translated by Kari Hohne, 2009, Chapter 1

"Camino que se puede describir de manera articulada
     no es el Camino Invariable.
El nombre que se puede decir en voz alta
     no es el Nombre Invariable.
Con la boca cerrada y las cosas sin definir,
     estás al principio del universo.
Si haces definiciones, eres la medida de toda la creación.
Así, estando siempre sin deseo,
     miras en lo hondo de lo trascendente.
Albergando constantemente el deseo,
     todas las cosas que te rodean te estorban la vista.
Estos dos entran en el mundo semejantes,
     pero sus nombres son diferentes.
Semjantes, se llaman profundos y remotos.
Profundos y remotos y más aún:
Esta es la puerta de todos los misterios."
-  Translated by Alejandro Pareja, 2012, based upon the William Scott Wilson translation into English, Capítulo 1

"Tao called Tao is not Tao.
Names can name no lasting name.
Nameless: the origin of heaven and earth.
Naming: the mother of ten thousand things.
Empty of desire, perceive mystery.
Filled with desire, perceive manifestations.
These have the same source, but different names.
Call them both deep - Deep and again deep: the gateway to all mystery."
-  Translated by Stephen Addis and Stanley Lombardo, 1993, Chapter 1  

"The Way that can be told of is not an Unvarying Way;
The names that can be named are not unvarying names.
It was from the Nameless that Heaven and Earth sprang;
The named is but the mother that rears the ten thousand creatures, each after its kind.
Truly, “Only he that rids himself forever of desire can see the Secret Essences”;
He that has never rid himself of desire can see only the Outcomes.
These two things issued from the same mould, but nevertheless are different in name.
This “same mould” we can but call the Mystery, Or rather the “Darker than any Mystery”,
The Doorway whence issued all Secret Essences."
-  Translated by Arthur Waley, 1934, Chapter 1 

  "Tao that can be expressed is not Everlasting Tao.
 The name that can be named is not the Everlasting Name.
 The Name, in its inner aspect, is Life-Spring of Heaven and Earth.
 The Name, in its outer aspect, is Mother of all created things.
 To perceive the mystery of Life, desire always to reach the innermost.
 To perceive the limitations of things, desire always to posses them.
 These two aspects of Life are One.
 In their out-come they become different in Name but in their depth they are One.
 In a depth, still deeper yet, is the Door of many mysteries."
 -  Translated by Isabella Mears, 1916, Chapter 1   

"The Tao that can be spoken of is not the Tao itself.
The name that can be given is not the name itself.
The unnameable is the source of the universe.
The nameable is the originator of all things.
Therefore, oftentimes without intention I see the wonder of Tao.
Oftentimes with intention I see its manifestations.
Its wonder and its manifestations are one and the same.
Since their emergence, they have been called by different names.
Their identity is called the mystery.
From mystery to further mystery:
The entry of all wonders!"
- Translated by Chang Chung-Yuan, Chapter 1

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.  These are hypertext documents, and available online under Creative Commons 4.


Chapter 1, Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu.  Compiled and indexed 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

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