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Dao De Jing

Dao De Jing: The Book of the Way

Translation and Commentary by MOSS ROBERTS
Copyright Date: 2001
Edition: 1
Pages: 235
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  • Book Info
    Dao De Jing
    Book Description:

    Dao De Jingis one of the richest, most suggestive, and most popular works of philosophy and literature. Composed in China between the late sixth and the late fourth centuries b.c., its enigmatic verses have inspired artists, philosophers, poets, religious thinkers, and general readers down to our own times. This new translation, both revelatory and authentic, captures much of the beauty and nuance of the original work. In an extensive and accessible commentary to his translation, Moss Roberts reveals new depths ofDao De Jing.This edition is distinguished by the literary quality of the translation, its new renderings for a number of the stanzas, and by Roberts's knowledgeable contextualizations. Utilizing recently discovered manuscripts and Chinese scholarship based on them, he is able to shed new light on the work's historical and philosophical contexts. This translation shows thatDao De Jingis far more than a work of personal inspiration; it is also a work of universal scope that makes penetrating comments on politics, statecraft, cosmology, aesthetics, and ethics. Roberts brings these themes to our attention, shows how they are integrated into the work as a whole, and demonstrates the relevance of these topics for our own times.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-93121-3
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-x)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. xi-xii)
    (pp. 1-24)
    Moss Roberts

    THE POEMS AND SAYINGS of the mysterious book of wisdom calledDao De Jinghave powerfully affected many aspects of Chinese philosophy, culture, and society. In the realm of aesthetics the idea ofDao, or the Way, a transcendent natural principle working through all things, has inspired artists and poets who have sought to represent nature in its raw wholeness or have depicted vast landscapes within which human structures and pathways, overwhelmed by mists, mountain faces, and water vistas, hold a tiny and precarious place. With regard to personal spiritual cultivation Daoism offers techniques of concentration and self-control, while in...

    (pp. 25-188)

    COMMENT Laozi opens with a creation myth.Dao, a single mother, source of all life, is juxtaposed to its creation, the ten thousand things. Measured againstDao’s fecundity, what ancestor, what male dynastic founder, can compare? Sky and land(tiandi)themselves are an intermediate creation, serving the Way as a framework that imparts form and name, and thus duality, on all things as they are produced. The ten thousand move between two poles: negation and existence, unity and division, potentiality and actuality.¹ The Way describes a recurring circular or continuous S-shaped process that must return to its starting point before...

  5. NOTES
    (pp. 189-222)
    (pp. 223-226)