Zen Zone #11

Paraphrased from Zhuge Liang in Mastery of the Art of War:

“Thus the intelligent think because of this; the mettlesome fight because of this: Where you see the enemy to be empty, proceed; where you see the enemy to be full, stop. Do not look down on others because of your own elevated rank. Do not oppose the common consensus with personal opinions. Do not turn from the loyal and trustworthy through the artifices of the skilled but treacherous. Do not sit down before the soldiers sit; do not eat before the soldiers eat. Bear the same cold and heat the soldiers do; share their toil as well as their ease. Experience sweetness and bitterness just as the soldiers do; take the same risks that they do. Then the soldiers will exert themselves to the utmost, and it will be possible to destroy enemies.

Advance and retreat are a matter of timing- military affairs are not directed by the ruler but by the general.  Therefore, in war, there is no heaven above, no earth below, no adversary ahead and no ruler behind.  If generals can be like this, people will be willing to fight when they give the orders, and the enemy will be defeated before any blood is shed.  Look upon your soldiers as beloved children, and they will willingly die with you.”

  • http://allhazardscontemplations.blogspot.com/ Ben Waller

    Profound thoughts, oh Zen-master.