Home > G. Thoughts > “In Death Ground, Fight.”

“In Death Ground, Fight.”

This quote, from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, has been running through my head lately. It refers to a situation in which a capable general has led his army far into enemy territory and positioned it in such a way that retreat is impossible. According to Sun Tzu, men will fight far more fiercely (and without much need for oversight) than they would in normal circumstances, when they haven’t got everything on the line.

Life is a bit like this. We get farther and farther into our dreams and projects, farther and farther from retreat, until we have to give everything to the calling we follow. This is what we were meant to do.      RT


Photo: Page from the Art of War in Tangut Script; WikiCmns; Public Domain.


  1. Sharon Sieben
    July 23, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Well said!!!!

  2. July 23, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    sharon: thanks for the enthusiasm! eric

  3. July 24, 2012 at 1:09 am

    I’m reading Conquistador: Hernan Cortes, King Montezuma, and the Last Stand of the Aztecs by Buddy Levy. Cortes famously burned his ships when he landed, so that it was fight or die. Ballsy move!

    • July 25, 2012 at 12:32 am

      josh: the conquest of mexico has got to be one of the most amazing moments in history…thx for mentioning it (and hope all is well with you & family in baltimore)… eric

  4. biggirlpill
    July 29, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    I relate a bit too personally, perhaps,to this, ironically, insofar as so much that has propelled me through life was intrinsic motivation to survive a disproportionately hazard-filled life, since before birth, fighting to survive and thrive despite what many considered impossible odds. And despite the odds and risks, fought I did, and more than survived. With one’s back to the wall, and no safe choices, I’ve expended much effort doing battle in the arena, armed with whatever mental prowess I could muster, and a tenacious survival instinct. I didn’t dodge the bullets always, but I never accepted defeat either. Can’t really picture myself in a different life, though I fantasized about it in my youth. I do enjoy occasional respite, whenever possible, never take them for granted, and savor them, however brief. As life is, for me, ever preferred to the alternative of death, I charge boldly on! 🙂

    • August 2, 2012 at 9:49 pm

      BPG: it’s interesting: in my experience, the harder a person struggles with various issues and problems, the likelier they are to be optimistic…a good fight does seem to encourage the survival instinct…congrats on your bold charging! RT

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: