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I have been a student of the Daodejing for many years. My study has largely consisted of reading various translations and interpretations of DDJ and reflecting on its meanings. I think this is the way many of us have started with Daoism. As I read the various translations and interpretations of DDJ, I began to see the influences that the writers had on rendering the work; their point of view, as it were. As must be the case, these points of view are decidedly western, and quite often Christian. Even the more scholarly efforts, in spite of best intentions, often contain traces of western and Christian thinking. Being aware of this, you can recognize it and make what ever accommodations you feel inclined. Still, I began to suspect that some publications were actually more interpretations than translations, particularly the less scholarly ones. Researching the background of the writers, particularly their ability with written and spoken Chinese, and reviewing the bibliographies of their works, helps in sensing how much more a work is of interpretation than translation and the amount of value you can place on the work. This has led me to question how informed the translations are ... or rather, how the translations were informed? What, beyond ability with the Chinese language is necessary to translate a work like the DDJ. Knowledge of Chinese culture, as a matter of general understanding, certainly contributes to translation, as does understanding of Chinese history. Even so, as I read the various DDJs, I still struggled with the seemingly enigmatic language and symbolism of the translated text, despite having tried to select works of knowledgeable translators. Many translators don't provide much explanation. Simply relying on the truthful feel of the DDJ, however strong, was not developing my understanding. I just felt the need for a more appropriate and specific context in which to make sense of the DDJ. Something that might make the DDJ more actionable in terms of practice of the ideas put forward. To that end, I began to look at translations of other source texts. Certainly, there is no shortage of references to such texts, particularly in the more scholarly translations. I settled on two such works that have opened up for me a whole different level of understanding of the DDJ; The Seal of the Unity of the Three by Fabrizio Pregadio and The Thread of Dao by Dan G Reid. It is with this backdrop that I start this thread. I am not a scholar or academic but simply one on the journey, seeking to share my impressions. My hope is that others, familiar with these works or not, will share their ideas as well. So, initially, what do the Bums think of these two works in general and how have you used them? btw, this is my first attempt to initiate a thread. If I am violating and rules, customs or conventions, please let me know. ; )