[Video] Overview Of Wang Cheng’s The Tao Of War

In this video of our series on The Art Of War, strategic thinking and mental warfare, we’ll take a look at the little known text by Tang Dynasty general – Wang Cheng called “The Tao Of War“.


This is just a general overview of the text, which we’ll dive into in great detail later in this series.


For the next several videos, we’ll be doing basic overviews of different Bingfa‘s or The Art Of War¬†from different classical Chinese sources.


Then, we’ll take a deep dive into each individual text.


Finally, we’ll pull it all together with my own training to help you develop what Von Clausewitz called “Coup De’Oeil” or “strategic insight”.


Video Notes:

  1. Tang Dynasty border commander
    1. Lived during the second half of the Tang dynasty
      1. Initial glory had declined
      2. Weak emperors immersed themselves in Taoist studies
        1. Rather than controling the realm
      3. State had been badly damaged by An Lu Shan’s rebellion
        1. Caused the death of millions over almost a decade
      4. Unhappy about the damage that warfare had inflicted upon china for the past 2000 years
      5. Believed that the armies of the 3 Kings acted correctly
        1. But their descendants were
          1. Arrogant
          2. Uncouth
          3. Brutal
          4. Not resolute
          5. Angry
          6. Boastful
          7. Evil
        2. Sought a way to end warfare and eliminate destruction
          1. Personally, a devout Confucian
          2. Found the means of rectification in the Tao Te Jing
            1. Rather than existing alternatives
              1. Confucianism
              2. Buddhism
              3. (Both having strong theories on human nature and conflict)
            2. Tao Te Ching provided a cosmological anchor for the patterns of human society
              1. And transcendent explanation for the psychology of conflict and competition
  • Created a highly non-traditional interpretation of Tao Te Jing
    1. Inclined toward pacifism
    2. Found the solution in deference and humility wrong when confronted by
      1. Great evil
      2. The extinction of your own family
      3. The extinction of the state


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