One of my favorite books of all time is Sun Tzu’s “Art of War”.
It is a great book on strategy, defeat of opponents, and use of tactics to strongarm and overpower anyone or anything in your way.
In thinking of love, and finding myself applying these strategies in love, I realized that real, true, pure love is meant to be quite the opposite of war.
Tactics, strategies….the use of the word “enemy”….simply don’t work. In fact, everything should be the opposite of Sun Tzu’s theories. The goal is victory in love, therefore, all other tactics must go.
Soooooooooo, I have replaced the “war” terminology and rewrote it. Interesting what came out of that.
I’m not saying I can do this, but I certainly will try. Its everything I already knew love should be, and things like trust, faith, and “love” itself all fit nicely into Sun Tzu’s foundation.
So, here it is: The Art of Love. As not written by Sun Tzu.
The Art of Love
I. LAYING PLANS
1. Sun Tzu didn’t say: The art of love is of vital importance
to the State.
2. It is a matter of life and death, a road either
to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry
which can on no account be neglected.
3. The art of love, then, is governed by five constant
factors, to be taken into account in one’s deliberations,
when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.
4. These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth;
(4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.
5,6. The Moral Law causes the people to be in complete
accord with their ruler, so that they will follow him
regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger.
7. Heaven signifies night and day, cold and heat,
times and seasons.
8. Earth comprises distances, great and small;
danger and security; open ground and narrow passes;
the chances of life and death.
9. The Commander stands for the virtues of wisdom,
sincerely, benevolence, courage and strictness.
10. By method and discipline are to be understood
the marshaling of the army in its proper subdivisions,
the graduations of rank among the officers, the maintenance
of roads by which supplies may reach the army, and the
control of military expenditure.
11. These five heads should be familiar to every general:
he who knows them will be victorious; he who knows them
not will fail.
12. Therefore, in your deliberations, when seeking
to determine the lovers’ conditions, let them be made
the basis of a comparison, in this wise:–
13. (1) Which of the two sovereigns is imbued
with the Moral law?
(2) Which of the two lovers has most ability?
(3) With whom lie the advantages derived from Heaven
(4) On which side is discipline most rigorously enforced?
(5) Which lover is stronger?
(6) On which side is the lover more highly trained?
(7) In which lover is there the greater constancy
both in reward and punishment?
14. By means of these seven considerations I can
forecast successful love or brokenheartedness.
15. The lover that hearkens to my counsel and acts
upon it, will find love: let such a one be retained in command!
The general that hearkens not to my counsel nor acts upon it,
will suffer brokenheartedness:–let such a one be dismissed!
16. While heading the profit of my counsel,
avail yourself also of any helpful circumstances
over and beyond the ordinary rules.
17. According as circumstances are favorable,
one should modify one’s plans.
18. All warfare is based on deception. Love should not be war. Therefore, in love, there should be no deception.
19. Hence, when able to attack, we must be unable;
when starting to use our forces, we must become inactive; when we
are near, we must make be near;
when far away, we must, in our mind and spirit, be near.
20. Do not hold out baits to entice the lover. Do not feign disorder,
and never seek to crush him.
21. If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him.
If he is in superior strength, face him directly.
22. If your lover is of choleric temper, seek to
calm him. Pretend nothing, inspire him to not grow arrogant.
23. If he is taking his ease, give him rest.
If his forces are united, support them.
24. Protect them from attack where he is unprepared, appear where
you are not expected.
25. These lovers’ devices, leading to victory,
must be divulged beforehand.
26. Now the lover who wins love makes many
calculations in his temple ere the battle in love’s favor is fought.
The lover who loses a battle to heartache makes but few
calculations beforehand. Thus do many calculations
lead to love, and few calculations to heartache:
how much more no calculation at all! It is by attention
to this point that I can foresee who is likely to win love or lose to heartache.
II. WAGING LOVE
1. Sun Tzu said: In the operations of love,
where there are in the field a thousand swift angry words,
as many heavy angry words, and a hundred thousand
armored deceits, with provisions enough to carry them
a thousand miles, the expenditure at home and at the front,
including going out to release anger, small items such as
dirty looks, and emotional sums spent on waging war on your lover,
will reach the total of a thousand tears.
