Sep 7, 2009

The Quintessence of Strategy – King Fisher Part V


This story in history is written with the hope that some of our politicians get to be enlightened and see that politics requires sincerity and truth and not otherwise. Virtue and benevolence is the foundation towards good politics and good governance and there can be no good strategy without this foundation.

Corruption and oppression of the people is the most evil of crime of all and history has repeatedly proven that it does not pay and I can quote you 1001 of such instances where it has failed when the values are not intact. It is with hope that these writings are able to change the mindset of our politicians and that there is still time for the wayward to repent and help transform positively this nation of ours which we all call home.

In employing strategy you are to be flexible and use tactics of deception but not in your values which must be steadfast and correct with the heart of the people at all times, and such is the balance of the duality of ancient philosophy of stratagem. Your true values will determine the eventual success which can be sustainable and lasting.

Quintessence here is defined as the perfect embodiment, the pure essence of wisdom of a noble or righteous thought and or objective (ambition).

Therefore before a good strategy is to be formulated the foundation on which the thought or idea is built must be based on virtue and benevolent. Virtue is the values of moral excellence and of being good or righteous or of integrity. Benevolent is a characteristic of love and kindness and a real desire to help others.

And this is the teaching of Jiang Ziya the Grand Duke of Zhou, the Supreme Strategist, for all that is good is derived from the good. This chapter will focus on the Civil Secret Teaching and the Martial Secret Teaching of the Liu Tao or Six Secret Teaching which is the first two volumes and the essence of the study of strategy.

This first 2 strategy in mandarin is called “Wen” which is the Civil Secret Teaching which also means wisdom, knowledge and learning and “Wu” which is Martial or more simply put “Kung Fu” or the martial ability to execute or implement the wisdom and knowledge acquired. In Cantonese it is called “Mun” and “Mou”, which is often heard and means as the wisdom and ability or of the sage and warrior.

In the earlier chapters, much has been mentioned on the story of the Grand Duke fishing with a straight hook where the fish to be caught will on its own accord come to the hook and the understanding from this story is that first there must exist a true desire to serve and that patience is a virtue as that the enemies will eventually present the opportunity to you.

The strategies is first based on political thoughts and than on warfare as without the right thought no strategy can be effective and can be compared to where the business must have the right product that benefits its customers without which no amount of strategies can be sustainable, you can have temporary success but if the product is flawed and not of real benefit to the customer, it will eventually fail and collapse.

In the Liu Tao much references are made on the sage ruler of old as in “Yao” and “Shun” which is based on legendary kings where some scholars believed they existed some 5 to 7 thousand years ago of which could not be validated yet today but there are many references from many famous ancient scholarly works like from Confucius and Lao Tze.

And the Grand Duke mentioned the “True Men of Worth” as appearing and gathering in times of chaos of evil. And you will always find that in history that at such times the rise of associations or movements of individual causes or group manifestoes where many heroes are made and such is the gathering of “True Men of Worth” or the gathering of heroes during the end or downfall of dynasties and mark the beginning of a greater era and this will be the sign of the times to come. History has shown that when there is a mushrooming of movements, associations and causes, it is the time of chaotic regress of the waning of that dynasty.

Civil Secret Teaching of the Liu Tao

Laying the Foundation of Virtue and Benevolence
This is where the ruler must posses and continuously acquires the knowledge and principles of governance as being subservient to the people and this is the order of Heaven. The Grand Duke believes that the ruler must cultivate his virtue and submit to the guidance of Worthy men so as to gain greater wisdom which will see greater beneficence to the state and people.

The wisdom to establish the foundation can be seen in the various inquiry of King Wen to the Grand Duke (The words of the ancients will be emboldened in red.):

King Wen inquired: “How shall we proceed to establish measures so that All under Heaven will give their allegiance?”
The Grand Duke replied: “All under Heaven is not one man’s domain. All under Heaven means just that, All under Heaven. Anyone who share profit with all the people under Heaven will gain the world. Anyone who monopolizes its profit will lose the world. Heaven has its seasons, Earth its resources. Being capable of sharing these in common with the people is true humanity. Wherever there is true humanity, All under Heaven will give their allegiance.
“Sparing the people from death, eliminating hardships of the people, relieving the misfortunes of the people, and sustaining the people in their extremities is Virtue Wherever there is Virtue, All under Heaven will give their allegiance.
“Sharing worries, pleasures, likes and dislikes with the people constitutes righteousness. Where there is righteousness the people will go.
“In general, people hate death and take pleasure in life. They love Virtue and inclined to profit. The ability to produce profit is in accord with the Tao. Where the Tao resides, All under Heaven will give their allegiance.”
King Wen bowed twice and said: “True Wisdom! Do I dare not accept Heaven’s edict and mandate?”

