Taking Whole: The Key to American Foreign Policy

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    http://www.creativeresistance.ca/toolkit/action-sun-tsu-assuming-the-right-position.htm


    "Hsun Tzu says,

    'There is a plant in the western regions called the blackberry lily. Its stem is four inches long, but because it grows atop tall mountains, it looks down into a thousand-foot abyss."

    'If you climb to a height and beckon, it's not that your arm grows longer, but it is seen from farther away. If you yell downwind, it's not that the sound gets swifter, but it is heard more clearly.'

    Assuming the right position, we can see vast distances, however limited our own person may be. Here it's as if the squirrel were riding on the horse's back.

    What are the boundaries of the sage commander's daring and outrageous actions? What, if anything, distinguishes them from the brutal, self-centered activity of the tyrant? In doing whatever is necessary to attain victory, the sage commander has the courage to bring others to the larger perspective that they cannot initially see. His actions are not limited and self-centered because they encompass the views of both his enemies and his allies. The sage commander seeks a resolution to conflict that takes whole. As the text says,

    He seeks only to preserve the people. (Chapter 10)

    Knowing heaven and earth at every level of manifestation - the terrain and the weather, the obstacles and the possibilities, the details and the bigger perspective - allows the sage commander's knowledge to begin at one small point and expand to the whole. In this way he is able to get to the heart of victory in battle. Knowing gives rise to skillful actions that allow him to attain the ultimate victory of taking whole. He achieves victories that others cannot see, victories that are total and inexhaustible.

    Thus it is said, "Victory can be known. It cannot be made." (Chapter 4)

    From knowing the world in this way, the sage commander can begin to shape the appearance of the details and the patterns to bring about victory. This is using deception. Deception is controlling what others see and, by doing so, shaping the conclusions that they draw. It usually has a strong negative connotation, as in manipulation for the purpose of fulfilling self-centered objectives. When it separates people from their own hopes and goals, it leaves them feeling duped or betrayed.

    For the sage commander, however, deception is a means of bring others around to a larger view, one that included their own objectives, without going to battle. The sage commander moves the enemy where he wants them to be, both figuratively and literally by having them see what he wants them to see. If his deception has a limited objective, it is not to fulfill a goal that excludes others but to be a stepping-stone to the larger victory."
     

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