A fair maiden who has tamed a lion
Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate. ~Sun Tzu
I love the subtle because there are so many advantages. Every emotion, every thought, every action can be tamed by the subtle.
Anyone can be blatant. Anyone can know the obvious, see the obvious and be the obvious. Yet, being subtle is more crafty. It takes skill, and strength, and courage. Subtlety is a product of mental agility or penetration into the heart of a matter. It leads to power, yes power.
To be subtle means to be delicate with meaning or intent. It also requires acuteness and control.
Picture a fair maiden who has tamed a lion or a boy who has slain a beast. They don’t accomplish their task through force, they accomplish their task through gentleness and the power earned through subtle action.
So often, we as people try to exude force to no avail. Why? Because we confuse it with power. Force is asserted, power is gained. The two are nothing alike.
Force isn’t subtle. It’s usually brutal, impetuous, and egotistic. Force may win some battles but not the war.
The power of subtlety gives you the upper hand no matter what beast you wish to tame.
So, how does this apply to day to day existence?
It’s possible to accomplish just about anything through mental agility in every area of life. When you are delicate and skillful with your actions you can be the director of your opponent’s fate. You can be the fair maiden who tames the lion or the boy who slays the beast.