May 4th, 2011

31

Even the finest arms are an instrument of evil,
A spread of plague,
And the way for a vital person to go is not the way of a soldier.
But in time of war those civilized in peace
Turn from their higher to their lower nature.
Arms are an instrument of evil,
No measure for the thoughtful
Until there fail all other choice
But sad acceptance of it.
Triumph is not beautiful.
He who thinks triumph beautiful
Is one with a will to kill,
And one with a will to kill
Shall never prevail upon the world.
It is a good sign when our  higher nature comes forward,
A bad sign when our lower nature comes forward,
When retainers take charge
And the master stays back
As in the conduct of a funeral.
The death of a multitude is cause for mourning:
Conduct your triumph as a funeral.

The Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu (The Witter Bynner version), Terebess Asia Online (TAO)
(with minor changes)
goban

31

Good weapons are instruments of fear; all creatures hate them.
Therefore followers of Tao never use them.
The wise man prefers the left.
The man of war prefers the right.

Weapons are instruments of fear; they are not a wise man's tools.
He uses them only when he has no choice.
Peace and quiet are dear to his heart,
And victory no cause for rejoicing.
If you rejoice in victory, then you delight in killing;
If you delight in killing, you cannot fulfill yourself.

On happy occasions precedence is given to the left,
On sad occasions to the right.
In the army the general stands on the left,
The commander-in-chief on the right.
This means that war is conducted like a funeral.
When many people are being killed,
They should be mourned in heartfelt sorrow.
That is why a victory must be observed like a funeral.
-
-
Weapons are terrible things.
If you want to get right with Tao,
reject weapons.

The Master,
knowing all things came from Tao,
recognizes what he has in common
with his enemies
and always tries to avoid conflict.

But when there is no other choice,
he uses force reluctantly.
He does so with great restraint,
and never celebrates a victory;
to do so would be to rejoice in killing.
A person who would rejoice in killing
has completely lost touch with Tao.

When you win a war,
you preside over a funeral.
Pay your respects to the dead.
-

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