道德经 Dào Dé jīng History

The Warring States Period (403-221BCE) in which the Dao De Jing was born is fairly named. As time passed, internecine warfare raged with escalating ferocity among the contending states of the central Chinese plains. At every level of innovation, from the introduction of calvary, to standard issue crossbows, to siege engines, these instruments of aggression made a folly of defense. Cities were walled and fortified only to be breached; borders were drawn up only to be redrawn; alliances were formed only to be betrayed; treaties were signed only to be reneged upon. For generation after generation, death became a way of life.

It was a response to these darkest days in Chinese history that the Dao De Jing emerged as an alternative vision of what human experience might be like. The world was wasting away, and the Dao De Jing was a mysterious elixir that offered to serve as its restorative.

Chapter 36

If you want to shrink something,
you must first allow it to expand.
If you want to get rid of something,
you must first allow it to flourish.
If you want to take something,
you must first allow it to be given.
This is called the subtle perception of the way things are.

The soft overcomes the hard.
The slow overcomes the fast.

Let you workings remain a mystery.
Just show the people the results.

This translation is from the ‘Tao Daily‘ app that is free. I recommend it! It delivers you a chapter everyday to contemplate. Modern technology to remind us of ancient wisdom!

There are so many famous translations of the Dao De Jing and no one translation is best. It depends on what you are looking for. Here are my tips:

Dao De Jing: A Philosophical Translation – Roger Ames & David Hall – For a more academic, philosophical and thorough exploration

Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained – Derek Lin – Short and simple keys to understanding with guidance on how it applies to modern life

Tao Teh Ching – Translated by John .H. Wu – The most simple. Beautiful Chinese characters on one page and then the English Translation on the other. No annotation or explanations. It leaves it up to you!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alex Tan L.AC. is a licensed Acupuncturist.  After completing his degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Alex lived and practiced Chinese Medicine for 10-years in Beijing, China.  A native-born Australian, the son of his Australian mother and Chinese father, Alex’s bi-cultural heritage helps him skillfully bridge Eastern and Western health perspectives.  He believes the true power of Chinese medicine lies in a balanced approach towards prevention and treatment. Rooted in Chinese Medicine observation based theory & methodology over millenniums, Alex’s talent lies in delivering these Eastern healing modalities to his modern Western clients. For more about Alex click here

Alex runs a clinic in Flagstaff, Northern Arizona. Alex welcomes comments and questions to his articles. To schedule an appointment in person or telco-appointment click here