In verse 48 of his well-known poem, our friend Laozi writes:
"The pursuit of learning is to increase knowledge day after day.
The pursuit of Tao is to decrease knowledge day after day."
Which then causes me to wonder: can we pursue both knowledge and the Tao, simultaneously?
As long as there's an egoic "me" supposing to be the "pursuer" and "attainer" of the knowledge -- probably not.
But if by "attainment of knowledge" we're referring primarily to the arising of thought-forms within the mental continuum -- then I'd say, from a Taoist perspective ... maybe: if somehow the thoughts are allowed to self-liberate (to appear as not-separate from their background).
(Even as I write this, I can feel some part of me heavily invested in the outcome :)
Anyway, I've played a bit with this question and others related to verse 48 here. What's your feeling about or experience with this? Do intellectual pursuits necessarily detract from Taoist practice?