Tag Archives: mind

Highlights of the ART of WAR

The Art of War was written by a Chinese named Sun Tzu, more than 2,000 years ago. While originally conceived as a war-manual, its profound wisdom and knowledge have made the Art of War an all-time classic.

Sun Tzu´s advice inspired communist leader Mao Zedong to victory in China´s Civil War (1946-1950), and has become an a must-have book for the stock-market professionals of Wall Street. Besides teaching one how to become a great leader, the Art of War also contains great advice on how to read the minds of your opponents.

That being said, here are the most memorable quotes of the book:

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War is a matter of vital importance for the State: its the province of life or death; the path of survival or ruin. It´s ought to be studied profoundly.

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With the joy of overcoming difficulties, people forget the threat of death.

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The Five Virtues of a general:

  1. Intelligence
  2. Sincerity
  3. Humanity
  4. Courage
  5. Severity.

If he is so, his army will call him ¨The Respected One¨.

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There has never been a State that has benefited from a prolonged war. War is like fire; those who can´t put aside their arms are consumed by them.

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Winning 100 times in 100 battles is not the essence of hability. Submitting an opponent without fighting, is the true essence of hability.

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The most important element of war is attacking your opponent´s strategy.

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Five Omens of Victorious Men

  1. He who knows when to fight and when not to.
  2. He who knows how to use both, big and small troops.
  3. He whose army is united in spirit.
  4. He who is prudent and waits for the right moment to attack.
  5. He whose officials are competent and doesn´t have a meddling superior.

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Know the enemy and know thyself; and in a hundred battles you will never face peril.

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Being invincible depends one`s self ; that your opponent is vunerable, depends on him.

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When planning, never make useless movements. In strategy, never take a step in vain.

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Generally, being in charge of many is the same as being in charge of few. It´s a question of organization.

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Apparent confusion is a sign of adecuate order; apparent cowardness, of valor; apparent weakness, of strength.

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Make the enemy see your strong points as weaknesses, and your weaknesses as strong points.

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During the first hours of the morning, the spirit´s of the men are high. During the day, they waver. By the afternoon, their thoughts start wondering home.

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Don´t pressure a cornered opponent.

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A doctrine of war. Don´t assume the enemy won´t advance; be confident in your own preparation to confront him. Don´t presume he won´t attack; better yet, turn yourself invincible.

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How to read your Opponent

  • If the enemy is close, but hiding: he is in a favorable position.
  • When his messengers approach you with humble words, but he continues his preparations: the enemy will advance.
  • When his lenguage is deceitful and he advances slowly: he will retreat.
  • If his messengers speak too highly of you: the enemy wishes a ceasefire.
  • If out of nowhere, the enemy proposes a ceasefire: he is up to something.
  • If instead of advancing, the enemy parades his troops around: he is waiting for reinforcements.
  • If 50% of his troops advance and the other 50% retreat: the enemy is setting a trap.
  • If the enemy sees an opportunity and doesnt´t move: he is tired.

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When sorrouding your enemy, you must always leave an ¨apparent¨ escape route in sight. By showing the enemy´s men the possibility of fleeing, they won´t be obliged to ¨fight to death¨.

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The feats of a wise general surpass those of ordinary men because of previous knowledge. (intel/espionage)

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The best spies/informants are:

  • those who are intelligent but appear stupid
  • those who are intrepid but appear inoffensive

Or you can always be stupid... but appear intelligent

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Zen is for Men

Hahahaha…. had a good laugh there… but no, the title isn’t true.

So really, what is Zen? And more importantly how can Zen helps us achieve a more peaceful state of mind?

Zen is the Oriental art of not thinking. Might sound strange and whimsical, but being a Zen practician myself…. I can only say it has brought me a more peaceful state of mind. You see, what makes Zen particular amongst the other Oriental philosophies is that Zen is purely a state of mind.

In Zen there are no Buda’s, no metaphsycial beliefs… in other words, Zen is an art open to all religions and cultural backgrounds. And the great thing about Zen is that is adresses one of the biggest problems we face nowadays: the problem of noise. We are so wrapped up by external noise, by work pressure and by our own thoughts… that we barely take time to just stop and appreciate a moment of complete silence. And by complete silence, I also mean complete mental silence.

You see… in this fashion Zen is similar to Yoga and other forms of meditation. The only difference is that Zen asks you to keep your eyes open. By leaving your mind clear of thought for only 15 minutes a day, Zen allow you to get deeply in touch with the physical world that sorrounds us all.

Besides not falling asleep, Zen ask that one keeps his eyes open in order to appreciate all colors, shadows and proportions of everyday objects in unparalleled ways. It is during these profound stages of silence that one will experience some of the following:

1. States of Phsycodelia: the mind’s own way of transcending thought. This state allows one to perceive all that sorrounds us in “new” light. Trees look different, the silouttes of the bed sheet seem to flow and an alarm clocks sound pleasant… yes, pleasant. (This one at first REALLY took my by surprise.)

2. Good Counseling: in the state of  profound silence one must be open to receiving spontaneous thoughts. Why? Because sometimes these spontaneous thoughts can be clearer than sum of all other thoughts that day. These of spontaneous thoughts tend to give one great insight about important decisions and one’s inner self. Now don’t be fooled. One does not always get counseling while meditating, but when you do get it and its genuine, trust me: it’s good.

Our mind already has to constantly be thinking about solving problems, deadlines, proyects, pressures…. So it’s pleasant to be able to sit down from time to time and let your body do the thinking.

Thus Zen allows one to master the art of thinking without thinking

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Inceptions in your town?

Inceptions, my friends, are ocurring everywhere!! They are happening in your house, in your local department store, in your car, and most frequently in your local theaters. Thats right, whenever someone watches a movie they enter a passive state which allows the ideas and arguments of that particular movie to enter ones mind.

True, the profoundness of these inceptions vary from person to person, but these inceptions can be powerful enough to persuade 11- year old kid to jump off a rooftop in Barcelona thinking he’s superman, to create movements such as the Star Trek culture and can inspire people to do acts of kindness or profound evil. So every time you watch a movie you are also, unconsciously, undergoing an inception.

Then again, inceptions aren’t something new in the history of mankind. Before there were movies, well-written books had similar effects on the mind of people. Famous men across all history have drawn inspiration from the seeds and ideas plowed by those who came before them. The main difference between the inceptions made by books and movies is this: books tend to have a more profound effect on us. This is due to the fact that films require only passive participation from their audience, which contrast with the active participation (the act of reading) books require.

And finally there’s that feeling. That feeling we get when we finish watching a good, profound movie. That feeling of light-headness, slight desorientation, and thoughtfulness we experience on our way to the nearest theater exit. That feeling is our brain’s bio-chemical reaction to an inception.

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