Wednesday, December 22, 2010

the art of war *

Written over 2300 years ago, this book gathered the collective wisdom of numerous military leaders and offered a different 'perspective on conflict, whereby one might attain victory without going to battle.'

An example, from p.19:

‘The military is a Tao of deception –

Thus when we are able, manifest inability.
When active, manifest inactivity.
When near, manifest far.
When far, manifest near.
Thus when he seeks advantage, lure him.
When he is in chaos, take him.
When he is substantial, prepare against him.
When he is strong, avoid him.
When he is wrathful, harass him.
Attack where he is unprepared.
Emerge where he does not expect it.’

Brilliant but simple. Something to emulate.

* Sun Tzu, The Art of War, The Denma Translation, Shambala, 2007.


  1. What a great excerpt and a pleasure to read! I never read this but I read Lao Tzu and really enjoyed it way back when.

  2. Brilliant, Marcy! I'm sure you already know, but James Scott Bell used this in his book The Art of War for Writers. It's a gem.

    Merry Christmas to a wonderful person, amazing writer, and the first one to believe in me. Merci.

  3. aw thanks, Sher! I actually haven't read James Scott Bell's book. Maybe I should put it on my list.

    And a wicked Happy Christmas to you, too :)

  4. I have never read this, but keep meaning to. This excerpt makes me think it needs to go into my TBR pile towards the top for the new year. How fascinating to think it was written that many years ago. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Hey! I have this book! And, I've actually read most of it. It's good advice for all sorts of things!

  6. Definitely some great wisdom here! Thanks for sharing. And have a wonderful Christmas!

  7. I thought of you yesterday when I was wrapping - a young man came to the table with a copy of this. I told him that I had just read an excerpt and wanted to read the whole thing in January. He went on and on and on about it, intriguing me even more!


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