|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Art of War by Sun Tzu:
states ended in 473 B.C. with the total defeat of Wu by Kou Chien
and its incorporation in Yueh. This was doubtless long after Sun
Tzu's death. With his present assertion compare IV. ss. 4.
Chang Yu is the only one to point out the seeming discrepancy,
which he thus goes on to explain: "In the chapter on Tactical
Dispositions it is said, 'One may KNOW how to conquer without
being able to DO it,' whereas here we have the statement that
'victory' can be achieved.' The explanation is, that in the
former chapter, where the offensive and defensive are under
discussion, it is said that if the enemy is fully prepared, one
cannot make certain of beating him. But the present passage
The Art of War
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Captain Stormfield by Mark Twain:
"Come, come, what world?"
Says I, "Why, THE world, of course."
"THE world!" he says. "H'm! there's billions of them! . . . Next!"
That meant for me to stand aside. I done so, and a sky-blue man
with seven heads and only one leg hopped into my place. I took a
walk. It just occurred to me, then, that all the myriads I had
seen swarming to that gate, up to this time, were just like that
creature. I tried to run across somebody I was acquainted with,
but they were out of acquaintances of mine just then. So I thought
the thing all over and finally sidled back there pretty meek and
feeling rather stumped, as you may say.