Thursday, 6 February 2014

b.孫子兵法 (兵勢篇第五) (Chapter 5 - 4) (Part 28)

The last part is here:   孫子兵法 (兵勢篇第五) (Chapter 5 - 3) (Part 27)


孫子曰:   凡治眾如治寡,分數是也﹔鬥眾如鬥寡,形名是也﹔三軍之 眾,可使必受敵而無敗,奇正是也﹔兵之所加,如以碫投卵者,虛實是也。
          凡戰者,以正合,以奇勝。故善出奇者,無窮如天地,不竭如江河。 終而復始,日月是也。死而復生,四時是也。聲不過五,五聲之變, 不可勝聽也。色不過五,五色之變,不可勝觀也。味不過五,五味之 變,不可勝嘗也。戰勢不過奇正,奇正之變,不可勝窮之也。奇正相生,如環之無端,孰能窮之?
          激水之疾,至于漂石者,勢也﹔鷙鳥之疾,至于毀折者,節也。是故 善戰者,其勢險,其節短。勢如張弩,節如發機。
          故善戰者,求之于勢,不責于人,故能擇人而任勢。任勢者,其戰人也,如轉木石。木石之性,安則靜,危則動,方則止,圓則行。故善 戰人之勢,如轉圓石于千仞之山者,勢也。

Let's continue ...

          故善戰者,求之于勢,不責于人,故能擇人而任勢。任勢者,其戰人也,如轉木石。木石之性,安則靜,危則動,方則止,圓則行。故善 戰人之勢,如轉圓石于千仞之山者,勢也。

Some translation suggested: 
Thus one who is skillful at keeping the enemy on the move maintains deceitful appearances, according to which the enemy will act. He sacrifices something, that the enemy may snatch at it. By holding out baits, he keeps him on the march; then with a body of picked men he lies in wait for him. The clever combatant looks to the effect of combined energy, and does not require too much from individuals. Hence his ability to pick out the right men and utilize combined energy. When he utilizes combined energy, his fighting men become as it were like unto rolling logs or stones. For it is the nature of a log or stone to remain motionless on level ground, and to move when on a slope; if four-cornered, to come to a standstill, but if round-shaped, to go rolling down. Thus the energy developed by good fighting men is as the momentum of a round stone rolled down a mountain thousands of feet in height. So much on the subject of energy. 
Moran:   Truly, those who are good at moving their adversaries around do so by giving a form to things such that the enemy must follows those structures. PEM: The enemy army is a source of energy in itself. Originally that energy is being directed in ways intended to be hurtful to the defender. The defender, however, can create structures (sometimes little more than illusions) that channel the enemy's energy the way dikes and dams channel the energy of a river.
If I offer something, the enemy must take it. That is using benefit to move him. But one has soldiers in wait for him. PEM: The Zhuang Zi mentions a general Daoist strategy called 兩行. Literally those words mean "two displacements," i.e., going by two different ways. At a deeper level it means doing something that will have two potential outcomes. Both outcomes depend on what one's counterpart does. Consider two different examples. (1) A house is discovered to have been booby-trapped by installing bomb triggers in random places in the cellar. After discovery, the bombs are secretly removed, but the police would like to know which of several aides to the owner of the house has planned the assassination. Questioning anyone would reveal that the plot has been discovered. So the owner of the house is instructed to invite each of the aides to come to dinner with his wife and children on a particular night. Each time, the family dog is in an adjacent room. It has been taught to bark incessantly as soon as people come into the dining room. So soon after dinner starts the host calls out to the housekeeper, "Martha, please put Fido down in the basement." (2) In an unprovoked fight the defender notices that the attacker has a pattern of using a left jab as a feint and following with a solid right. Defender therefore throws a left jab. The opponent then has a choice of treating it as a feint and immediately going in for the kill, or defending. If the left jab is indeed blocked, defender has lost nothing. If, however, the jab is not blocked (perhaps defender made it appear to be a half-hearted attempt), following through will strike the attacker. One does not have to have mastered a three inch knockout blow to create enough damage to permit escape from the whole situation, or at least set one's opponent up for a strong counter attack with the opposite hand.
So those who are good at warfare seek it through power configurations and do not put the onus on individuals. They are therefore able to select individuals to take charge of those power configurations. PEM: — Like the man whose finger pulls the crossbow trigger.
PEM: One example of what Sun Tzu is talking about in this section might be optical illusions. If objects are used, they may be real objects. If lines are drawn they will be real lines. However, the conclusions that eyes draw from optical illusions are incorrect. The arrangement of components forces the eyes to see what is not really there.
Those who are given responsibility for operating a power configuration are warriors, and they are like rotating wood or stone (in the trigger mechanism of the crossbow). The natures of wood and stone are to be still if things are at peace, but to move if they are under duress. If they are square, then they will not turn, but if they are round then they will move. PEM: The trigger mechanism of a crossbow is formed of rectangular elements that are designed to retain their positions in resistance to considerable force, and curved elements that are designed to move without having to be subjected to much force. 
Therefore those who are good at the power configurations of war are like those who can set a round stone that is poised on the top of a thousand rod mountain to rolling — it is a matter of power configurations. PEM: The stone must be round if it is to be easily rolled off its stable perch, but the lever and the fulcrum need to be "square" so that they will hold their positions as force is applied.

Let's discuss:

故善動敵者,形之,敵必從之﹔   Therefore, those who are good at moving their enemy around do so by giving him a military shape such that the enemy must follow this shape.
予之,敵必取之。以利動之,以卒待之。:   If bait is given, the enemy would take it. Hence, use bait to move the enemy, use ambush in wait for him.
故善戰者,求之於勢,不責於人,故能擇人任勢。 Therefore, a good general seeks result from employment of strategic influence and not lay blame on individuals, hence, he chooses the individuals to take charge of these strategic influence.
任勢者,其戰人也,如轉木石。:   Those selected to take charge of strategic influence are called warriors, they rotate like rounded wood or stone.
木石之性,安則靜,危則動,方則止,圓則行。:   The nature of wood and stone is still when rested and move when stressed. Square items resist motion, round items move in the direction of stress.
故善戰人之勢,如轉圓石於千仞之山者,勢也。:   Therefore, a good general adopts influence liken to setting free a rounded large rock down a tall mountain — strategic influence.

Again the translation was not well done.

Sun Tzu basically said here that a good general engages by adopting strategic influence, and not by any other means. Strategic influence if used correctly is like letting a huge rounded rock roll down a tall mountain, its momentum and hence, its outcome is never stoppable. To do that, he suggested luring the enemy to a particular spot by baiting and attack in absoluteness by ambush.

In business, attack must be conducted using absoluteness by overwhelming strategic influence. After the attack there is always retaliation from the fallen enemy. If the defeat is not absolute, its retaliation would be strong and potentially fatal. If the defeat is absolute, its retaliation would be feeble and of no consequence.  Therefore, what Sun Tzu said had great value. Never defeat an enemy feebly. Its retaliation would be so strong that you might lose the subsequent battles and ultimately end in defeat yourself. Hence, assume absoluteness in strategic influence, only then can you be assured of a complete victory.

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