November 21st, 2009

Chapter sixty-nine: Using mystery [treasure III, Modesty]

The expert in warfare says:
Rather than dare make the attack
I'd take the attack;
rather than dare advance an inch
I'd retreat a foot.

Its called marching without marching,
rolling up your sleeves without flexing your muscles,
being armed without weapons,
giving the attacker no opponent.
Nothing's worse than attacking what yields.
To attack what yields is to throw away the prize.

So, when matched armies meet,
the one who comes to grief
is the true victor.

Lao Tsu, Tao te Ching.
Interpreted by Ursula K Le Guin

"The prize thrown away by the aggressor is compassion."
goban
  • trevoke

69

There is a saying among soldiers:
I dare not make the first move but would rather play the guest;
I dare not advance an inch but would rather withdraw a foot.

This is called marching without appearing to move,
Rolling up your sleeves without showing your arm,
Capturing the enemy without attacking,
Being armed without weapons.

There is no greater catastrophe than underestimating the enemy.
By underestimating the enemy, I almost lost what I value.

Therefore when the battle is joined,
The underdog will win.
-
-
There's an old military saying:
"I'd rather face an attack
than have to make one.
I'd rather retreat a foot
than try to advance an inch."

That's the secret to moving forward
while staying put,
preparing for battle
without revealing your strength.

When you defend yourself
without any show of force,
you give your opponent
nothing to fight.

Attacking an enemy
you've underestimated
is a costly mistake.
When two forces oppose each other,
the winner is the one most reluctant to fight.
-

The first version is from the Fortune files. The second version is the Beatrice Tao.