Wrong Chapter from Tao Te Ching

10:47 PM Anis Widayanti 0 Comments

道德經, or Tao Te Ching, is one of the oldest exemplars of classic Chinese literature. Millions, perhaps billions, of people have read it since it was first written by Lao Tzu (or Lao Zi) around 600 BC.

For some, it is considered to be the Chinese equivalent of the Holy Bible. It has formed the foundation for Chinese philosophies such as Legalism, Neo-Confucianism, and Taoism. Thus, if someone decides to get sections of Tao Te Ching tattooed, he better do some serious research.

However, this person and/or his tattooist did not:


Three photos titled with “This is one of the TAO proverbs. So far I have 88 charaters. (by Jeniffer, Liberty Tattoo's, Sacramento Calif.)” were posted in BMEzine’s gallery on March 13, 2007.

Most of the text was from Chapter 64 of Tao Te Ching, which should read:

其 安 易 持 , 其 未 兆 易 謀 。
其 脆 易 泮 , 其 微 易 散 。
為 之 於 未 有 , 治 之 於 未 亂 。
合 抱 之 木 , 生 於 毫 末 ;
九 層 之 台 ,起 於 累 土 ;
千 里 之 行 , 始 於 足 下。
民 之 從 事 , 常 於 幾 成 而 敗 之 。
慎 終 如 始 , 則 無 敗 事 。

However in the photo shown above, the section circled in red is actually from a completely different chapter.

Chapter 29 reads:

將 欲 取 天 下 而 為 之 , 吾 見 其 不 得 已 。
天 下 神 器 , 不 可 為 也 , 不 可 執 也 。
為 者 敗 之 , 執 者 失 之 。
是 以 聖 人 無 為 , 故 無 敗 ﹔
無 執 , 故 無 失。
夫 物 或 行 或 隨 ﹔ 或 噓 或 吹 ﹔
或 強 或 羸 ﹔ 或 載 或 隳 。
是 以 聖 人 去 甚 , 去 奢 , 去 泰 。

The mistake would be less noticeable if he did not have the chapter title tattooed near his butt cheek.