Laotzu's Tao and Wu Wei (Google eBook)
In this clarion translation of Laotzu's Tao Te Ching, first published in 1919, Goddard brings the complexity and depth of the ancient philosopher's poetry into the English language, his great love for the topic overcoming the necessary shortcomings of translation. There are three concepts that are essential to the Tao Te Ching-Tao, Te, and Wu Wei-that all have complex meanings that cannot be directly translated, but spiritual seekers and those with an interest in philosophy and religion will find Goddard's treatment of Laotzu lyrical and deeply meaningful. American writer DWIGHT GODDARD (1861-1939) studied at a monastery in Kyoto, Japan, for a year and was among the first Westerners to bring Zen Buddhism to the United States. His most famous book is The Buddhist Bible (1938).
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Page 2 - ... 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. Everything that can be said of Plato's Ideas and Forms and of Cosmic Love, as being the creative expression of God, can be said of the Tao. When Christian scholars came to translate the Logos of St. John, they were satisfied to use the word Tao.
Page 3 - He loved the Tao as a son cherishes and reveres his mother." There are three key words in the thought of Laotzu: Tao, Teh, and Wu Wei. They are all difficult to translate. The simple meaning of Tao is "way," but it also has a wide variety of other meanings. Dr. Paul Carus translates it, "Reason," but apologizes for so doing. If forced to offer a translation we would suggest Creative Principle, but much prefer to leave it untranslated. The character, "Teh," is universally translated "virtue.
Page 2 - Although for two thousand years he has been misunderstood and derided, today 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 today to a Cosmic Urge, Vital Impulse, and Creative Principle can be said of the Tao. Everything that can be said of Plato's Ideas and Forms of Cosmic Love as being the creative expression of God can be said of the Tao.