May 22, 2024


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Sun Tzu’s Art of War & Chinese Astrology – Two Ancient Systems, One Timeless Goal: Part 1

How can the teaching of a military strategist and the Chinese Art of astrology intertwine?

When it comes to fundamentals and applications, both systems share similarities. Both are more than 2,500 years old but remain ageless in their relevancy to modern times. A military strategist like Sun Tzu advocates that one should always be prepared in battle as can be read from his brilliant mantra –

“Know yourself; know your enemy and your victory will be assured. Know heaven; know earth and your victory will be complete”

How does this relate to Chinese astrology? In one of the systems of Chinese astrology, a person’s fate is sealed at the time of birth in a set of pillars known as “The Four Pillars of Destiny”. Accompanying these four pillars is a set of luck pillars which chart the course of a person’s life over 10 yearly intervals. Together, these pillars formed our destiny’s chart and by the reading of this chart, we can foretell what destiny awaits us in life and see in the same light as Sun Tzu’s Art of War, it can be said that “to be forewarned is to be forearmed”.

According to “The Art of War”, the five important virtues a general must have in order to be successful in battle are – Wisdom, Courage, Sincerity, Benevolence and Discipline.

Based on “The Four Pillars of Destiny”, a person’s destiny is governed by five important elements i.e. Resource, Self, Output, Wealth and Influence.

The five virtues and five elements are mutually reinforcing as follows:-

Wisdom Resource

Courage Self

Sincerity Output

Benevolence Wealth

Discipline Influence

By wisdom, we mean that a general should employ his resource element which is his thoughts, intuition, knowledge and experience in devising his strategies. If his resource element is weak, he will not be able to plan wisely.

By courage, it is taken to mean that the general needs to be strong and brave in facing adversity. He has to show fortitude in overcoming challenges and obstacles in the battlefields. If his self element is weak, he leans towards cowardice and risk being captured.

By sincerity, it is perceived that the general should exhibit honesty in his communication and be able to convey his message incisively in a heartfelt and convincing manner. If his Output element is weak, he lacks persuasive prowess and will find it hard to gain the trust of his men.

By benevolence, the general is seen as generous with his wealth and willingly share his spoils of war with his men, care for them and appreciates their efforts and toil. If his wealth element is weak, his men will lose confidence in him and thus, feel demoralize to fight on.

By discipline, the general will have to exert his influence over his men through leadership by example. He will have to be strict with his men so that orders are consistently carried out and will not hesitate to punish if his reports fail in their duties. If his Influence element is weak, his men will not be loyal to him and may rebel against his control.

“So, are you destined to be a five star general? ” Stay connected for part 2.