If one is to indulge in Man, then Thickness is necessary, nor will it do to lack it. For if one is bashful in his disposition, and is unable to withstand the calumny of humiliations that manifests itself in the discourse of Man between Man, and is unable to attend to his excessive vanity, then it is a splitting apart between both his foes and his friends. He will not apprehend them, nor will he seize the opportunities that bear their face in his way. Even if he holds talent within his realm, he will be swallowed up by the tides of all Living Things. This is a disappointing outcome.
Yet let us advocate Darkness, but let us not believe that this affirms a justification of evil. Merely this: that every man shall, with the appropriate means, clutch the prosperity that belongs to him. Neither does our method of Darkness advocate the following swindle: “I shall paw my way through with any knife fit for the stabbing, loosening my morality, for any glint and rich I can acquire”. Contrary to that, our method of Darkness is not an easy display of a whole bag of tricks, nor an application of craftiness and cunning of the most devious variety. It contains a keen edge of foresight, strategy, and a long gaze into all the cracks and crevices of the terrain – into the depths of one’s intention. He who wishes to realize his full value or quality, must contain within himself a wisdom or aptitude for planning far above the means of anyone else, for this is essential in Modern times.
To be schooled in Thickness and Darkness is an essential education for every being in present society, no matter whether one is a leader, a commoner, or a businessman.
In leading, know this:
Society is a stage of unending gyrations,
To conduct oneself is a sinister equation
The secret to solving this lies in the management of men. Since ancient times, those of official standing were always involved in the destiny and direction of men, and such a path is a high ascendant ladder. Consider this:
For to manage a place is to maintain the whole
Yet fear creates swollen ideals in the leading men
To learn to lead requires motions such as these:
Recommend oneself when the crisis is dire
Be the tree that stands for the weary soul
Learn from the low without any high shame
Carry humiliation on your back
A single slay can warn the many
Feed poison to the poisoner
Above yourself, be an iron maintain
Eliminate evil to the utmost
And know these contrasts:
To stay or to stretch
To collect or to kill
To flare or to float
To praise or to punish
To he who learn this is to he who leads
And to he who leads, they will submit
The more who submit and the more who revere
Shall enchant his own standing to greater endear
He who understands the above will have a talisman that he can lock to himself with a chain, or a sutra that he can always hold in his contemplations. In the multitudinous shades of societal color, to distinguish right from wrong is the most important. But, when caught in obscurity of your own sight, it is better to put on a muddled pretense and refrain for action, rather than feign knowledge and act recklessly. In daily activities, there are times when one is not always lucid and knowing, and in these various situations, to be able to consider the wholeness of the matter, one needs to apply the skills of an obfuscating leadership. He who combats danger must understand when to stay or stretch, and to practice the natural qualities of his leading capacity. The Man of Virtue must know when to submit and tolerate, and not fly on the ephemeral airs of Heroism. Therefore, the leader needs to understand adaptation, and only by knowing as such can he be a model. Consider this:
A politician is a tailored man
Who knows when to stretch or bend
He holds softness with his gait
But hardness he can recreate
And sometimes his own heart is large
And sometimes narrow as a barge
He won’t refrain to use a stick
With a carrot at the end of it
A politician is a tailored man
That includes the creases in his plans
This manifold person that a leader can be
Such are the needs of responsibility.
A normal man in society must, likewise, understand the lessons of Thick and Black in order to compose himself to those around him. For man is in the world, and every cut and carve of time bequeaths him to the flurry of human activity – thus, to hold to others is the responsibility of all – as inseparable as a fish is to water. But the world is like a well, and human activity can be plumbed with considerable depth, which is why despite being known to all men as fishes know the seas, the finest practice of it is limited to a few. So it has been said:
“The clearest learning forays into the world
The choicest study is found within the heart”
This outlines the importance of a philosophy of conduct.
The changes in society are more fervent than the seasons, and the tremors of the age causes constant declines. In such difficult times, how should I maintain myself and my plans amongst the growing complications? I wish to stand on firm ground, bear the winds and waves to my advantage, extend my grasp in the four directions, and establish a smooth route of entry. How should I foster the perfection of my own being?
Thus, the saying goes: “The Virtuous Man deals with affairs as such – to poverty he bats no eye, to intimidation he lifts no foot, and to temptation he does not grasp”
Still, there are few who can hold themselves to this standard – but the man who loves the conduct of humankind can be lenient with the principles of others, and trust that man will eventually bear from himself an internal radiance that shines beyond all difficulty.