Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Sun Tzu 孙武

(Sun Zi)

544 – 496 BCE

HIstory's supreme strategist

A huge influence in China from the first emperor, Qin's Shi Huangdi who considered Sun Tau’ strategy invaluable in his success to Mao Zedong who partially credited to him his 1949 victory over Chiang Kai-shek; Sun Tau also became influential in the West during the twentieth century. It helped leaders unify Japan, generals in Viet Nam win over superior French and American forces, Colin Powell win the Gulf War and continues to help people all over the world involved in politics, the military, business, sports and any competitive endeavor. Sun Tzu uses Daoist principles and terms emphasizing victory over aggression, taking whole, how to be rather than what to do.

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Art of War 孙子兵法

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Quotes by Sun Tzu (36 quotes)

“Being prepared and awaiting the unprepared is victory.”

Chapters: 26. The Still Rule the Restless

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“Defend and one has a surplus. Attack and one is insufficient…Taking whole is victory over aggression… It preserves the possibilities. Victory is ongoing, a way of being rather than a final goal.”

Chapters: 31. Victory Funeral

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“Do not repeat the means of victory respond to form from the inexhaustible.”

Chapters: 49. No Set Mind

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“Faced with chaos or conflict, the sage commander looks first to the largest reference point. No matter what ground he has been given, he always thinks bigger… he looks to the space around things.”

from Art of War 孙子兵法

Chapters: 27. No Trace

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“Generals who advance with no thought of fame, who retreat with no fear of punishment, who think only of protecting their country and helping their king are the treasures of the realm.”

from Art of War 孙子兵法

Chapters: 69. No Enemy

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“He advances yet does not seek fame,
He retreats yet does not avoid blame.
He seeks only to preserve the people.”

Chapters: 9. Know When to Stop

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“If the general is not victorious over his anger and sets them swarming like ants, One-third of the officers and soldiers are killed… This is the calamity of attack.”

Chapters: 37. Nameless Simplicity

Themes: Anger

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“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.”

Chapters: 32. Uncontrived Awareness

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“In seeing victory, not going beyond what everyone knows is not skilled… One skilled at battle takes a stand in the ground of no defeat… Therefore, the victorious military is first victorious and after that does battle.”

from Art of War 孙子兵法

Chapters: 60. Less is More

Themes: Inscrutable

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“Knowing the other and knowing oneself,
In one hundred battles no danger.
Not knowing the other and knowing oneself, one victory for one loss.
Not knowing the other an not knowing oneself, in every battle certain defeat.”

Chapters: 33. Know Yourself

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“One skilled at battle takes a stand in the ground of no defeat… the victorious military is first victorious and after than does battle… And so one who is skilled cultivates Tao and preserves method.”

from Art of War 孙子兵法

Chapters: 60. Less is More

Themes: Integrity

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“Resolved to die one can be killed.
Resolved to live, one can be captured.
Quick to anger, one can be goaded.
Pure and honest, one can be shamed.
Loving the people one can be aggravated.

All five are excesses.”

Chapters: 45. Complete Perfection
32. Uncontrived Awareness

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“The all-victorious sage commander doesn’t attain victory by bringing the enemy over to his side. Instead he creates a larger view that includes both sides.”

Chapters: 22. Heaven's Door

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“the form of the military is like water. Water in its movement avoids the high and hastens to the low. The military in its victory avoids the solid and strikes the empty. The water determines its movement in accordance with the earth. The military determines victory in accordance with the enemy.”

Chapters: 8. Like Water

Themes: Water Humility

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“The military in its victory avoids the solid and strikes the empty. Thus water determines its movement in accordance with the earth.”

Chapters: 30. No War

Themes: Water

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“The Rearing Serpent sports in the mists,
This Flying Dragon rides on the clouds.
But when the clouds are gone and the mists have cleared,
They are no different from earthworms.”

Chapters: 34. An Unmoored Boat

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“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

Chapters: 73. Heaven’s Net

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“Therefore, 100 victories in 100 battles is not the most skillful. Subduing the other’s military without battle is the most skillful.”

from Art of War 孙子兵法

Chapters: 66. Go Low

Themes: Skillful Means

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“Know the other and know oneself,
Then victory is not in danger.
Know earth and know heaven,
Then victory can be complete.”

from Art of War 孙子兵法

Chapters: 24. Unnecessary Baggage

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“To go one thousand li without fear, go through unpeopled ground. To attack and surely take it, attack where they do not defend. To defend and surely hold firm, defend where they will surely attack.”

Chapters: 50. Claws and Swords

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“Trust in self interest, spread one’s awesomeness over the enemy... Victory can be known. It cannot be made… And so the superior military cuts down strategy. Its inferior cuts down alliances. Its inferior cuts down the military. The worst attacks walled cities.”

from Art of War 孙子兵法

Chapters: 54. Planting Well
28. Turning Back

Themes: Victory Strategy

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“Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.”

from Art of War 孙子兵法

Themes: Deception

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

from Art of War 孙子兵法

Themes: War

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“By reinforcing every part, he weakens every part.”

from Art of War 孙子兵法

Themes: Less is More

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“It is easy to love your friend, but sometimes the hardest lesson to learn is to love your enemy.”

from Art of War 孙子兵法

Themes: Golden Rule

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“the greatest deception leaves no trace”

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“There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard”

from Art of War 孙子兵法

Themes: Music

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“Pretend to be weak so that your opponent may grow arrogant.”

from Art of War 孙子兵法

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“Those who win success, think deeply before doing anything. Those who suffer failure, avoid contemplation and make few calculations beforehand.”

from Art of War 孙子兵法

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“The king only loves the words, he cannot make use of the reality.”

from Art of War 孙子兵法

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“It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of war who an thoroughly understand the profitable way of carrying it on.”

from Art of War 孙子兵法

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“The value of time—being a little ahead of our opponent—has counted for more than either numerical superiority or the best calculations”

from Art of War 孙子兵法

Themes: Time

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“Protecting ourselves against defeat is in our own hands; the opportunity of defeating the enemy is in theirs.”

from Art of War 孙子兵法

Themes: Power

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“Making no mistakes is what establishes the certainty of victory, for it means conquering an enemy that is already defeated.”

from Art of War 孙子兵法

Themes: Mistakes

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“He plans secretly, moves surreptitiously, and foils the enemy's intentions... but his victories bring him neither reputation for wisdom or credit for courage because the world at large knows nothing of them.”

from Art of War 孙子兵法

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“In peace prepare for war, in war prepare for peace. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Under no circumstances can it be neglected.”

from Art of War 孙子兵法

Themes: Strategy Peace

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Quotes about Sun Tzu (1 quotes)

“Master of military tactics and strategy. His Art of War has been much studied and admired ever since it came to the attention of King Ho Lu of the state of Wu, who subsequently became Sun's patron.”

Red Pine 1943 CE –
( Bill Porter)
Exceptional translator, cultural diplomat
from Lao-Tzu's Taoteching

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