Tao Te Ching – Verse 48 – In pursuit of knowledge, every day something is added

In pursuit of knowledge,
every day something is added.
In the practice of the Tao,
every day something is dropped.
Less and less do you need to force things,
until finally you arrive at non-action.
When nothing is done,
nothing is left undone.


True mastery can be gained
by letting things go their own way.
It can’t be gained by interfering.

(translation by Stephen Mitchell, 1995)

Pursue knowledge, daily gain
Pursue Tao, daily loss

Loss and more loss
Until one reaches unattached action
With unattached action, there is nothing one cannot do

Take the world by constantly applying non-interference
The one who interferes is not qualified to take the world

(translation by Derek Lin, 2006)

Learning is addition.
It leads to suffering.
Zero is Infinite subtraction,
Leading to the All of Nothingness.
By inactivity is meant:
Do not attempt interference,
As this has always been unshielded Life.
“Later” and “Before”
Are concepts of the mind not functioning properly.

(translation by Jeremy M. Miller, 2013)

from I Ching Online


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