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The Writings of Lao Tzu - Vol I The Tao Which Can Be Told

The Writings of Lao Tzu - Vol I The Tao Which Can Be Told
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Publisher: Tao Booklets

by Richard Bertschinger

Over two-thousand years ago, a small booklet appeared in China – the Tao-te Ching - which became the text of Taoism. Taoism, the religion of the Tao, or Path, is the third of China’s great religions – and it flourished in the ensuing centuries, being everything that Confucianism was not. It spoke well on the deep simplicity of the natural world and on embracing substance.

It preserved tribal thought (planting by the seasons, watching the sun and moon) and ancestor worship; it linked the primacy of the female and an intimacy with all nature. It praised a subtle touch and an organic humanism. This is a book praised by both quantum physicists and eco-warriors alike.

It is a work of inward cultivation, a spiritual tract giving instruction in breath-control and qigong, as well as a treatise on government. Later neo-Taoists spun a transcendental web, even reaching Leibniz and Kant in the west, through Latin translation. Yet the book also explains how to be a good ruler over the people, how to make a secure government and avoid war.

Self-discipline and self-discovery were close to the heart of the Chinese sages. They embraced a quietism which believed in the action of non-action (wei-wu-wei ) and thought that striving for change must be less effective than a radiance of spirit. ‘

In a title of rare scholarship and learning, Richard Bertschinger has created a traditional-style commentary to this old classic, based upon the original sources (with photos to illustrate the text). It is presented in nine short booklets, covering the eighty-one chapters of the work.

The Titles:

1 The Tao which can be Told Is Not the Constant Tao

2 The Sky is Broad, the Earth Endures

3 The Best Rulers are Barely Known by their People

4 To Know the Male, but to Guard the Female

5 The One of Highest Virtue Does not Pretend to any Virtue

6 Not Going Out the Door, You Can Know the Whole World

7 Those Who Know Do Not Speak, Those Who Speak Do not Know

8 Those of Old Well-versed in the Tao Did Not use in to Enlighten Men

9 When the People Do Not Fear Death How Can I Threaten them With Death?

About the author

Richard Bertschinger is a translator from the classical Chinese of the The Golden Needle, (Churchill Livingstone 1991) also The Secret of Everlasting Life, (Element 1994), early alchemical and medical texts. He taught ten years at Yeovil College - Tai-chi, massage and relaxation. He has been in acupuncture practice twenty-five years with Jane Robinson and Lesley Jenkins in Yeovil. He studied Tai-chi, meditation and translation with Mr Gia-fu Feng, American-Chinese Taoist teacher until his death in 1986, also learning his acupuncture from Jack Worsley at Leamington Spa, and working as a primary school teacher in the UK and in Gestalt Therapy in the USA. A first degree in philosophy, he also worked ten years at Musgrove Park Hospital Taunton, in the NHS Pain Clinic promoting Traditional Acupuncture.
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