Biblioscopes: Advice for All Sun Signs April 1-7
After a few weeks of more women’s ish books, I’ve decided to man it up a bit by featuring the classic, “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu, translated and with intro by Samuel B. Griffith.
Chung Yu: To manage a host one must first assign responsibilities to the generals and their assistants, and establish the strengths of the ranks and files…Each is subordinate to the superior and controls the inferior. Each is properly trained. Thus one may manage a host of a million men just as he would host a few. Delegate!
When hostilities broke out between Lu and Ch’i, he was anxious to take command of the Lu army, but the Prince hesitated to appoint him because his wife was a native of Ch’i. Wu Ch’I thereupon murdered her to demonstrate his loyalty, and entered upon what proved to be a successful military career. No murders on my account, please. But you may have to sacrifice your relationship on some level to get some work done this week.
In war, numbers confer no advantage. Do not advance relying on sheer military power. Think before you move. Your popularity will not help you.
He was terrified, and hurriedly sent an aide with this message: ‘I already know that the General is able to employ troops. Without these two concubines my food will not taste sweet. It is my desire that they not be executed.’ In the rest of the lengthy passage, the King’s concubines do get killed, because the King did not deliver the message himself. Get right “in the face” of issues that really matter to you this week.
Fight downhill; do not ascend to attack. So much for taking position in mountains. Your advantage may be obvious. Keep with it.
When not campaigning, the army labored (as it does in China today) on public projects. A project may be stalled, but be efficient and start on other projects.
Generally, in battle, use the normal force to engage; use the extraordinary force to win. You will have to fight harder than you thought to get what you want. Think: “no holds barred.”
The crossbow, a Chinese invention of the early fourth century B.C. fired heavy arrows which would have made collanders of Greek or Macedonian shields. Innovation will help you win the day.
When a feudal lord fights in his own territory, he is in dispersive ground. Ts’ao Ts’ao: Here officers and men long to return to their nearby homes. For morale’s sake, you may have to give people a little time off.
Ground to which access is constricted, where the way out is tortuous, and where a small enemy force can strike my larger one is called ‘encircled’. Tu Mu:… Here it is easy to lay ambushes and one can be utterly defeated. Don’t let anyone back you into a corner this week—and look to see if you can back someone else into a corner as well.
‘When the thunderclap comes, there is no time to cover ears.’ Whatever your project is, take the step now, now, now!!!
The enemy will surely entrench, will not venture either to advance or retire. Whereupon raise your banners and pennons, march out of the mountainous country and encamp. The enemy will certainly be apprehensive. Provoke him with your chariots and allow him no rest. You don’t have to really do damage to emerge victorious. Be confident, and all will go your way.