Aug 5, 2009

The King Fisher


“A Worthy Man Fishes for the World, a Mere Mortal Fishes for Fish and Prawns”
“Jiang Ziya – Duke of Zhou”

Let's digress a little bit from all the sickening racism and dirty politics and government oppression and police brutality that we have been bombarded with recently and look away back in to history and hopefully we could find some wisdom for all us mere mortals and hopefully some worthy man might drop in and be able to reconnect the way forward towards a better Malaysia.

We are going to look at some early political thinkers and the much profound wisdom that are omnipresent, times can change, things can change but the rudimental theory of political thought of good governance is constant in this changing world.

Most would have heard of Sun Tzu and his famous work of the Sun Tzu’s Art of War, the book of military strategy which has been translated in to various forms and applied in management, businesses, and others.

But few especially the western world would have known of this great fisherman of more than 3000 years ago. And it is my pleasure to introduce the great political thinker and the progenitor of strategy, the Duke of Zhou, Jiang Ziya.

He is often seen as an old man with white hair sitting on a rock by the river with a fishing rod, and some might have seen him, particularly those that read Chinese, would have seen the name of Jiang Tai Gong in Chinese temples, as he is also one of the Taoist Gods (or Saints as your preference).

This champion fisherman fishes with a bamboo rod that had a barbless hook and the hook is placed just above the water, and one day on a destined meeting with King Wen of Zhou,who happen to be passing by stop out of curiosity, and ask the old man, and his opening greeting to Jiang was “Are you fishing?” and Jiang replied: “That's a silly question! A worthy man fishes for the world only mere mortal fishes for fish and prawns”,

And King Wen ask “How are you to catch fish with a rod that has no hook?” and Jiang said: “The fishes that are to be caught would come of their own volition.” And from this story grew the famous philosophy for fishermen and that is: “If one waits long enough, things will come their way”.

From this encounter and after some exchanges, King Wen invited Jiang Ziya who is than an old man of 72 years old to be his strategist and advisor, and later appointed as Prime Minister, went on to overthrow the Tyrant King of the Shang dynasty that establish the Zhou dynasty in 1845 B.C., and the Zhous ruled for 800 years making it the longest ruling dynasty of China.

Jiang Ziya (Lu Shang) the Duke of Zhou (was also given the title of the “Hope of Zhou”)or otherwise more popularly known as the “Jiang Tai Kung” of the early Zhou Dynasty from 1045 to 256 B.C. which is more than 800 years before Shih Huang Ti (The First Emperor) (221B.C.) and 500 years before Confucius (550B.C.) and more than 1000 years before the Roman Empire (27 B.C.).

The Duke of Chou is the earliest political thinker recorded in history and the progenitor of military strategic studies and is more than 500 years before Sun Tzu of the Art of War fame.

Liu Tao, (Six Strategy) and also known as the “Tai Kung’ Six Secret Teachings”, is one of the main classic in the “Seven Military Classics” of China and in those days, have been prohibited in private possession and the printed copies are kept in imperial libraries in lock and under guard and of great value. Even up to the times of Mao Tze Tung, the Seven Military Classic is a sacred possession of the Premier and not allowed in public circulation.

We will end here as Part1, and in Part2 we shall look into the structure of the Liu Tao, and the political thoughts of Jiang Ziya and an insight in to King Wen of the Zhou dynasty. We will end with a glimpse of the political doctrine of the Great Duke as below:

“The World is not the Private Property of the Ruler but the Common Property of All”
~Jiang Ziya~

Read Part II HERE
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