This spirit is firm, not burned away by fire nor washed away by water. It stands at the center of a loyal retainer’s integrity; even if the head is decapitated, even if the body is killed, its faithfulness does not change in the end. Even when provided with a high rank and a fat stipend, even when hearing the sexy voice of a beautiful woman, on these occasions too it is not displaced in the end. Again, is this not strong? Gold and iron are said to be strong, but they should be melted by a raging fire. Jewels and stones are said to be strong, but they should be broken by an iron chisel. Only this spirit is not this way. Throughout heaven and earth, through all of time, it is a single existence beyond shape. Could there be anything stronger? As the form and pattern of this spirit is immense and strong, the way to cultivate this magnanimous spirit is to cultivate it straightly without hindering it, in other words, upon having that resolve one has the duty of refraining from doing violence against that spirit. Having that resolve is a matter of never letting one’s resolve gained by studying to slack for even a moment. The strongest prohibition of studying is to start and stop. In other words, if one continuously starts and stops, in the end nothing will be realized. For this reason, never letting this resolve slacken even for a moment is having that resolve, it is said.
The Second Year of Ansei, The 26th of July. “Minutes of the Head Lecturer.”