1. He who devotes himself to learning (seeks) from day to day to increase (his knowledge); he who devotes himself to the Tâo (seeks) from day to day to diminish (his doing).
2. He diminishes it and again diminishes it, till he arrives at doing nothing (on purpose). Having arrived at this point of non-action, there is nothing which he does not do.
3. He who gets as his own all under heaven does so by giving himself no trouble (with that end). If one take trouble (with that end), he is not equal to getting as his own all under heaven.
忘知, 'Forgetting Knowledge;’ the contrast between Learning and the Tâo. It is only by the Tâo that the world can be won.
Ziâo Hung commences his quotations of commentary on this chapter with the following from Kumâragîva on the second par.:--'He carries on the process of diminishing till there is nothing coarse about him which is not put away. He puts it away till he has forgotten all that was bad in it. He then puts away all that is fine about him. He does so till he has forgotten all that was good in it. But the bad was wrong, and the good is right. Having diminished the wrong, and also diminished the right, the process is carried on till they are both forgotten. Passion and desire are both cut off; and his virtue and the Tâo are in such union that he does nothing; but though he does nothing, he allows all things to do their own doing, and all things are done.' Such is a Buddhistic view of the passage, not very intelligible, and which I do not endorse.