Cy Grant’s version of the Taoist classic, the Tao Te Ching is not a translation. Cy neither spoke nor read Chinese. But he had available the numerous translations that were on the market in those days. There were translations by Chinese scholars who understood the philosophy but whose grasp of English was not so good. Then there were translations by English academics who could do the language but whose appreciation of the philosophy was inadequate, and who often miscast the ideas in western terms.
So, what Cy did was to look at the available translations and, after meditating on each chapter, to produce his own version, a paraphrase that captures the spirit of the original in language that is simple, clear and direct.
These chapters were recorded by Cy and broadcast by the BBC World Service in 1980 in six parts. Here they are presented as one continuous piece.
You can read more about Cy’s life and work here
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