The Tao Te Ching is a fundamental text for both philosophical and religious Taoism, and strongly influenced Legalism, Confucianism and Chan Buddhism, which when first introduced into China was interpreted through the use of Taoist concepts. Many Chinese artists, including poets, painters, calligraphers and gardeners, have been greatly influenced by Tao Te Ching. Its influence spread widely outside East Asia, and is among the most translated works in world literature, only next to Bible.
The passages in Tao Te Ching are ambiguous, with topics ranging from advice for rulers and profound religious experience of cosmic origin of Tao and its application in all realms of life. The book has 81 chapters ,this course teaches the first half: the Book of Tao. The central values of Tao Te Ching are the ineffability of Tao, the privileging of the female attributes, the force of Yin--such as softness, yielding, humility, resilience and non-action effecting all actions. The returning movement as the movement of Tao, the interchangeability of the opposites, political rule with least interference, philosophical and religious experience of vacuity and power of nothingness.
The Tao Te Ching has been translated into Western languages over 250 times, its cryptic and poetic language is a famous puzzle which everyone would like to resolve.
In learning the course, print out the PDF of Analects text in the introduction chapter, and with it in hand, study the selected chapters in the following lectures (because there is no subtitle of the text in the video). For each lecture, I will explain word by word the meaning of the classical Chinese text, and then I will explain to you the philosophical implication of these texts, often comparing it with other schools of Chinese philosophies. Finally I will lead you to read the text twice so that you can recite and memorize them.
The lecture is course introduction, with the English-Chinese version of Tao Te Ching, and Chinese-pinyin version of Tao Te Ching attached in the resource section. Please print out for later study of following lectures, as they don't have subtitle of the text in the talking head videos.
I am an award-winning professor of Chinese, director of "Hong Zeng's Chinese Language and Culture". I have taught Mandarin Chinese at all levels in prestigious American colleges altogether for 16 years. I have taught nine years as a tenure-track professor of Chinese at Carleton College, ranked No. 1 in undergraduate teaching in all liberal arts colleges in America, and have directed the Chinese program for two years at Hamline University (the first university in Minnesota). In both my second year coming to Carleton and Hamline, I more than doubled their Beginning Chinese Class enrollment. I have also taught at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. I have two PhDs, one in Chinese and comparative literature from UNC, Chapel Hill, the other in second language education, literary translation and English literature from Beijing Foreign Studies University. I have published five books in America (including two from Macmillan) on Chinese and comparative literature, film study, language study and language philosophy that are well-endorsed by world-renowned experts and book review journals in my field. I have earned 30000 dollars large grant from Asian Network in Chinese study.