A soldier says:
I dare not make the first move; I rather play the guest;
I dare not advance an inch, I rather retreat a foot.
To march forward without advancing,
To push back without using weapons.
There is no greater misfortune than feeling “I have an enemy.”
For when “I” and “enemy” exist together there is no room left for my treasure.
When two opponents meet,
the one without an enemy will triumph.
When armies are evenly matched,
the one with compassion wins.
As I Understand It:
Is it possible to have a Tao-centered self when the wars are being waged?
All the people originate from the same source, then how can we have an “enemy?” Enemies are not necessarily in the battleground. We create them all around us–at home, at work, while driving. Yes, we have right to defend ourselves and our way of life, but the people with whom we strongly disagree need not become our enemies.
Conflicts are part of life. But having an adversary or an unending strife with someone drains away our strength and spiritual power. When conflicts become combats we become fearful instead of merciful.
Isn’t the word battleground a euphemism for cremation ground or cemetery?
By being fearful, hateful and merciless we lose our treasure. What is the treasure? The treasure is awareness of the flow of Tao within and peace of mind.
Make a pact with yourself–never initiate hostility or a fight, don’t practice defense, avoid verbal combat-and you will be spiritually victorious.
Dyer, W. Wayne. Change Your Thought–Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao. Hay House, Inc. 2007.
The Way of Lao Tzu (Tao-te Ching), Translated, with introductory essays, comments, and notes by Chan, Wing-Tsit. The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc. 1963.