31 – Weapons of Mass Destruction

cc image by mtsofan on Flickr

cc image by mtsofan on Flickr

Weapons are not good fortune
as they instill fear.
Followers of Tao avoid them.

In ordinary life, masterful rulers
honor the feminine side –
In times of war, they honor
the masculine side.

Weapons are not good fortune
and therefore are not the instruments of peace.
The wise woman does not use them.
If unavoidable, she will use them –
But peace is the best policy.

There is no delight in such victory.
There is no glory in the killing of people.
One who enjoys killing cannot expect to thrive in the world.

Happy occasions honor the left.
Sad occasions honor the right.
The second general stands on the left.
The general stands on the right.
This means that war is like a funeral.
The slaughtering of people  goes against one’s heart.
Therefore victory can be treated as a ceremony of mourning.

Read the essay on Chapter 31

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