Friday, July 17, 2009

Around [the] Tao in 80 Days


Not surprisingly enough, a significant number of newcomers to this blog often arrive via a search for something pertaining to Taoism. What is Tao? What is Taoism about? Is it a philosophy, a religion, both or neither? How does one become a Taoist? These are the types of questions many seek answers for.

So, what are the answers? Unlike many belief systems, there is no singular answer! Each person must find the answers for themselves. That said, there is certainly nothing wrong with exploring the answers of others provided that you don't merely graft someone else's truth for your own.

One of the best places to start an exploration into Taoist philosophy is to read the Tao Te Ching. As this is a blog about philosophical Taoism, said work is not looked at like a sacred or divine scripture or tract. It was written by a person (Lao Tzu) or, more realistically, by several persons. It's purpose is not to provide answers, but to spur each reader to find their own answers.

To this end, I'm going to attempt to explore the Tao Te Ching verse by verse over a period of 80 or so consecutive days. I will start with verse 1 and work my way to verse 81. I will feature the following translations:
I will also feature the following renditions (non-translations):
Interspersed with my own contemplations of the day's verse, I will make use of several other books:
Beyond these many resources, I will also be utilizing many strictly online sources too from various blogs and websites.

Hopefully, this will not be a one-way exercise. Your comments, contemplations and interpretations are of equal value to anything presented here. Each time you choose to add something in the comments section, it will increase the overall tapestry of the fabric of Tao.

So, when do I plan to commence this undertaking? Could be today or tomorrow or a few days from now. The words will make the decision.

Finally, I do wish to note that, while it is my intent to offer one verse per day, there may be some days in which two will be offered and I may skip a day here and there. It should also be noted that this exercise will be interspersed with the usual fare one finds on this blog. So, don't expect to find solely the verses with analysis and nothing else.

To view an index of all the posts in this series, go here.


  1. Glad to have found you. Looking forward to commenting on your labour of love.

  2. I have heard of Tao te ching- in fact, have read a translation by Arthur Waley, the introduction of which I liked. Look forward to know more about it. thanks for posting.

  3. This is a well thought out bit of word craft you've compiled in general. I enjoy reading these posts as a recent "convert" to Taoism. I feel much like you do in many issues and have an infantile blog site of my own committed to a similar purpose. I've bookmarked your page and check in each day. Thanks for your efforts.

  4. I'm glad the three of you have found some resonance here. Hope I can do it justice.


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