Taoteching 37

Draco_81

The nameless way appears to signify inactivity, yet it enables the completion of all things.

If the sovereign cultivates the undifferentiated “mind-at-its-beginning,” the people become without desire.

Without desire, they attain serenity. And affairs naturally grow calm.

The Mediocre Man goes to war for the common good, because he believes a benevolent society must sometimes impose righteousness by force. He trumpets names for his missions like “Operation Just Cause” or “Operation Enduring Freedom” and broadcasts campaigns by television news. He clobbers the enemy with overwhelming force to the accolades of the whole world. Everyone calls him a skillful general.

The Woman of Wisdom goes to war only when all other avenues have failed. When she arrives on the field her heart is heavy, as if she were attending a funeral. Unseen by friend or foe alike, she arranges alliances, supplies, and the disposition of her forces in such a way that a wise enemy general will concede defeat without fighting, and a foolish enemy will be defeated before he even begins to maneuver. So the Woman of Wisdom never receives the recognition of the world, because her enemies seem to melt away without providing the spectacle of a bloody battle.

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