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Fullness and Emptiness

 

Disciplines > WarfareThe Six Secret Teachings > 1.2 Fullness and Emptiness

Teaching set  | Observed lessons | Discussion | See also

 

Teaching set

Civil Secret Teachings 1.2 (2)

Observed lessons

  • Some countries are chaotic while others are ordered.
  • The state and fortunes of the country are due to the ruler, not luck, gods, etc.
  • A worthy ruler does not live in great comfort nor adorns himself with beautiful trappings.
  • Greatness comes from integrity and how you treat people.
  • Reward those who are loyal and who respect others.
  • Reward good acts from people who have done bad things.
  • Mark out and prohibit evil.

Discussion

'Full and empty' is a principle used in Taoism and Chinese martial arts, and is linked to the idea of Yin and Yang. In moving, like breathing, we alternate full and empty, yin and yang. When another person attacks us, we show emptiness and yin, giving them nothing to press against. They then flow back to their position and we follow, sticking to them with power, yang and fullness.

Fullness can also mean being full of the country, feeling everything within yourself. Emptiness can be divesting yourself of that which is not worthy of you and which alienates you from the people. Fullness implies action. Emptiness patience. Both have their place.

See also

The Art of War, Parts 1.3-12: Five Constant Factors

 

Sawyer, R.D. (1993). The Seven Military Classics of Ancient China, Basic Books

 

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