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Chapter Three Commentary 

Chapter Three Commentary


Chapter two described how making distinguishing between this and that is not in accord with nature and thus not in accord with the Tao. Chapter three takes this same idea and applies it to a social context. It is interesting to look at some of the words of Tao Te Ching in its historical context to get an understanding of its intention. Confucians were proponents of morality and patterns of social classifications. Confucians and Mohists advocated exalting capable people to…

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Chapter 3 

It has been a while since my last post. I have been very busy with helping establish mindfulness in certain key areas in Delaware. I have not forgotten my commitment to completing my work on the Tao Te Ching and the Tao Te Blog.

What follows is my translation of Chapter 3. I will be returning shortly with commentary. 

Chapter Three

Refrain from exalting the talented so that people cease to be jealous
Refrain from prizing that which is difficult to obtain so that people will be free from becoming thieves

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Chapter Two Commentary 


Commentary of Chapter Two:

Chapter two of the Tao Te Ching further points out what is stated in the first chapter which is to say that what appears as opposites in our everyday experiences, are actually a unified whole. Lao Tzu is warning of the danger in separating things as if they existed this way concretely. Rather, what is being pointed out here is that the unity of these so-called opposites is what makes up our world. Ultimately, things do not exist in and of themselves. Everything is…

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Chapter Two 

What follows is my translation of Chapter 2:


When all beings come to know beauty as something beautiful

Then the distinction of ugliness comes in to being

When all beings come to know good as something good

Then the distinction of evil comes in to being


So it is that being and non-being mutually generate each other

Difficult and easy equally complete each other

Long and short equally form each other

High and low equally determine each other

Sound and melody equally unify each other

Before and after…

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Chapter One Commentary 

Chapter One of the Tao Te Ching describes the whole project of all 81 chapters. To explain the entire first chapter would be to explain the entire text. Therefore, it is best to focus on the establishment of the core direction of the text stemming from this chapter. This chapter describes the nature of the Tao and how Tao moves and evolves in the world and in our lives. The idea is that the Tao can be found in all outward manifestations, but these manifestations are not the Tao in and of themselves…

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Chapter One 


The Tao that can be spoken of is not the ceaseless Tao

The name that befalls a name is not the ceaseless name

Not-named is the origin of heaven and earth

Named is the beginning of the Ten Thousand Things

Empty of longing, observe the essence

Full of longing, observe the manifestations

Both emerge together, but fluctuate in name

One in the same, a unified mystery

Profound Mystery, the gateway to all that is hidden

Getting Started 

As we embark on looking in to the Tao Te Ching, I want to take this opportunity to let the readers know that I cannot offer a unique translation of the text. I do not speak Chinese nor do I know how to write it and I know how to read very little of it. The only contextual analysis that may happen is based on my own study of the text from multiple English translations. However, that being said, the beauty in studying Tao is that it is beyond words and language and everyone's experience of the Tao is in…

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The Tao Te Blog is coming soon. This blog will take a look at all 81 chapters of the Tao Te Ching using a number of English Translations with my own commentary of each chapter within the context of mindfulness practice, Zen and Tai Chi. We will also explore the influence of later Taoist writings from the Chuang Tzu, Wen Tzu and Lieh Tzu.

Stay Tuned.