Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Vacuity and Substance

"Never let 'em see you ache"; that's what Mr. Mayer always said. Or was it ass; "Never let 'em see your ass"?"
— Carrie Fisher

Every opportunity to fail is an opportunity to learn, to improve, so that next time you will not fail. Therefore there is no true failure, only valuable steps to take towards your success.

Taking a few lessons from Sun Tzu's The Art Of War. It's been translated in different words, Vacuity and Substance, Illusion and Reality, Weak Points and Strong Points. It's about recognizing and understanding what your resources are, and how it applies in battle.

It's a step just before the next step known as Engaging The Force. Reading that just now, I think of Star Wars, but I don't think that's what Sun Tzu was referring to. Or was it?

Maneuvering/Engaging The Force explains the dangers of direct conflict and how to win those confrontations when they are forced upon you.
- From SUN TZU's The Art Of War

I now turn to advice from yet another old Asian war master. Miyamoto Musashi and his Book Of Five Rings. There are rules in learning his Military Science. Many of those rules can be easily applied to everyday life, and most definitely here and now in my current mind set.

1. Think of what is right and true.
2. Practice and cultivate the science.
3. Become acquainted with the arts.
4. Know the principles of the crafts.
5. Understand the harm and benefit in everything.
6. Learn to see everything accurately.
7. Become aware of what is not obvious.
8. Be careful even in small matters.
9. Do not do anything useless.

Number 9 is what I'll be working on today. While things are being pondered and realized, I must do what I can to make sure I have a clean and efficient base of operations.

In others words, I'll be cleaning house.

"Timing is important in dancing and pipe or string music, for they are in rhythm only if timing is good. Timing and rhythm are also involved in the military arts, shooting bows and guns, and riding horses. In all skills and abilities there is timing.... There is timing in the whole life of the warrior, in his thriving and declining, in his harmony and discord. Similarly, there is timing in the Way of the merchant, in the rise and fall of capital. All things entail rising and falling timing. You must be able to discern this. In strategy there are various timing considerations. From the outset you must know the applicable timing and the inapplicable timing, and from among the large and small things and the fast and slow timings find the relevant timing, first seeing the distance timing and the background timing. This is the main thing in strategy. It is especially important to know the background timing, otherwise your strategy will become uncertain."

- Miyamoto Musashi "The Book Of Five Rings"


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