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Te-Tao Ching


One of the most sacred texts of Tao-ism, The Te-Tao Ching is usually attributed to Lao-tzu, who is considered the first philosopher of the Taoist school.

Lao-tzu's writings are brief, poetic contemplations on the Tao, or the Way, a practical statement of life's most enigmatic truths. It has been translated more frequently than any other work except the Bible, but the occasionally esoteric style has often made the philosophy difficult for Westerners to grasp, particularly since early translators had to rely on flawed Chinese originals. In 1973, two manuscripts of the Te-Tao Ching were discovered in south-central China dating from 168 B.C.-more than five centuries older than any previously found original.

Professor Robert G. Henricks, the eminent Chinese scholar, prepared a new translation, used in this Modern Library edition. He corrected much of the vocabulary and grammar of the earlier translations, restored lines that had been lost, and reordered certain sequences. Professor Henricks has also provided a commentary and an introduction, helping to make Lao-tzu's wisdom more accessible to modern readers.

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