Thursday, April 18, 2013

Gone Fishing! (A View From Chapter One of Six Secret Teachings)

Almost all asian and western strategists are familiarized with the Sunzi principles of strategy.  In China, the elite strategists frequently spent their time, utilizing the concepts and the principles from Jiang Tai Gong's Six Secret Teachings and Wuzi in their various endeavors.  

The Jiang Tai Gong's essay is focused on knowing the fundamentals of the Big Tangible Picture and viewing the grand events in terms of situations while the writing of Wuzi's emphasized on the operational means that connect the modes to one's approach.

In a future post, we will talk about the implicit meaning behind both essays. 

Some portions of the Jiang Tai Gong's material has been extended in the Li Quan's book.  

The following story focuses on a different type of fishing.

The Jiang Tai Gong's Story
King Wen intended to go hunting. So the Historical Records Scribe performed a divination. The Scribe reported:" While hunting on the north bank of Wei River, you will get a great catch. It is not a dragon, nor a tiger or a bear. According to the signs divined, you will find someone of the caliber of duke or marquis, a teacher bestow to you by Heaven. If employ him, you will flourish and your later generations will benefit as well.

King Wen asked:" Do the signs really signify this?" The Scribe replied:" My ancestor, when performing divination for Sage Emperor Shun obtained a comparable indications. And Emperor Shun then found Yao Tao to assist him."

King Wen then observed a vegetarian diet for three days to purify himself, then mounted onto his hunting chariot. Driving his hunting horses, he went to the northern bank of Wei River. There he saw Tai Gong sitting on the grass fishing. King Wen went forward and greeted him courteously and then asked: "Do you take pleasure in fishing?"

Tai Gong said: "Man of true worth takes pleasure in realizing his ambitions; the common man takes pleasure in doing his best for his affairs. My fishing is very much like it."

King Wen inquired further," What do you mean it is like it?"

Tai Gong mentioned:" Fishing is like attracting talents, there are three authorities to consider. Authority to bestow salary, authority to decide life and death, authority to appoint offices. All who fish, will always wish to catch something. Its nature is deep and from it, much greater principles can be discerned from it."

"Flourishing and florid, for many generations, the Shang Dynasty has gathered so much wealth but in the end they will be scattered. Silent and still, the Zhou Dynasty's future will be bright, so bright it can shine in all directions. Subtle and mysterious, that is how the Sage attract the hearts of the people through his virtues.. Wondrous and joyful, the plans of the Sage through which everyone seeks and gets what they want, while he establish measures that will achieve their hearts and trusts."

King Wen asked:"How shall we establish the measures so that all under Heaven will give their allegiance?"

Tai Gong said:"All under Heaven is not the domain of one person, but the domain for all those under Heaven. Anyone who shares profit with all the people under Heaven will gain the kingdom. Anyone who monopolize the profits will lose the kingdom. Heaven has its four seasons and the Earth, its resources. Being capable of sharing these with populace is truly benevolent. Whoever has true benevolence, all under Heaven will pledge allegiance to him. Sparing the people from death, eliminating hardships, relieving misfortunes, saving people from dangers, these are virtues. Whoever has true virtues, all under Heaven will pledge allegiance to him. Sharing weals and woes, likes and dislikes with the populace, that is righteousness. Where there is righteousness, people will go. In general, people hate death and take pleasure in life. They welcome virtues and chase profits. The ability to help people gain profits is the Way. Whoever walks the Way, all under Heaven will pledge allegiance to him."

King Wen bowed and said:"True wisdom. Do I dare not accept Heaven's edict and mandate." He invited Tai Gong to the chariot and returned with him, establishing him as his teacher.
Jiang Tai Gong's Six Secret Teachings 1

Comments From the Compass Desk
In life, the successful fishermen (or strategists) regularly decided on what bodies of water to fish from and what type of fishes that they wanted to catch.  He or she knows the risk benefits and the risk consequences of their strategic choices before making the next move.  It all begins by knowing the configuration of one's Big Tangible Picture (BTP).

* This post was updated on 04.23.2013

No comments: