The Art of War – Sun Tzu (5th Century BC) – Chapter 4 – Military Disposition

The Art of War – Sun Tzu (5th Century BC) – Chapter 4 – Military Disposition

  • In the old days, to get good at war, you had to become unconquerable while waiting for the enemy to be conquerable
    • Being unconquerable is your job
    • Making you conquerable is the enemy’s job
      • You can’t make the enemy conquerable but you can make yourself unconquerable
    • You may come up with good plans but you can’t always implement them
  • The one who can’t be victorious assumes a defensive position
    • Assuming a defensive stance – strength is enough
    • But that’s not enough to be offensive
  • On defense, you can hide in a hole [summoning the Earth quality]
    • On defense, you have to go to the greatest heights [summoning the Heaven quality]
      • On then can you preserve yourself & win
  • Seeing victory that anyone can see isn’t excellence
    • Neither is winning where everyone praises you
  • Bagging a hare isn’t strength
    • Seeing the sunrise & sunset isn’t having great vision
    • Hearing thunder isn’t having great defeated
      • Not noted by fame or courage but error-free, directing effects toward victory & defeating those already defeated
  • Winning is putting yourself in a position where you can’t be defeated & not losing the opportunity to defeat the enemy
    • Realize the conditions for victory & seek battle
    • The loser seeks battle then seeks victory
  • A victorious leader finds ways to tap into the Tao & preserves the laws, & becomes the regulator of victory & defeat. These steps give way to the next
    1. Measurement
    2. Estimation of forces
    3. Calculation of numbers
    4. Weighing relative strength
    5. Victory
  • Victorious army = ton
    • Defeated army = ounce
      • Victorious is like a dam breaking on an enemy

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