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Playing with the Dao:
A "Pragmatic" Strategic View


A Daoist Viewpoint on Change

The impact of any Yin and Yang force is change. The Daoist's perspective on change emphasizes that time is cyclical—not linear or dynamic and never static. Change occurs continuously—not between events—and present events are determined by other present events, not by past events. To meet your objective, it is important to prevail in as many incrementally based contests as possible.

To view a change in term of Sunzi's strategic principles, this essayist recommends that you should perceive it in terms of patterns, strategic advantage(s), adaptability, and leverage(s).

"Thus, one able to gain victory by modifying his tactics in accordance with the enemy situation may be said to be divine. … Of the five elements, none is always predominant; of the four seasons, none lasts forever; of the days, some are long and some are short, and the moon waxes and wanes. …" --- Sunzi's Art of War (AoW), Chapter 6 (Griffith interpretation)


Reading, recognizing, and understanding the force of shifts and changes occurs when you learn how to stay still.

"In battle, there are only the normal and extraordinary forces, but their combinations are limitless; none can comprehend them all. … For these two forces are mutually reproductive; their interaction as endless as that of interlocked rings. Who can determine where one ends and the other begins. …"   --- Sunzi (Sun Tzu) AoW, Chapter 5 (Griffith interpretation)


To understand the Dao, internal stillness is the first requirement. The first step of attaining this particular state is the focusing of emptying one's thoughts while maintaining no physical movement. This state of total "nothingness" is another important factor behind the essence of Daoism.

"Detach from emotions and desires; get rid of any fixations."  
--- Zhuge Liang

The focus of being still is to find the internal state of tranquility within your being.

"In motion be like water. At rest like a mirror. Respond like an echo.
Be subtle as though non-existent. Be still as though pure."  
--- Zhuangzi

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