Magnanimous Spirit ①

Immense and strong and cultivated straightly. If this is not hindered, it will fill up all between Heaven and Earth.
(The Book of Mencius)
We should read this passage most deeply. “Immense” is the form of a magnanimous spirit . It is also said “When we fulfill our duties, (such a spirit) is enough to encompass the four oceans.” That is this spirit. It is said the place this spirit can hide is as wide as four oceans, and there is no place it cannot reach. Oh, is this not huge! Nevertheless, when this spirit isn’t cultivated, in shame one fails to compare against even a single person. Let alone when compared against ten people! Even less against ten million! If one is great through cultivating this spirit, there is no limit to great things. On the other hand, if one is a small man, likewise one’s limits will be small. Magnanimity is something that leads to greatness. “Strength” is the pattern of a magnanimous spirit. It is said “Never falling in excess even when wealthy, never changing even when poor, never yielding even to force.” That is this spirit.


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