The Way is intrinsic to Master Sun’s worldview, approach to warfare, and moral code. For Master Sun, all aspects of life and the cosmos have their own particular Way—that is, “path,” “road,” or, more loosely, “doctrine” or “principle,” from translations of the Chinese word “Tao.” For example, there is a Way to writing calligraphy, a Way to leading a nation, and a Way to waging war. This notion that perfection exists, and is even achievable, is based on the concept of an ordered world regulated by unbreakable laws. The Way is in a sense the order of the universe, which human beings must seek. The simplest examples include physics or math—there is a correct and provable answer to every problem. But the Way also encapsulates more subjective concepts, such as morale or morals. Sun draws on this perspective in much of his advice in The Art of War. If the enemy is prone to pride, for instance, Sun says to inflate his ego further to prompt him into making a rash or arrogant decision. If the men are likely to flee at the first sign of danger, the general should put them somewhere they cannot escape, and they will fight for their lives.
The Way Quotes in The Art of War
The The Art of War quotes below are all either spoken by The Way or refer to The Way. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of The Art of War published in 2002.).
Chapter 1 Quotes
Chapter 3 Quotes
Chapter 6 Quotes
War has no
Water has no
Supreme military skill lies
In deriving victory
From the changing circumstances
Of the enemy.
The Way Term Timeline in The Art of War
The timeline below shows where the term The Way appears in The Art of War. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...carefully considered. There are five fundamental aspects to be considered when preparing for war: the Way, heaven, earth, command, and discipline. The Way leads to unity between the general and the... (full context)