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Opening Instructions

 

Disciplines > WarfareThe Six Secret Teachings > 2.1 Opening Instructions

Teaching set  | Observed lessons | Discussion | See also

 

Teaching set

Martial Secret Teachings 2.1 (13)

Observed lessons

  • To understand a ruler, look at the person, their advisors and government, and at the actions they take.
  • Avoid fighting if at all possible.
  • Seek win-win. Work with people to mutual benefit.
  • Be inscrutable. Let nobody know how you will act until you do.
  • Corruption is a signal of decay and a doomed state.
  • To see truth, shine a bright light.

Discussion

Like other military texts, the critical principle is to innovate and surprise rather than attack head on. The ultimate success is to win without fighting, positioning yourself and using deceptions such that the enemy has no alternative than to concede.

As is noted, 'He who does not take from the people takes the people'. Concern for the common people can pay great returns. While each may not have much power, together they are a huge force. With their general support, you can do much with confidence.

Exposing corruption is the first step to removing it. Removing corruption and bringing moral government is a common reason for invading another country.

See also

Leadership

 

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

 

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