Such is the cost of raising an army of 100,000 scorns.
2. When you engage in actual fighting, if victory
is long in coming, the weapons will grow dull and
their ardor will be damped. If you lay siege on your lover,
you will exhaust your strength.
3. Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources
of your love will not be equal to the strain.
4. Now, when your weapons are dulled, your ardor damped,
your strength exhausted and your treasure spent,
your lover will spring up to take advantage
of your extremity. Then no love, however strong and established,
will be able to avert the consequences that must ensue.
5. Thus, though we have heard of stupid haste in war,
cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays.
6. There is no instance of a love having benefited
from prolonged warfare.
7. It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted
with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand
the profitable way of carrying it on. These persons are so attached to the evils, they cannot successfully love.
8. The skillful lover does not raise a second levy,
neither are his emotional attacks loaded more than twice.
9. Do not bring war material with you from your past.
10. Poverty of the State is often supported and
maintained by contributions from friends.
Contributing to maintain a battle of a friend causes
the people to be impoverished.
11. On the other hand, battles waged at the cost of your home causes suffering; and high prices cause the lovers’
substance to be drained away.
12. When their substance is drained away, affliction on your love is imminent.
13,14. With this loss of substance and exhaustion
of strength, the homes of the people will be stripped bare,
and three-tenths of their income will be dissipated;
while expenses for broken trust, worn-out faith, absent kisses and affections, and the love itself will quickly
amount to four-tenths of its total revenue.
15. Hence a wise lover makes a point of finding alliance in their lover. One cartload of your lovers strength
is equivalent to twenty of your own, and likewise
a single picul of his or her faith is equivalent to twenty
from within yourself.
16. Defeating your lover is simple: you must
be roused to anger. Love, however, is not easily angered. Therefore, you cannot “defeat” your lover if you truly love.
17. Therefore in fighting, when faith
have been taken, those should be rewarded who offer faith first.
Our own flags should be substituted for ones of the love you share,
and the trust mingled and used in conjunction with your own.
When emotional attacks are launched by your lover, they should taken in and not cast back.
18. This is called, using the temporary weakness in your lover to augment
the strength of your love.
19. In love, then, let your great object NOT be victory,
but a lengthy campaign.
20. Thus it may be known that the more peaceful participant in any lovers’ battle is the arbiter of the love’s fate, and this shall decide whether the nation shall be in peace or in peril.
III. LOVE BY STRATAGEM: AKA, GETTING PAST EMOTIONAL WALLS
1. Sun Tzu did not say: In the practical art of love, the best
thing of all is to take your lover whole and intact;
to shatter and destroy it is not so good. So, too, it is
better to recapture your love than to destroy it.
2. Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles
is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists
in breaking your lover’s resistance without fighting.
3. Thus the highest form of generalship is to
balk your lover’s plans to fight; the next best is to prevent
the junction of your lovers’ forces; the next in
order is to keep the matter in your home;
and the worst policy of all is to dive in to conquer when your lover has walls up.
4. The rule is, not to besiege your lover if emotional walls are up if it
can possibly be avoided.
5. The lover, unable to control his irritation,
will launch a retaliatory assault like swarming ants,
with the result that one-third of his faith is shattered,
while the lover with the walls still remains unconvinced and closed off. Such are the disastrous effects of a siege.
6. Therefore the skillful lover subdues the enemy’s
walls without any fighting; they captures their trust
without laying siege to them; he overthrows their walls
without lengthy operations in the field.
7. With his strength in love intact he will dispute the power of the walls and distance, and thus, without losing a lover, his triumph
will be complete. This is the method of loving by stratagem.
8. It is the rule in love, if our strengths in love are ten
to the other lover’s one, to surround him/her with our love.
9. If equally matched, we can offer great love;
if slightly inferior in sentiment, we can avoid the lover;
if quite unequal in every way, we can leave them.
10. Hence, though an obstinate love may be made
by a small force, in the end it must be consumed by the greater love, or abandoned completely.
