"There is no long term benefit to be had from engaging in prolonged warfare.

This is a common misconception held by many —

that they have mastered the art of war simply because they have accumulated a high level of knowledge and skill in strategy, tactics, combat techniques and the use of various types of weaponry.

They are deluded.

For when the art of war has been truly mastered

violence is no longer needed —

conflict is resolved peacefully before battle ever begins."

When Sūn Zǐ 孙子 (Sun Tzu), the 5th century BCE Chinese general, military strategist, and philosopher wrote these words (as recorded in the book Sūn Zǐ Bīng Fǎ 孙子兵法 ('Master Sūn's Military Method’s') or what has been more commonly translated into English as 'The Art of War,' on the surface level, we can see that his teachings were directed to rulers, diplomats, military strategists, tacticians, and generals, but if we look a little closer —

a little deeper —

perhaps we might discover that some of the deeper, timeless perennial wisdom Sūn Zǐ  was trying to convey is found in the realization that true mastery of the *'art of war'* is not mastery of diplomacy, strategy, tactics, techniques and weaponry,

but the sobering realization that all violence, conflict and war actually arise from within the matrix of our own acquired, conditioned, conceptual sense of self with all of it's fears, aversions, cravings, clingings, attachments and addictions —

and that when we are willing to begin to veraciously and courageously face the inner conflict and deep suffering within —

the fear, anger, resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness, prejudice, hatred and violence —

intrepidly embarking upon the Great Hero’s Journey of Inner Reconciliation and Integration —

we begin the process

of

true

peacemaking.

"First keep peace within your self, only then can you truly bring peace to others.”,

averred Thomas a’ Kempis, the 14th century Dutch priest, scholar, theologian and teacher.

To the degree that we master this inner alchemical work — 

mastering this *‘art of war’* —

cleansing, purifying and transmuting

all conflict and suffering —

within

our selves — 

we then begin to find that, slowly, slowly, we have less and less of a pathological proclivity to shame, blame, defend, scapegoat, exact revenge,

or in any way try to control, manipulate, violate or dominate other selves

and that the incoherent, disharmonious, low-vibrational energies of fear, anger, hatred, unforgiveness, revenge, conflict, war, and violence (the weapons of war) naturally dissipate —

naturally evanesce — 

either in our relationship with our selves, in our relationships with other selves, or in our relationships with all expressions and experiences of Life —

whether element, mineral, microbe, mycelia, plant, animal, human or any of the other infinite variations and myriad manifestation of Life of whom we are not yet fully aware.

Contention is resolved before conflict ever begins...

and all instruments of violence and violation —

all that perpetuates harm and suffering —

are reforged into

instruments

of

healing

and

peace.

It is not just leaders of nations and world superpowers that benefit from realizing and embodying these principles, but 

all 

of 

us.

For instance, if we perceive the Totality of our Be-ingness —

our body, mind, spirit complex —

as a microcosm of a nation (a collective body, mind, spirit complex) —

we might ask ourselves, 

"How have I, as the leader of this *'nation'* (i.e. our own body-mind-spirit complex), been taxing, depleting and harming my own inner resources by engaging in prolonged inner conflict and violence with my self?"

Inner tension, excessive stress, constriction, pain and dis-ease in the body-mind are signs of prolonged inner conflict, which over time, harm and sap our vital life force energy and scatter our spirit —

our joie de vivre —

the joy and wonder of Life.

"How might I apply these principles in improving my health and well-being, and raising my spirit?"

Or perhaps we might ask ourselves,

"How have I been taxing and depleting my inner and relational resources —

creating tension, constriction, pain and dis-ease —

harming myself and other selves —

engaging in conflict with those with whom I am in close relationship, such as a partner, spouse, child, grandchild, friend, neighbour, colleague or client?"

"How might I apply these principles in improving the quality of the relationships in which I am involved?"

As leaders of our own kingdom — 

our own nation (i.e. our body, mind, spirit complex) — 

how can we apply these strategic wisdom teachings in our own sacred circle —

with all our brothers and sisters —

all our relations —

with our selves, partners and spouses, family, neighbours, friends, colleagues and clients, strangers, communities of which we are a part, state or province, nation, the planet and ultimately, the totality of our perceived experience of Life?

Today, perhaps we might consider giving some time to ask our Self...

"Where have I been engaging in prolonged warfare in my life?"

"In what ways have I been engaged in prolonged conflict with myself?

"In what ways have I been engaged in prolonged conflict with others?"

"In what ways have I been engaged in prolonged conflict with Life?”

“In what ways might I begin to lay down weapons of violence in my life —

learning to cultivate and practice

peace

healing

and

reconciliation?"

May your every breath be peace, light and love.

Not two.

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