Magnanimous Spirit ②

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.”

16日浩然の気②
此の気の凝る所、火にも焼けず水にも流れず。中心義士の節操を立つる、頭に刎ねられても、腰は斬られても、操は遂に変ぜず。高官厚禄を与へても、美女淫声を陳ねても、節は遂に換えず。亦剛ならずや。凡そ金鉄剛と云へども烈火以て溶かすべし。玉石堅と雖も鉄鑿以て砕くべし。唯だ此の気独り然らず。天地に通じ古今を貫き、形骸の外に於て独り存するもの、剛の至りに非ずや。至大至剛は気の形状模様にして、直を以て養ひて害することなきは、即ち其の志を持して其の気を暴ふなきの義にして、浩然の気を養ふの道なり。其の志を持すと云ふは、我が聖賢を学ばんとするの志を持ち詰めて片時も緩がせなくすることなり。学問の大禁忌は作輟なり。或は作し或は輟むることありては遂に成就することなし。故に片時も此の志を緩がせなくするを、其の志を持すと云ふ。
安政二年七月二十六日「講孟箚記」

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