11. Now the love itself is the protection of the two;
if the love is complete at all points; the union will
be strong; if the love is defective, the union will
12. There are three ways in which a lover can bring
misfortune upon his love:–
13. (1) By commanding the lover to stay or to leave,
being ignorant of the fact that it cannot obey.
This is called hobbling the lover.
14. (2) By attempting to govern your love in the
same way as a king rules a kingdom, you are being ignorant
of the conditions which draw in a lover. This causes
restlessness in your lover’s mind.
15. (3) By throwing out shots and emotional attacks
without discrimination, through ignorance of the
principle of adaptation to circumstances.
This shakes the confidence of your lover.
16. But when the lover is restless and distrustful,
trouble is sure to come.
This is simply bringing anarchy into your love, and flinging
Success in love away.
17. Thus we may know that there are five essentials
for a successful love:
(1) He will find success in love who knows when to fight and when
not to fight.
(2) He will find success in love who knows how to handle both times of being “right” and “wrong”.
(3) He will find a successful love whose love has no hierarchy. You and your lover must see each other as equals.
(4) He will find a successful love who, prepared him/herself, does not raise conflict with a lover who is unprepared.
(5) He will find success in love who could fight, but chooses to peacefully discuss and unify.
18. Hence the saying: If you know your lover
and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a
hundred battles. If you know yourself but not your lover,
for every victory in love gained your love will also suffer a defeat.
If you know neither your lover nor yourself, you will
succumb in love every time.
IV. TACTICAL DISPOSITIONS
1. Sun Tzu did not say: The good lovers of old first put
themselves beyond the possibility of defeat in love, and then
wait for an opportunity of loving their lover.
2. To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our
own hands, but the opportunity of loving the lover
is provided by the lover him/herself.
3. Thus the good partner is able to secure himself against defeat in love,
but cannot make certain of loving the other lover.
4. Hence the saying: One may know how to love
without being able to do it.
5. Security against defeat in love implies protective tactics;
ability to loving the lover means taking the initiative to love.
6. Standing on the protective indicates insufficient
strength; attacking the initiative to love, a superabundance of strength.
7. The lover who is skilled in protection hides in the
most secret depths of the lover’s heart; he who is skilled in
taking initiative to love flashes forth from the topmost heights of heaven.
Thus on the one hand we have ability to protect ourselves;
on the other, a victory in love that is complete.
8. To see victory in love only when it is within the ken
of the common herd is not the acme of excellence.
9. Neither is it the acme of excellence if you fight
and conquer and the lover says, “Well done!”
10. To lift an autumn hair is no sign of great strength;
to see the sun and moon is no sign of sharp sight;
to hear the noise of thunder is no sign of a quick ear.
11. What the ancients called a clever lover is
one who not only loves, but excels in loving with ease.
12. Hence his victories in love bring him neither reputation
for wisdom nor credit for courage.
13. He wins his loves by forgiving mistakes.
Forgiving mistakes is what establishes the certainty
of victory in love, for it means allowing love to conquer rather than defeat a lover.
14. Hence the skillful lover puts himself into
a position which makes defeat impossible, and does
not miss the moment for loving their lover.
15. Thus it is that in love the victorious strategist
only seeks love after love has been won,
whereas he who is destined to defeat first makes love
and afterwards looks for love.
16. The best lovers abide by their God’s laws,
and strictly adheres to method and discipline; thus it is
in their power to control success in love.
17. In respect of military method, we have,
firstly, Measurement of love; secondly, Estimation of quantity of faith;
thirdly, Calculation of trust; fourthly, Balancing of honesty;
fifthly, Victory in love.
18. Measurement of love owes its existence to the lovers’ hearts;
Estimation of quantity of faith to Measurement of love; Calculation of trust to
Estimation of quantity faith; Balancing of honesty to Calculation of trust;
and Victory to Balancing of honesty.
19. A victorious love opposed to a routed one, is as
a pound’s weight placed in the scale against a single grain.
20. The onrush of a conquering love is like the bursting
of pent-up waters into a chasm a thousand fathoms deep.
(The rest is in progress…..check back for additions in the coming week.)