King Wen than led the Grand Duke into his chariot and returned with him and made the Grand Duke as his teacher.
~

King Wen inquired: “The world is replete with a dazzling array of states, some are full, and others empty, some well ordered others in chaos. How does it come to be thus? Is it the moral qualities of these rulers are not the same? Or that the changes and transformation of the seasons of Heaven naturally causes it to be thus?”
The Grand Duke said: “If the ruler lacks moral worth, than the state will be in danger and the people in turbulence. If the ruler is a Worthy or a Sage, than the state will be at peace and people well ordered. Fortune or misfortune lies with the ruler, not with the seasons of Heaven.”
~


King Wen said to the Grand Duke: “I would like to learn about the affair of administering the state. If I want to have the ruler honored and the people settled, how should I proceed?”
Grand Duke: “Just love the people.”
King Wen: “How does one love the people?”
Grand Duke: “Profit them, do not harm them. Help them to succeed, do not defeat them. Give them life, do not slay them. Grant, do not take away. Give them pleasure, do not cause them to suffer. Make them happy, do not cause them to be angry.”
King Wen: “May I dare ask you to explain the reasons for these?”
Grand Duke: “When the people do not lose their fundamental occupations, you have profited them. When the farmers do not lose their agricultural seasons, you have completed them. When you reduce punishments and fines, you give them life. When you impose light taxes, you give to them. When you keep your palaces, mansions, terraces and pavilions few, you give them pleasure. When the ministers and officials are pure and neither irritating nor troublesome, you make them happy.
“But when the people lose their fundamental occupation, you harm them. When the farmers lose their agricultural seasons, you defeat them. When they are innocent and you punish them, you will kill them (Kill them her means that you will kill their faith in the ruler as people dislike injustices). When you impose heavy taxes, you will take from them. When you construct numerous, mansions, terraces and pavilions, thereby wearing out the people, you make it bitter for them. When the minister and official are corrupt, irritating and troublesome, you anger them.
“Thus one who excels at administering a state, governs the people as parents governs their beloved children or as an older brother act towards his beloved younger brother. When they see their hunger and cold, they are troubled for them. When they see their labors and suffering, they grieve for them.
“Rewards and punishments should be implemented as if taking from yourself. This is the way to love the people.”
~


King Wen fell very ill and knew that his time has come, summoned the Princes and heir and called upon the Grand Duke: “My teacher (Grand Duke) today I want you to teach the great principles of the Tao to clearly transmit them to my sons and grandsons.”
Grand Duke: “My King, what do you want to ask about?”
King Wen: “May I hear about the Tao of the former Sages, where it stops and where it begins?”
Grand Duke said: “If one sees goodness and is dilatory in doing it, if the time for action arrives and one is doubtful, if you know something is wrong but you sanction it – it is in these 3 that the Tao stops. If one is soft and quiet, dignified and respectful, strong yet genial, tolerant yet hard – it is in these 4 that the Tao begins. Accordingly, when righteousness overcomes desire one will flourish, when desire overcomes righteousness one will perish. When respect overcome dilatoriness it is auspicious, when dilatoriness overcomes respect one is destroyed.”

The Grand Duke has stressed the significance of Virtue and Benevolence as the correct foundation and prerequisite qualities of being a ruler and that is being in harmony with nature, the ruler is to act as the shepherd of men and in leading them to peace and prosperity. All ventures must be based on the truth and as you share the truth with the people, they will rise up to protect and fight the justified cause without fear of death and so is otherwise if the ruler is void of virtue and benevolence and continuously lead under a cloak of deception, fallacy and oppression he will soon have to face the might of Heaven and All under Heaven.

The grand duke has also highlighted that the ruler must focus on developing wealth quickly within his state so that beneficence to the people could be quickly established and is a basic action of having virtue and being benevolent.

So as you can see that the ancients have already more than 3000 years ago discovered the truth of governance and yet today in the modern world our politicians have not learnt and the reason being for their folly is that of the party system, that they keep pandering to their misconceived ways in thinking that they must play to the gallery of their corrupted mind set of party members taking a blinkered approach and being caught in the whirlpool of lies and deception dragging them ever further to the abyss of hell.

It must be said here that the nation and the people must come first and not that of the dynasty or in the modern world that of their political parties. Think for a moment here... who should come first? Only the weak will pander and the strong and true leader will see that the ultimate is the nation and the people. It is because that they are so caught in the greed for power that they cannot see anything else, and become worse than prostitutes by selling their souls so that they can become the King of their party. If you have sold your soul to be the no.1, you will be the no.1 in a world of evil as it will than be beyond your power and control and your every action dictated by the evil that surrounds and control your every thought and action. Eventually there will only be one direction and it is the way to total collapse and destruction.

To be continued...

Part I HERE
Part IV HERE
Recent Excavation of a Zhou dynasty Tomb HERE
Read Part VI HERE

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