The Art of War ( Audio Book )

The Art of War – Sun Tzu / Chapter One

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The book contains 13 Chapters, Total length 1hr 17min

Sun  Tzu

The Art of War

I. LAYING PLANS

1. Sun Tzu said:  The art of war is of vital importance
to the State.

2. It is a matter of life and death, a road either
to safety or to ruin.  Hence it is a subject of inquiry
which can on no account be neglected.

3. The art of war, then, is governed by five constant
factors, to be taken into account in one’s deliberations,
when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

4. These are:  (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth;
(4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.

5,6. The Moral Law causes the people to be in complete
accord with their ruler, so that they will follow him
regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger.

7. Heaven signifies night and day, cold and heat,
times and seasons.

8. Earth comprises distances, great and small;
danger and security; open ground and narrow passes;
the chances of life and death.

9. The Commander stands for the virtues of wisdom,
sincerely, benevolence, courage and strictness.

10. By method and discipline are to be understood
the marshaling of the army in its proper subdivisions,
the graduations of rank among the officers, the maintenance
of roads by which supplies may reach the army, and the
control of military expenditure.

11. These five heads should be familiar to every general:
he who knows them will be victorious; he who knows them
not will fail.

12. Therefore, in your deliberations, when seeking
to determine the military conditions, let them be made
the basis of a comparison, in this wise:–

13. (1) Which of the two sovereigns is imbued
with the Moral law?
(2) Which of the two generals has most ability?
(3) With whom lie the advantages derived from Heaven
and Earth?
(4) On which side is discipline most rigorously enforced?
(5) Which army is stronger?
(6) On which side are officers and men more highly trained?
(7) In which army is there the greater constancy
both in reward and punishment?

14. By means of these seven considerations I can
forecast victory or defeat.

15. The general that hearkens to my counsel and acts
upon it, will conquer:  let such a one be retained in command!
The general that hearkens not to my counsel nor acts upon it,
will suffer defeat:–let such a one be dismissed!

16. While heading the profit of my counsel,
avail yourself also of any helpful circumstances
over and beyond the ordinary rules.

17. According as circumstances are favorable,
one should modify one’s plans.

18. All warfare is based on deception.

19. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable;
when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we
are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away;
when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

20. Hold out baits to entice the enemy.  Feign disorder,
and crush him.

21. If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him.
If he is in superior strength, evade him.

22. If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to
irritate him.  Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant.

23. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest.
If his forces are united, separate them.

24. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where
you are not expected.

25. These military devices, leading to victory,
must not be divulged beforehand.

26. Now the general who wins a battle makes many
calculations in his temple ere the battle is fought.
The general who loses a battle makes but few
calculations beforehand.  Thus do many calculations
lead to victory, and few calculations to defeat:
how much more no calculation at all!  It is by attention
to this point that I can foresee who is likely to win or lose.

II. WAGING WAR

1. Sun Tzu said:  In the operations of war,
where there are in the field a thousand swift chariots,
as many heavy chariots, and a hundred thousand
mail-clad soldiers, with provisions enough to carry them
a thousand li, the expenditure at home and at the front,
including entertainment of guests, small items such as
glue and paint, and sums spent on chariots and armor,
will reach the total of a thousand ounces of silver per day.
Such is the cost of raising an army of 100,000 men.

2. When you engage in actual fighting, if victory
is long in coming, then men’s weapons will grow dull and
their ardor will be damped.  If you lay siege to a town,
you will exhaust your strength.

3. Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources
of the State will not be equal to the strain.

4. Now, when your weapons are dulled, your ardor damped,
your strength exhausted and your treasure spent,
other chieftains will spring up to take advantage
of your extremity.  Then no man, however wise,
will be able to avert the consequences that must ensue.

5. Thus, though we have heard of stupid haste in war,
cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays.

6. There is no instance of a country having benefited
from prolonged warfare.

7. It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted
with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand
the profitable way of carrying it on.

8. The skillful soldier does not raise a second levy,
neither are his supply-wagons loaded more than twice.

9. Bring war material with you from home, but forage
on the enemy.  Thus the army will have food enough
for its needs.

10. Poverty of the State exchequer causes an army
to be maintained by contributions from a distance.
Contributing to maintain an army at a distance causes
the people to be impoverished.

11. On the other hand, the proximity of an army causes
prices to go up; and high prices cause the people’s
substance to be drained away.

12. When their substance is drained away, the peasantry
will be afflicted by heavy exactions.

13,14. With this loss of substance and exhaustion
of strength, the homes of the people will be stripped bare,
and three-tenths of their income will be dissipated;
while government expenses for broken chariots, worn-out horses,
breast-plates and helmets, bows and arrows, spears and shields,
protective mantles, draught-oxen and heavy wagons,
will amount to four-tenths of its total revenue.

15. Hence a wise general makes a point of foraging
on the enemy.  One cartload of the enemy’s provisions
is equivalent to twenty of one’s own, and likewise
a single picul of his provender is equivalent to twenty
from one’s own store.

16. Now in order to kill the enemy, our men must
be roused to anger; that there may be advantage from
defeating the enemy, they must have their rewards.

17. Therefore in chariot fighting, when ten or more chariots
have been taken, those should be rewarded who took the first.
Our own flags should be substituted for those of the enemy,
and the chariots mingled and used in conjunction with ours.
The captured soldiers should be kindly treated and kept.

18. This is called, using the conquered foe to augment
one’s own strength.

19. In war, then, let your great object be victory,
not lengthy campaigns.

20. Thus it may be known that the leader of armies
is the arbiter of the people’s fate, the man on whom it
depends whether the nation shall be in peace or in peril.

 
 

 

Neville Goddard, Summa Theologica, Manly P Hall, A Course In Miracles

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