Sunday, September 18, 2016
The Jiang Tai Gong's View
Jiang Tai Gong book "Six Secret Teachings" emphasizes "the importance of protecting one's advantage" regardless of the situation.
King Wen asked Tai Gong:"How does one preserve the state's territory?"
Tai Gong said: "Do not estrange your relatives. Do not neglect the masses. Be concillatory and solicitous towards nearby states and control all that is under you. Do not loan the authority of state to other men. If you loan the authority of state to other men, then you will lose your authority. Do not hurt those of lower position to benefit those of higher position. Do not abandon the fundamental to save those that are inconsequential.
When the sun is at midday, you should dry things. If you grasp a knife, you must cut. If you hold an axe, you must attack."
"If at the height of the day, you do not dry things in the sun, this is termed losing the opportunity.
If you grasp a knife but do not cut anything, you will lose the moment for profits. If you hold an axe and do not attack, enemies will attack instead."
"If trickling streams are not blocked, they will become great rivers. If you do not extinguish the smallest flames, there is nothing much you can do when it turns into great flames.
If you do not eliminate the two-leaf sapling, you might have to use the axe to remove it in future." "For this reason, the ruler must focus on developing wealth within his state. Without material wealth, he has nothing with which to spread beneficence or to bring his relatives together.
If he estranges his relatives it will be harmful. If he loses the common people, he will be defeated. "
"Do not loan sharp weapons to other men. If you loan sharp weapons to other men, you will be hurt by them and will not live out your allotted span of years."
King Wen said:"What do you mean by benevolence and righteousness?"
Tai Gong replied: "Respect the common people, unite your relatives. If you respect the common people, they will be in harmony. And if you unite your relatives, they will be happy. This is the way to implement the essential cords of benevolence and righteousness."
"Do not allow other men to snatch away your awesomeness. Rely on your wisdom, follow the norm. Those that submit and accord with you, treat them generously and virtuously. Those that oppose you, break with force. If you respect the people and trust, the state will be peaceful and populace submissive." - T’ai Kung Liu-t’ao (Six Secret Teachings)
More on this topic can be found in the Seven Military Classics of Ancient China.