Thoughts from Reading Sun Tzu's Art of War
(Clearwisdom.net) Recently some practitioners have talked a lot about how to create momentum. Personally I feel that this is not something that can be understood at face value and mechanically carried out. This is because for practitioners, the Fa has been taught to us and the principles have been laid out, so after we understand the Fa principles, we should determine a plan of action based on our fundamental goal of clarifying the truth and saving people as much as possible. If we can't handle it well and take the Fa principles as something that rigidly restricts how we carry out specific things, for example reporting on something for the sake of reporting, then in many situations we may be unwittingly providing information to the evil and bringing losses to our validating the Fa.
First and foremost, we know that everything that happens here has factors behind it from other dimensions. The contests between righteousness and evil here are reflections of the battles between righteousness and evil in the heavens. Then as Dafa disciples, we should take using the forms of writing articles, making phone calls, sending letters, filing lawsuits, and other ways of clarifying the truth as the means to accomplishing the fundamental goal of purging the old forces and their helpers, who are behind a lot of the things that happen in this world. We should not be doing things for the sake of merely doing things, nor should we be clarifying the truth just for the sake of doing something. We have to constantly maintain the state of mind and level of understanding of a Dafa disciple.
Secondly, doing things needs to definitely take into account strategy and specific methods. We might do well to draw upon classic Chinese literature for reference and inspiration.
For example, when we talk about creating momentum, we can't get away from determining what defines "momentum," which may have many aspects to it. Let's look at what Sun Tzu's classic Chinese book, Art of War says.
In the first and most important chapter of Sun Tzu's book, he expressed the vital importance of proactively establishing momentum to capture victory in war. He favored taking action to analyze and take advantage of existing conditions, in order to create a favorable position strategically and tactically. Regarding the goal of establishing a favorable and flexible position in the battlefield, Sun summarized it his famous axiom of "attack where the enemy is not prepared, go where he does not expect you to go." His strategy emphasized creative and flexible use of the forces, the ability to change directions rapidly, and using misdirection to attack the enemy. He also talked about this topic: Once a strategy is adopted, then it should form a state and serve as an external assistance condition. What he refers to as the "state" means to take advantage of favorable conditions by reacting to them freely and flexibly, thereby seizing control of battle.
Of course, Dafa disciples don't have enemies. Even when it comes to people who assist the head of the evil to do bad things, we don't see them as enemies, and we all understand the reasons behind this. This is another topic entirely, so for the sake of brevity I won't talk about it further here. The above references are simply for the sake of making our way of thinking more diverse and hopefully to help us create new avenues of thinking, so that we may better understand the topic of creating momentum in the human world from multiple levels.
I would also like to cover another topic. Right now, while Jiang's group is denying the existence of lawsuits against Jiang, they are mobilizing massive numbers of diplomats and special agents, engaging in activities in the United States with no regard to cost. They're attempting to get the American courts to make a judgment in favor of Jiang. In the past, some Chinese media that were directly controlled by the Chinese Consulate slandered Falun Gong and were sued. Now they have employed a more deceptive and devious method, using the freshly deployed 610 Office agents from Mainland China to spread lies and twist the truth. They've distributed highly professional compilations of lies specifically for high-level officials within the American and Canadian governments. They are also holding public functions and employing various forms of propaganda, targeting different levels of society. We Dafa disciples cannot let our guard down when it comes to this. This development also requires us to clarify the truth with a more holistic, systematic, and comprehensive approach. Otherwise, some people overseas with predestined relationships may suffer great losses because of this new wave of lies and vicious slander.
Then given this situation of our overseas practitioners being relatively few in number and having a lot of things to do, how can we better deal with this new situation? Our way of thinking when evaluating and dealing with these things is very important. In reality, the foundation of cultivation is in fact letting go of modern people's various deviated ways of thinking, continuously improving our state of mind, and being able to look at problems objectively and from all angles. Sun Tzu said, "When you truly know yourself and your opponent, you will win every battle." It's true that compared to Mainland China, we don't have that many practitioners overseas, but on the evil's side, how many people are there that are truly dedicating themselves to carrying out the head of the evil's plans? How many of these people who are helping the evil can persist in the long run? And from the perspective of this human dimension, they're people motivated by power and propped up with money, yet we're a group supporting justice who are acting from our hearts and walking down a righteous, glorious path. On this point, our victory and the evil forces' ultimate defeat are sealed. Indeed, the old forces have already been completely purged by Master, so are the remaining behind-the-scenes helpers higher than their puppeteers, higher than the old forces that have been purged already?
In addition, Art of War discussed the issue of "the key to victory is avoiding the enemies' strength and attacking their weakness." Facing the evil's strength of having no regard for cost or consequences, and spending massive amounts of money to get what they want, we have the advantage of having one of our people being more capable than ten of theirs put together, but we can definitely use our wisdom to maximize our abilities to clarify the truth at the most key and the evil's most vulnerable places. For example, we can emphasize these three main points: This persecution is completely based on lies; the torture and persecution is the suppression of the freedom of religion and belief, and mind control--and it affects everyone; and the entire persecution is being covered up to the outside world with lies and propaganda. If the governments and public truly understood the overall situation based on these three facts, then no matter how much money the evil throws around, they will be powerless and ultimately end up the object of scorn and ridicule in the eyes of the public.
At the same time, regarding the evil's characteristic of habitually creating endless lies, and using them to sustain and hide the suppression, it is obviously very important for us Dafa disciples to clarify the truth, but it cannot be limited to only this, or otherwise we would be sunk into a reactive mode, unable to play the lead role on the stage of the human world. If we could pay more attention to having people fundamentally understand the depth and breadth of this persecution, and the harm to people of the world, then each new case of torture would not be "another case of something people already know about", or seen as news that "add no incremental value." Then each new death would not feel like just another addition to the total tally and just another name to people. Quite the opposite, people might well feel that each new case of persecution makes the persecution itself even more unbearable, and calling on them to act on their sense of justice and conscience, leading them to oppose and stop this persecution from their hearts.
These are some personal understandings. Please compassionately correct and supplement anything that is inappropriate.