View Full Version : "If you can talk about it, it ain't Tao.

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10-05-2006, 04:29 AM
I enjoy reading different translations and interpretations of 'The Tao Te Ching'. My two favorite are ; 'The Way of Life according to Laotzu' by Witter Bynner and 'The Tao of Pooh' by Benjamin Hoff.

My new favorite is by Ron Hogan at http://www.beatrice.com/TAO.html The PDF download is easier to read.

"If you can talk about it, it ain't Tao.
If it has a name, it's just another thing.

Tao doesn't have a name.
Names are for ordinary things.

Stop wanting stuff. It keeps you from seeing what's real.
When you want stuff, all you see are things.

These two statements have the same meaning.
Figure them out, and you've got it made."


What do you think?
Could be considered PG-13 due to some language.

Kevin Wilbanks
10-06-2006, 10:09 AM
I like it. It seems like it takes the idea of putting it in the vernacular a little too far, though. I'd like to see the same idea carried out without all the contractions and slang. Even so, it does seem easier to understand than the version I have. The best advance I made in understanding taoism has been through reading Alan Watts. Without having read his explanations I doubt I would get much out of the original text no matter how well translated.