Best books for understanding Taoism? Or should I just read the I Ching? What is the best translation into English?

Best books for understanding Taoism? Or should I just read the I Ching? What is the best translation into English?

I studied passages from the I Ching years ago when I took Tai Chi as part of my undergraduate physical activity requirements. It left a very strong impression on me and I'm eager to learn more about the Tao.

>I am an empty cup.

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  1. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Tao Te Ching

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Fpbp, nothing else needed

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Fpbp, nothing else needed

      What's your opinion on Zhuangzi?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Fpbp, nothing else needed

      >Just ignore 2000 years of Daoist tradition bro
      No actual practicing Daoist just reads the DDJ or Zhaungzi lol, especially not without commentary

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        The daoist tradition is fricking crap. It also has barely anything to do with the genesis of taoism. It’s like someone asking how to learn about christianity and you say to read the catechism of the catholic church. Which would be fine because obviously Catholicism is Christianity, but then you become a moron when you start saying that you can’t know anything about christianity while ignoring the catholic church because it obviously exists in many other forms

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          The attitude you're taking is almost two centuries old; basically "cool philosophical Dao de jing and Zhuangzi vs superstitious religious Daoism". To me it seems silly to just disregard how Daoism has been conceptualized in China for over a thousand years. But to each their own i guess. I'm certainly not telling anyone not to read the foundational texts.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            There really just isn’t much to learn from later daoist works, even milder alchemical works like lü dongbing are impossible to practice today and don’t really add anything new conceptually. Lixue was really where chinese philosophical thought picked up later on. The only reason someone would want to read late daoist works is if they are interested in religion as a historical and anthropological thing and aren’t actually trying to draw any insights from it which obviously almost no one who is just on the internet asking what to read is.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        What do they read?

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          most daoist work is untranslated

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Not what I asked

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            No one here knows the answer, modern daoism is obscure and weird as shit. There was some document I saw a while back about a day in the life of a daoist priest but I have no idea how to find that I again. I guarantee that guy who was talking about "real daoists" doesn't know shit either.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            you're just jealous I can fly on my wooden sword and become immortal dude

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Stuff like golden flower. The daoist canon the equivalent to the pali canon is the daozang but scripture doesn't play a large role.

            The two main modern sects are heavenly masters (the ritualistic sect you usually see at tourism tracks) and the quanzhen (a monastic sect).

            The essential guide

            Ignore all the morons itt.
            Start doing this:
            Zhuanzi
            Taoism an essential guide
            Thread of Da
            Original Dao
            TTJ
            Liezi
            Some book on huang lap and the silk manuscripts
            Golden Flower
            Then branch out to whatever interests you

            here will intro you to it but the author is a slight bit of a shill for her own views.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      If you want to understand Taoism from an academic perspective then Taoism: The Enduring Tradition is a good book
      The author is an angry autist with a bone to pick but it's great as an introduction because the guy is familiar with Chinese scholarship
      Otherwise get a good translation of Tao Te Ching and Chuang Tzu
      Don't get the Stephen Mitchell translation

      >Best books for understanding Taoism?
      Tao Te Ching and Julius Evola book "Taoism"

      Fpbp, nothing else needed

      Most translations are honestly not that bad… Gia Fu Feng seems to me the be best all around for DDJ. You can’t go wrong with AC Graham for Zhuangzi

      Do any of these seem like a good translation to you?

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Read multiple translations. It’s an extremely short book

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Yeah. Lau and Feng are the best here. A lot of these just add extra verbosity for no reason. Like why are so many using the word "essence"? That kind of loaded language is stuff you should look out for, especially when they are using two words ("secret essence"/"cosmic mystery") to translate what in chinese is only one word (miao).
        Beside Lau and Feng which I've read in their entirety, just from the first chapter here Wu seems to be the best. Waley is also technically accurate but wordy for no reason. Henricks is already taking liberties by translating the "manfiestations" (jiao) as "that which they yearn for and seek." Cleary is accurate but confuses you by using different english words to translate the same chinese word ("subtle" and "marvel" both translate miao, "guide" and "way" both translate tao, "names" and "labels" both translate ming, for no reason). Lin is being straight up dishonest by translating "chang" as "absolute" and then adds in loaded words that are completely unnecessary ("cosmic" and "life". Miao means secret/mystery/wonder, adding in secrete "of life" just straight up comes from nowhere but the translators own head.)

        So yeah I would say reading all these separate translations pretty much adds nothing to your understanding, in fact it will just confuse you.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Also by the way as for the first chapter, you should know that the first line is "dao ke dao fe chang dao" which literally means "the way that can be WALKED/"dao'd" is not the enduring way". I personally don't really know why they all translate it as the way that can be named, maybe there is a sinological reason or something but that is the only thing I know of that all translators almost universally change. Cleary is notable here for translating it more literally but I still don't like how he changes what he translates words as. I've also read some of Cleary's other Chinese translations and they're all sort of like this, he isn't technically WRONG but his ENGLISH prose and poesy is a lot worse than his translating skills. He is obviously doing it to try and make the english sound better, but that ignores the fact that the terseness of the DDJ can sound good in English as well.

          Also I want to note that even though I recommended Feng in my other post, I do prefer how Lau translates "chang" as "constant." I don't like the translation "eternal" because it feels metaphysically loaded to me. That's one of the reasons I also like Lombardo despite not being as accurate as other translations, because he translated "chang" as simply "enduring", and at one point based on context changes the translation to "ordinary." But Lau's english can be kind of awkward and obscures the terseness of the original whereas Gia Fu Feng generally preserves it.

  2. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    this may help
    https://www.bilibili.com/video/BV1oU4y197q4/

  3. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    If you want to understand Taoism from an academic perspective then Taoism: The Enduring Tradition is a good book
    The author is an angry autist with a bone to pick but it's great as an introduction because the guy is familiar with Chinese scholarship
    Otherwise get a good translation of Tao Te Ching and Chuang Tzu
    Don't get the Stephen Mitchell translation

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >Otherwise get a good translation of Tao Te Ching and Chuang Tzu
      >Don't get the Stephen Mitchell translation

      Which translation SHOULD I get?

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Most translations are honestly not that bad… Gia Fu Feng seems to me the be best all around for DDJ. You can’t go wrong with AC Graham for Zhuangzi

  4. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >Best books for understanding Taoism?
    Tao Te Ching and Julius Evola book "Taoism"

  5. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    其上申韓者,
    其下必佛老。

  6. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The New Testament, but leave any theological leanings at the door and just take in what you read.

  7. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Ames "Philosophical" DDJ is super whack process theology bs with a purposefully weird translations (focus and field?) but I found that sort of defamiliarization helped me appreciate text more tbh

    Mitchell is a "poet" who "translates" ancient languages without studying or speaking them. Popular among plebs tho

    For Zhuangzi I have Ziporyn I believe

    I Ching I have Bollingen anglo version of Jung/Wilhelm

    Wilhelm has a cute germoid DDJ/TTC but OOP in angloverse IIRC

    Only alchemical taoism I've read is Bollingen Jung Wilhelem anglicized Secret of the Golden Flower. I liked ot but YMMV

  8. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Ignore all the morons itt.
    Start doing this:
    Zhuanzi
    Taoism an essential guide
    Thread of Da
    Original Dao
    TTJ
    Liezi
    Some book on huang lap and the silk manuscripts
    Golden Flower
    Then branch out to whatever interests you

  9. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    the best introduction would be The Tao of Pooh

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