John Minford, #SunTzu 9: 12 "Use the lie of the land to the troops' benefit."
Do you remember yesterday's list: mound, hill, bank or dike? And that of course you want to occupy the high ground? I wonder. Did Neanderthal man know that? Could it be that maybe they'd fight anywhere, but that Homo Sapiens figured out where to fight, to use the lie of the land?
Consider mounds for example. Did you know that they're among the oldest man-built formations still in existence? Long before there existed anything like a castle as we think of them, fortified mounds were built simply for their tactical advantage.
Keep it simple in your mind, as they did. You just keep heaping up and tamping down earth until you have an artificial hill, a mound. Somewhere at the base or a little above, you sink sharpened logs into the earth as a deadly barrier.
The way castles evolved was out of the simple fortified buildings they placed on top of the mound as a base from which to rally. But the real key always was man taking charge of the lie of the land, purposefully. To my knowledge, we have none of those from Neanderthals.
Build up, fight down. When you're the troops on the inside of the spiked fences, facing down at your enemies, you feel the benefit of the lie of the land. This takes foresight, planning, proactive construction, preparation, in a word, care. You have to care for your troops.
If I challenge you to go back to verse 1: 2, the five fundamentals, do you think you can make the connection? What does it really mean to use the lie of the land for the troops' benefits? Think you can do it? Go check, if you don't have it memorized yet.
Here's that list:

1) The Way
2) Heaven
3) Earth
4) Command
5) Discipline

Give it a shot, but in the next comment, I'll start to show you the way.
The lie of the land is the hardening of the way into the crust of the earth itself. Hills and valleys are the forces of gravity and wind, erosion and accretion, the tectonic shifts of the continents and the wearing away of the passing rivers as the collect all by their sides.
The Way expresses itself as you huff and puff and sweat climbing the hill, and as you roll down so easily, or even as you fall down the hill. And in war, it makes your downward stroke mightier, your enemy's upward stroke weaker. Your movement on the land is The Way's expression.
Heaven can be the weather. It can be the passage of the Sun through the day, or the waxing and waning of the moon through the month. Heaven's will is that of goodness over evil, of faith, truth and light, over darkness, evil and destruction.
Here's an example. Two wise generals face each other. One takes the lie of the land first, and the second realizing this, decides to retreat and not fight. No one's life is lost, as Heaven and the lie of the land indicate there will be no battle today.
The Earth, Herself, is much more than merely the lie of the land, that is only her surface, like you wife's skin. Her beauty may be mostly in the glory of her features and skin, but it must run more than skin deep, as we know. The Earth is also the water beneath the ground.
The Earth is her fecundity, her fertile ability to grow and nurture all life. But at war, it is her lie of the land that matters most. The wise general reads her lie, and always begs her blessing for his troops' benefit. He flows with her. He never tries to master her.
Command is your ability to lead your troops upon the lie of the land. It is your ability to get them to the high ground first, and your ability to prevent them from fighting until victory is indicated by your position.
As Jocko Willink describes it, the Navy SEAL version of this is the principle, Cover and Move. Every angle of attack from above, in front, behind or at flanks must be covered. Only then can anyone move. The leader must determine if cover is acceptable. Only then can anyone move.
Discipline is the order you impose so that your troops may live upon the lie of the land, and not die. They must obey your will, follow your lead. If they don't, and you let them, it's your fault not theirs. Master Sun is crystal clear. Leadership is revealed by discipline.
If you've been following along, you know I'm a gigantic fan of @parscale. He tells us that the campaign will have 2,000,000 volunteers trained for the field in the get out the vote portion of 2020's election. A field of volunteers the likes of which has never been seen before.
@parscale I don't imagine most of them will need to work with Master Sun's Five Fundamentals or learn to lead by the lie of the land. As I look forward, it is the small subset, only 5% of them that I'm looking for, #100kMAGALeaders. It is these leaders who MUST learn from Master Sun.
@parscale The more of these teams we can get up and running prior to election, the greater our probability of winning the @WarForAmerica2020. But, win or lose, the teams themselves will still be needed. For my own part, I've dedicated myself for the rest of my life.
@parscale Also, for my part, I will study the lie of the land forever forward, so that all the troops I lead may gain the benefit that only it can provide.

How about you?
@parscale 240 verses completed, 198 to go.

To return to previous sections in our #WarForAmerica2020 and #SunTzuForMAGA series, don't forget to head over to @WarForAmerica21. You'll find the digital table of contents for this series, there. Please retweet each entry you enjoy.
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