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Dao De Jing

The Dao De Jing (Tao Te Ching or other similar spelling) is the work of the legendary philosopher Lao Zi who legend says lived in the 500s BCE, during the Warring States Period.  The Dao De Jing is not the first writing or understanding of the concepts of the Dao, yin/yang, or virtue.  However it is when it was written down in the Dao De Jing did the concepts of the Dao and virtue throughout China come to be understood as it is understood today.

There are many translations of the Dao De Jing in all languages of the world.  It is one of the most influential books in the world.  With all the translations, it is hard to find the right one even in Chinese.  There are about 60 different versions.  Some are very close to each other and others are very different.  (If you are really interested, find translations that say which translation is used.)  This is not a problem because it is the spirit of the teaching that is important.   Each one of us must take the time to reflect and discover what it means to us.  There is no right answer.  However, there are translations that have, I believe, to have chosen certain words better than others.