According to Zhu, the reading of a text should be based on text (yi shu guan shu以書觀書) before an understanding can be reached. Based on his belief that the words of the sages (shengxian聖賢) are directed to people, the audience, the meanings of the text are therefore not hidden. He thought that, instead of hurrying oneself to reach one’s own idea, one should calm down, allow an openness for the text to speak, and reflect on it repeatedly; By and by, the meaning would be unveiling itself. Having said this, he, however, emphasized that one should bring the text to oneself and experience (tiyan體驗) it, make it personal, instead of treating the text as if it was but a bunch of words. A scholar should apply the words of the sages in his own life, and “experience with close scrutiny” (ticha體察). In other words, he is against a reading simply focusing on a pure syntactic and semantic meaning.
Translated and paraphrased.